Masters of Photography ‘Australians’ Top 20 Countdown- Tim Richardson

As we countdown to the launch of the 2015 Australian’s Annual, with the associated group Gallery Exhibition, we wanted to give all those fans of fashion and fine art photography something to tease their creative appetites. Over the next 10 weeks we will be giving viewers of a chance to see interviews and some of the work that will be in the MASTERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY Vol 13 Australians Book and Show.

Tim Richardson:
Tim Richardson:

Tim Richardson is an Australian born photographer now based in the bustling NYC. Tim makes images acutely attuned to their time – a visual fusion of classical beauty and sensual futurism, Synthesising the physical and the virtual in seamless fusion. His work embraces the emotive potential of cinema and also moves far beyond the camera.

Richardson’s lavish body of work reflects his state of the art approach, including motion capture, 3D scanning and 3D imaging. The results are mesmerizing, spectacular and dreamlike images that radiate with color and movement, encapsulating his subjects wonderfully.

Tim’s print work includes contributions to VOGUE, Dazed & Confused, V Magazine, and Interview, as well as campaigns for Estee Lauder, Diesel and Nike. His work can be found in the collections of Deutsche Bank, Elton John and the Art Gallery of NSW.


We recently sat down with Tim for an interview.

With the evolution of photography today, the rise of the “selfie”, the boom of image publishing sites like Instagram, and the use of Photoshop and other beginner level image Filtering effects, it could be said that there has been a Democratisation of imaging making, and that anyone with an iPhone is now a photographer. How has this changed the industry? What does it mean for the professional photographer? And where do you see it going?

The process of making fashion images with a team (stylist/hair/makeup etc) is essentially the same. Ideas, collaboration and execution are all still part of it, regardless of the camera format.

The iPhone as a photographic tool introduced a new kind of immediacy that fits into the latest ‘app’ culture. iPhone effects apps like Glitch and other image manipulation tools have become mainstream and commercialized. Integrated into fashion as another option for image making and marketing etc.

As a professional photographer the iPhone hasn’t changed my outlook much at all. I use the camera kit that suits my concept and/or the art direction of the image. I’m more interested in the image than the tool.

Where its going… I’m most interested in the way stills might be lifted from film cameras in the
future. Thats the major redirection of the entire camera industry (like RED etc) at the moment. How to create imagery in multiple mediums (TV/Content/Print) simultaneously.

Fashion photography, in the past has been seen as a prestigious, almost exclusive club. Do you think things have changed in that regard?

Fashion photography is really about teams and relationships. Tight knit crews that have to perform
creatively in intense time frames. Everyone has to trust one another visually. In that sense it is exclusive because it has to be.

Tim Richardson: Liquid Couture 

The late great Corinne Day refused to retouch her models, thus producing raw & sometimes gritty natural images. These stand in stark contrast to the kinds of heavily adjusted kinds of images created by people like the fashion duo Mert & Marcus, whose end result is nearly 80 percent retouching and post production. Where do you stand on post-photo manipulation?

I think we’re past the point of needing to prove one direction of image making is better than another in terms of authenticity or quality. Every photographer has their own process or approach – thats all that matters.

Nick Knight, the British photographer, has been quoted as saying his favourite camera is his iPhone 6 not his Hasselblads. What do you say to that comment, and that “The best camera is the one you have with you at all times”.

Its really a matter of personal taste. Each to their own…

Photo Credit: Tim Richardson

The likes of photographers Nick Knight & Rankin have become media brands in their own right. Not only are they photographers but also media publishers, editors, journalists & writers. How important is innovation and the addition of new skills today? Is it enough to be a pure play photographer or do you need to add other elements to keep at the top of the game?

Nick in particular is an example of how a photographer can maintain their cultural and creative relevance through time. Its about how your creative process and outlook can adapt to new technology and cultural momentum.

I experiment as much as possible with the latest developments in cameras and post production to
find the flaws in them. Seek out their limits because thats where the most exciting imagery happens. Its the ‘misuse’ of technology that often creates the most important discoveries. The visual accidents… The opportunities are there to create something genuinely new.

Do you know of any rising new stars from here or abroad that you predict big things for in the industry?

There are so many photographers making great work at the moment. I don’t see any as stand alone since so many us are contributing to the same magazines etc.

Photo Credit: Tim Richardson

What skills aside from the technical image making set do you need to learn & master to make it to the top level in photography?

Its about developing teams around you that can help you realise your images. Hair, Makeup, Art
Directors, Stylists, Set Designers, Agents… These are the crucial creative relationships that will ultimately define your images.

What the leading magazines, websites on the art of photography that you look to and respect above all others ?

A Magazine
Dazed + Confused
Another Magazine
V Magazine
The Last Magazine
Italian Vogue
China Vogue
Post Matter

What kinds of things do you do to promote your work these days? What kinds of things do you do to get new contracts and commissions?

Promotion is usually about the work.

In the creative sense the work is about context. I just had a solo exhibition at Milk Gallery in NYC where I also launched my new book Spiritual Machine (Prestel Publishing). To me events like exhibitions and the press that goes with that form of exposure is the best possible promotion.

With commercial work the process is more about making great projects that elevate brands. This is usually promoted by my agent (Art + Commerce) on multiple social media platforms etc.

Photo Credit: Tim Richardson

Where do you ideally need to be based to be an internationally successful photographer?

New York, London or Paris.

How do you describe your style & technique? How do you keep it fresh in such a rapidly paced industry?

I see my pictures as a kind of cultural remix. They reveal my historical influences (music/art/film), filtered through technologically progressive techniques etc I guess in that sense you could call my
style ‘future-primitive’.

Are you loyal to a certain camera/s? How do you keep up with ever changing technology?

I think possibly because I came from the last generation to use film I was schooled in 4×5, Medium and 35mm formats I see the camera as a tool. .Earlier I mentioned my approach is all about the image- how I make that picture is always defined by the concept so the format is a means to an end.

To get technical I tend toward using original Zeiss lenses since they have the best dynamic range in terms of color and tone.

Working as a director and photographer I’m usually exposed to the latest developments in visual
technology. I also research into post production techniques and have several teams I work with in stills and motion. I am constantly testing they’re capabilities to find new ways of conceiving images. Post production often informs my creative process dramatically since the images need to be planned so far in advance technically.

Photo Credit: Tim Richardson

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you have a muse, have you in the past? Why do you think you did that?

My references/inspiration usually come from my responses to art, music and film. For me the juxtaposition of futurist ideas and this kind of cultural lineage embeds a personal visual narrative
into the imagery. Ideally it means the imagery I make engages with the past in a way that reveals a
visual heritage.

My Muses… Sigourney Weaver, Sean Young, Roony Mara, Kristen McMenamy, Kirsten Owen, Guinevere van Seenus…

What has been your career highlight so far?

My solo exhibition and book launch at Milk Gallery in New York would have to be up there. I recently worked with Pat McGrath and Eugene Soulieman in NY. They’ve both been huge influences on me over the years so shooting with them was amazing.

Photo Credit: Tim Richardson

The above is a partial excerpt from the MASTERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY “Australians 2015″

Tim can be contacted at: INFO@TIMRICHARDSON.TV


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MASTERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY Vol 13 Australians Annual will be a massive 400 page Hard Cover art book, and will be launched in conjunction with a major group exhibition at Sun Studios in Sydney in September. The Exhibition will run for 2 weeks and will then Tour to Melbourne.You can buy the Hard Cover book at the event and on Amazon books.