How would you describe yourself as a photographer?
The immediate answer that pops on my head is “Tall”. I am a tall photographer, which is a huge advantage to be honest with you; I have shot photos over many heads with ease. Though, I think you want more… lately I have been referring to what I do more as a “witness”. I think I capture moments. I like to record things for others to enjoy later. My goal is the photo I may take of you today, could be the favorite photo of your grandkids decades from now.
How did you get into shooting local bands?
I had photographed a few local bands in the early 90’s, poster/flyer, type of photos. I had a camera and worked at Newbury Comics, where practically everyone was in a band. So that’s where it started, but as for the Milford Scene… Tollbooth Willie was my first shoot around here. You (Ray) and I were trapped next to each other at an event that will remain nameless, begging for people to talk to us... instead we talked to each other. It was about the time you joined Tollbooth Willie, you asked if I wanted to take some photos at a show and the gigs have grown from there.
Two parter… Any shows from the past you would have loved to have shot? What famous musician or act would you love to shoot?
The first show that I think of is Foo Fighters at Wembley Stadium in June of 2008. I have that recorded on the DVR, each time I watch it I think of the angles I would set myself up to get photos. The sheer size of the audience, the catwalk in the center, the light, I would have loved to shoot that show. It is one thing to photograph a band, but the key is to incorporate the audience. I would have angled my self low and behind Grohl on the catwalk , to show the contrast of him to the rest of the people there. I can see the shoot in my head.
As for who I would love to shoot, the obvious answers, The Beatles, U2, The Stones, but more than that, I love those lesser known artists, the ones that I could bring to the world my own way without famous images that accompany them when you think of them.
How do you prepare yourself for photographing a band?
I try to see them ahead of time. Get to know them. If not, at least know the set list. I shoot the set list, and refer to it on the screen of my camera through the session. Though, it may not appear that way, knowing the music helps. When I know the song I can kind of anticipate what is going to happen on stage, when the guitarist is going to be spotlighted, when the singer is going to belt out that high note and be full of emotion, or how the crowd will react. So, when possible I position myself differently based off the set list. And one of these times I will remember ear plugs, because in the end I usually find myself married to the speakers.
Besides music, what do you enjoy photographing?
I just enjoy being behind a camera, I am known for the toy photos, which are a blast to think up. I love the challenges of weddings and portraits.
What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?
It fluctuates, 80’s Pop. 80’s Hair Band, Grudge, Folk, it is hard to narrow it down. I connect well to the singer songwriters. James Taylor, Nick Drake, Ellis Paul, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello. Right now I am in a “Live” phase. Listening to playlists composed of live music with artists live: Ben Folds, Killers, Matthew Good, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Martin Sexton, Need to Breathe, INXS, Queen.
Are you musical yourself?
Define “Musical”. I took lessons, guitar, piano, both did not end well. I was in a band once. A local act in Millis… I owned a keyboard, they needed a keyboardist. We had “differences” instantly, my lack of talent got in the way and I was asked to leave 30 minutes after joining. I love music though, worked at Newbury Comics and sold it for 5 years. Raising 2 kids that are naturally gifted musically – something they get from their talented mother. I do have a secret desire to perform (sing) at the Local Social – but don’t tell anyone.
If you could live one day as a famous musician, dead or alive, who would it be?
I really don’t know. I instantly think of things like, Buddy Holly and make sure he did not get on the plane, or Hendrix so he did not take the pills, Marvin Gaye did not fight with his dad, or Lennon so he never went home that night. Or maybe Justin Beiber and do the opposite?
What are your Top 3 favorite albums of all time?
You know from our show Distracted Driving, on Youtube and Facebook 7pm Wednesdays and Milford TV numerous times a week, I am horrible at lists (how’s that for a cheap plug). They change for me like the wind. Top of my head in no order, Paul Simon’s Graceland, Pearl Jam’s Ten and Genesis Invisible Touch.
When grow up what do you want to be Tim?
Who says I need to grow up?