We’re talking to the photographers behind Drop Your Drink. You’ll get to learn how they work and what drives them. We’re talking to Tim Waltman. He’s based in New York.
DYD: You have such an expansive portfolio which includes portraiture, architectural, wedding and concert photography. How did you start your photographic journey and what made you focus on those genres of photography?
Tim: I was 6 or 7 when I first picked up my dad’s camera. It was more of a, “Hmm, I wonder how this thing works?” not so much the, “That’s when I suddenly knew that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life,” sort of thing. I was more interested in the buttons and how it all worked.
Eventually I started taking random photos, messing with shutter speeds and apertures, having no idea what those things really were. Always experimenting. I am where I am today and shooting in the fields I’m shooting in mostly because I’m still curious. Not so much the physical dynamics of the camera anymore, but the emotion that it can capture. The possibilities are endless, and there are no limits in photography, only mental boundaries. I’ve still got a long way to go, but it’s been an amazingly rewarding journey so far. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
DYD: Who are you as a photographer and how would you describe your style?
Tim: Professionally as a photographer, I like to keep the vibe easy going. I try to be as down to earth as possible in any situation… Journalistic and directional.
DYD: We’ve seen a big focus on wedding photography in your work. What differentiates you from other photographers shooting wedding photography?
Tim: At this point, I’m not sure. The wedding photography scene is very competitive. I don’t want to be too hypocritical, but I feel that 75% of wedding photographers these days don’t really have a style anymore. It all looks the same. Maybe it’s because wedding photographers are so involved with everything that is going on every 5 seconds that it’s hard to differentiate yourself from others on so many different levels. If you want to be a successful and original wedding photographer these days, you have to be a psychologist, a magician, and/or someone who never sleeps. There are some AMAZING wedding photographers out there, I feel lucky to know a bunch, but it’s a shitload of work.
DYD: What are some key lessons that you’ve learnt because of wedding photography?
Tim: As a wedding photographer, “late” is not an acceptable word and you learn to pack 2 of everything.
DYD: What gear have you relied on during your progression as a photographer?
Tim: My first DSLR was hands down the biggest upgrade. Being able to shot and work in RAW changed everything for me back in 2005. Closely followed by my newest toy this year, the Profoto B1. I use it almost every day.
DYD: Can you tell us about any great moments you’ve had as a photographer?
Tim: Meeting countless celebrities 1 on 1. It’s allowed me to travel. It’s taken me inside 30+ million dollar homes. (I’ve recently shifted my work nearly 180 degrees and have been doing interior work, mostly with luxury real estate brokers with big exciting houses waiting for me to photograph. We do most if not all of the interiors for reality TV brokers from Million Dollar Listing NY . I have a goal by the end of the year to have some sort of photo or another in Architectural Digest. Literally just yesterday, I found out a gallery of photos for a company I work for were featured in December’s Mexican Architectural Digest. That’s pretty exciting, but it’s still not the US Addition.)
DYD: In your opinion, what makes a great photographer?
Tim: A great photographer doesn’t settle in their work quality, they’re constantly trying to figure out how to make it better. A dedicated photographer doesn’t always work for the paycheck, but for the love a job keeps bringing them.
DYD: Which local and international photographers inspire you?
Tim: Arnold Daniel. Noah Kalina.
DYD: Where can we find more of your work?
Tim: I’m currently in the process of working on my site, which is a bad excuse, that I feel like I’ve been using forever. My good friend Mert is helping me with my site right now, and it will SERIOUSLY be done by the end of the month.
Not to get too American Beauty quotesy on this, but every single second is a memory lost if not captured correctly. Especially in journalism and concert photography, there are so many emotions and lighting conditions happening simultaneously, it’s like a photographer’s best and worst nightmare. But, once you get that photo you’ve been envisioning in your head, it’s the best feeling ever.