An interview with Tim Flach
The astonishing hor
ses that appear in the Manfrotto SYMPLA campaign, just out in these days, is the result of a very complex project. The shot was taken in Camargue by the British photographer Tim Flach.
As he is the author of one of the nicest campaigns Manfrotto has ever had, the MSoX is proud to feature him with this short interview where we will discover more about him and the actual shooting in France.
Hi Tim, and thanks for your time with us. First of all.. What’s your approach – either creative or psychological – to your corporate commissions compared to your personal photography projects? Is there much of a gap any more? Do you feel that you’ve managed to steer your career in a direction that means you don’t have to compromise your own aesthetic or interests? Do you find it taints your enjoyment of your personal work if the two sides come too close?
The discipline of my commercial work has informed my personal photography projects and vice versa. Working commercially has given me an experience of working in collaboration within a team, which I’ve always enjoyed.
It shown me the importance of keeping a clear head around brand values that we are required to communicate whilst in the process of originating the work. My personal projects often require that I do my own research and enquiry, but I still need to be effective in communicating the ideas that I find.
Recently I had a luxury of being able to be more selective with the projects I take on, also the commissions that I am given often have emerged from personal projects.
How much of the work on either side of a photography session do you do yourself? Planning, lighting, editing, post-production, for example?
I suppose that I am in the minority that retouches all personal work and like to be involved with my images throughout the process.
Which photographers (ideally living ones) do you most admire (or even envy)? If not photographers, which artists or people from other fields serve as inspiration for you? Do you compare your own work or career with others? Have you achieved what you set out to, or are any major professional goals left… close, distant or unattainable?
I don’t tent to have a direct mentor so to speak, although I keep referring back to certain painters many of which have emerged as familiar masters.
I can say that there are photographers more relevant through subject matter such as Karl Blossfeldt, or composition as Bill Brandt. Recently I began to look more and more in to work of Irvin Penn. Looking at the consequence of man on nature where my interest lies I have a lot of respect for Edward Burtynsky’s work.
You mentioned that you almost fell into photography during your foundation art year, but that you went to art college to study painting. Your photographs are extremely painterly… do you still paint?
No, however my background of studying painting definitely informs my work.
When I started doing my painting course I had no idea that thirty years later it will proven to be so useful with technology like Photoshop.
Shooting the Sympla Campaign, what has been the challenge?
We wanted to place person operating Sympla in the challenging environment, so we’ve chosen marshes of the Camargue as our location and charged 30 horses at our operator while trying to avoid falling in the mud with all the equipment and the rig.
Thanks Tim for your time!
More information about Tim Flach at www.timflach.com