Timothy Kay

"I try to hold things loosely. I have a general vision for any given project, but then I allow room for that to shift or alter or evolve on set."

Timothy Kay

United States

Timothyplease tell us your talent/work rate per hour?

Timothy. Tell us ABOUT yourself. 
Timothy James Kay is an award winning director whose creative work has been seen during shows like Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, Guy Fieri’s Grocery Games, The Macy's Day Parade and Scandal. While his work has reached viral status online (totalling over half a million views), Tim’s filmography has garnered acceptance and recognition from prestigious festivals including The Cannes Film Festival. As such, Tim brings a uniquely cinematic touch to every photograph, striving to reveal a story in every moment. 

Our readers would love to get to know you more Timothy. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?

I'm a twin and the third oldest of 14 children. As I began working with cameras (my Dad's old VHS tape recorder and mini digital camera) when I was 12 or 13, my siblings were the audience I would tell my stories too and my first photography subjects. Even today they continue to be. My twin, siblings, and extended family (four of my siblings are now married) are the first people I show my work to. And although family reunions are more rare, when they happen my camera is always at my side. 

Timothy, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?

Since I was 12, I picked up a camera and haven't put it down. Whether it's writing/directing/editing films or taking photos, my passion and aspiration are to be a storyteller. 

Who is your inspiration in life Timothy? How do you keep inspired?

Creatives inspire me. I listen to a lot of podcasts and am always surfing Instagram. Interview format podcasts are my favourites. "The Nerdist", "You Made it Weird", "KCRW's The Business", and "Meet the Filmmaker" are some I listen to daily. Every artist has ups and downs. It's incredibly encouraging to hear creatives that I admire admit to the beauty and struggle that is art-making. 

We all make mistakes Timothy; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Photographer, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
So, while I don't love making mistakes (who does?), I have come to embrace them. I'm about to turn 28, and although some would still consider that young, I have made incredibly painful creative mistakes and experienced deep personal suffering. To me, creative mistakes and personal suffering are the stuff of art. As a filmmaker and photographer, there is a standout moment that I regretted for a long time but have now come to be incredibly grateful for. I was making my senior-thesis (a 30-minute short film), and I hinged it on two beauty models who were very new to the acting game. It took me two years to cobble an edit together that I didn't cringe in presenting. From that experience, I learned so much about the differences in photography and filmmaking and grew leaps and bounds as a storyteller. It was creative purgatory that by the end, brought me a step closer to something better and brighter and more beautiful. 

Timothy , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?

This is a challenge to be sure. I try to have a general strategy while not getting so locked into it that I'm inflexible to faster ways of doing things. I think a lot comes down to time-management, not over-shooting on set, and setting attainable goals for yourself and your clients. 

Please tell us, Timothy, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?

The answer to this one's pretty simple. Late nights and tons of coffee. 

Timothy, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
For me, collaboration is king in any creative endeavour. I find creative success comes when I am clear on the vision of a project. That clarity allows others to know what they're signing up for. But more than anything, it should excite the team I'm building. Over the years, I've tested different ways of doing that. Recently, I had a project deeply inspired by personal suffering in my life. My seven year marriage ended shortly before the near-death of my then 7-month-year-old son. I gathered my team, pulled out my phone, played mood music and was honest about where I was coming from regarding the story I wanted to tell. I don't want to give too much weight to that single instance, but that project is one of my favourite to date. 

Timothy, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
There was a time when I was set to shoot the golden hour, and the model was late in arriving (LA traffic does that). By the time we started, we'd lost a lot of our light. In my head, I had 7-10 setups I wanted to shoot, and I was cancelling most of them to save time. It was a big limitation having about half the time I'd planned for, but the photos that came from that set are some of my favourite work. 

Timothy, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I try to hold things loosely. I have a general vision for any given project, but then I allow room for that to shift or alter or evolve on set. For me, that's where a lot of the creativity happens. I love those moments. As a photographer, that's most exciting to me. 

What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?

Pick up a camera. Any camera. Shoot. Edit. Repeat. Find a platform to share your work but don't be held hostage by the size of your audience. Keep doing the work and people will take notice. 

Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I'm open to any type of collaboration. 

Photo Credits:
Photographer: Timothy Kay @timothyjameskay www.tjameskay.com