“The pursuit of craft and the drive to create work that elicits a response is never lost on me.” – Tim Tadder
Tim Tadder is a dynamic and determined individual. He seeks to produce epic work every single time he gets behind the camera. We wanted to know more about his background, his values, and his drive. Here is what he had to say:
I was 12-years old when my father, a Baltimore commercial photographer, let me borrow a camera so I could document my friends’ skateboarding. He then taught me how to process and print the film in his darkroom. The moment I saw images appear from previously blank paper, I was hooked on the magic of image making. While I fell in love with photography in that darkroom, sports was the primary focus of my youth; that passion, coupled with my innate drive to succeed led me to earn high school All American honors in football and a division I football scholarship.
Check out Tim’s still and motion digital work for New Era NBA 2018 here
Through sports, I learned the value of hard work and accomplishing anything worthwhile takes commitment, sacrifice, and focus. Twenty years ago I left behind a 5-year career as a high school teacher and football coach, to follow a dream of being a photographer. That transition was difficult, and without the lessons learned as an athlete, I don’t think I would have been able to evolve. It was an epic shift, and I truly started at the bottom, freelancing for community newspapers.
After a year in community news, I needed to accelerate my craft, so I went back to school, earned a Masters Degree in Visual Communication, and began working as a photojournalist. I spent five years working for newspapers and magazines, honing my story-telling skills, seeking truth and effecting change.
Football had taught me that “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” and nothing could be more accurate. As a newcomer, I attacked my opportunity and seized the moment. I learned as much as I could about process and craft. I learned about the stories the brands wanted to tell and most importantly why. I became part of every project, not just a tool to execute. I found that my degree in visual communication gave me outstanding storytelling skills, and my experience as a journalist gave me an incredible ability to problem solve, and make the most of every situation.
Yet as I worked on projects I found that with life’s truths never really playing out as a storyteller hopes, I began to visualize different endings and different frames, contemplating what it meant to make images instead of taking them. To scratch that itch I began crafting and sharing my own narratives and along the way advertising agencies took note. In two years I went from a full-time local journalist to collaborating on campaigns for many of the worlds most iconic consumer brands.
Check out Tim’s still and motion digital work for Peloton here
A dozen years later, I’m still here but evolved into a producer, director, writer and photographer, a true visual communicator. I am leveraging all the lessons l learned to make shrewder choices, be more efficient, and amplify my effectiveness to communicate. I draw upon my experiences as a teacher, coach, and a team player, to plan better, problem-solve smarter and push myself, the talent and crew to deliver the very best performances possible.
While I have a strong interest in sports and driving athletes into the performances that the fans love them for, I am also fearless when it comes to creating work that reflects the passions I feel in other areas of my life.
Click here for more about Tim’s “Nothing to See” campaign
I create work that serves to start a conversation or work that shines a light on injustice and inspires us to take actions that will help the world be a better place.
For me, success is the cumulative effort of all the little things along the way that make the work great. A decade later I am still climbing, scratching and clawing my way towards being my very best, approaching every opportunity to make images both moving and always with the same passion as my very first assignment. The pursuit of craft and the drive to create work that elicits a response is never lost on me.
For more of Tim’s epic work that elicits a response visit his Instagram.