Photographer Tim Wallace’s work spans both the commercial and advertising sectors and has been at the forefront of both fields for over a decade. Based in Manchester England, Tim’s work takes him to all 4 corners of the globe shooting for some of the most iconic brands through his transport photography, from supercars to private jets and luxury yachts.
Tim works internationally with many high clients across the globe such as Jaguar Land Rover, Peugeot, Mercedes and Morgan as well as shooting some of the worlds most iconic brands such as Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Ferrari in the UK and Europe to Dodge, Chevrolet and Mustang in the US. Over recent years he has also broadened the AmbientLife brand to include other transport related work such as HGV Truck and large vehicle photography, Aviation and aircraft work, engineering and logistics.
Tim first started out in the darkrooms of the Daily Mail where he developed his unique appreciation for tone and contrast and even today he is very much an advocate of the benefits of shooting and learning the photography craft through first learning to shoot and develop film properly, as well as learn to print that subsequent work in the darkroom. Having had work published in the Times, Guardian and Independent, Tim's career was clearly on track from a young age. Fast forward to the UK recession in the late 80's and Tim decided to join the Royal Navy and went on to serve with 42 Commando Royal Marines in many parts of the world. In 2006 Tim decided it was time to go back to a career in photography and so established his own company, AmbientLife, with its very strong idea's towards both its goals and its own creative output. Over the past decade AmbientLife have worked with a who's who of automotive royalty, from Jaguar, Aston Martin and beyond. Tim's work is highly sought after, and this is driven also by his string of awards including British Commercial Advertising Photographer of the Year, and the acclaimed UK Motor Industry Car Photographer of the Year award to name but a few.
His ability to capture and create shots that showcase not only a car as it appears visually but also its sheer personality and soul are much sought after and often written about when he talks to magazines and in interviews that he gives in the Europe and US.
Tim's work has been published all over the World and he has been refereed to as one of most creative photographers within his specialised field of commercial automotive photography. In the US Scott Kelby described Tim recently as one of the 10 most influential photographers in the World today and also a man who greatly inspires others, not only within his own industry but beyond. Tim's view of all this is a little more straight forward, a man who's very well known for his down to earth attitude, his feet are very firmly on the ground. His desire to produce creative work is one that has driven him from a very young age at the point he first picked up a camera, "Photography is for me simply a creative passion, the ability to use light and form to capture in a single solitary image what I see within my own imagination at that point in time…"
Tim's photographic awards over recent years have included;
International Commercial Advertising Photographer of the Year 2011
UK Motor Industry Professional Car Photographer of the Year 2012
International Travel Photographer of the Year 2013
Medium Format Photographer of the Year 2013 3rd
Hasselblad Photographer of the month
Landscape Photographer of the Year 2010
BBC Best New Creative Business Award 2006
BBC Interview following the award for International Advertising Photographer of the Year
"I plan to live forever, so far so good..."
"I'm 40-something but apparently 40 is the new 30 so things are always good and I have never felt better!, I don't sleep much because I'm always thinking about what I can do to create something new, on a morning I often wake up excited for the day like a kid at Christmas just wanting to get out on the road and get on with it. People say I have a wicked sense of humour, wicked, twisted, something like that! I would say that you'd probably remember me if we met and thats good in my book.
I have the most amazing lady in my life, Angela, who has always been there for me no matter what, she is my rock when I need the World to stop the spinning for a little while and in our house we use the term 'Team Wallace' a lot which always makes me laugh especially when our five year old reminds us at the most unexpected times that "Team work makes the dream work…!"
We look out for each other and we pull together through the laughs as well as the not so funny stuff. Our two amazing boys are Ben And Charlie, the latter being the youngest but he's most definitely not a push over even if he is the 'little legs' of the family. Lastly there is 'Eddie' our faithful if not slightly eccentric dog, and that makes up the gang and all that is important in my World. We work hard and we know that life is for living, I enjoy living mine and do everything I possibly can so that they can do the same"
"I love the whole creative visual voodoo, the journey from A to B and the chance of arriving at C..."
"My work is often regarded as dramatic and to me photography is a process, you'll never hear me mutter 'it'll be fine' as that's simply not enough for me. Life is short and I aim to make mine worth while and interesting with work that I hope reflects this.
My goal in life is to be myself always, be creative, be true and most of all improve just a little part of peoples lives with images that both entertain and sometimes invoke the feelings that I had when I shot them. I've won awards and I'm always of the thought that maybe they got the wrong Tim Wallace, hey I'm grateful always but never take myself or any achievements too seriously, life's too short and people will forget you quickly.
I jumped off a cliff in Norway a few years ago in a BASE jump, why?, well because it felt right for me to do that for myself at that time, I truly believe that anything in life is possible, work hard, be an honest person, tell the people that you love just what they mean to you as often as you can, and most of all be out there shooting because sometimes that's where amazing things can happen."
Tim was aged only 7 when started his love affair with photography after spending much time in the summer holidays with his grandfather, who loved to take photographs but had no interest in their development or printing. Tim saw this as the very best and most magical part of the process at that time and it was not too long before he was balancing on an old wooden stool in the garden shed so that he could reach the bench where he would develop and print his grandfathers films. "My grandmother used to go bananas when she used to come out to see what I was up to in the shed, believing that if I fell into the chemicals I would no doubt be dissolved! lol"
All through his early years Tim spent a lot of his time both taking pictures and indulging his love for printing and developing film, in many ways it was a central part of his childhood and as he grew older he watched the world grow through his own lens.
At 16 Tim started work in the darkrooms of the Daily Mail Group where he learned the art of printing and had a baptism of fire into the world of photojournalism, working with many great photographers from both the National Press and agencies. At 19 he joined a top agency based in the UK, and went on to spend an increasing amount of my time behind the camera. His slightly 'different' approach to shooting and his understanding of tone and contrast giving him a potentially different outlook on a scene, mixing this with a more 'contemporary' style to his work, he soon found favour with the UK National Press, having work published in the Guardian, Independent and Times. Later he went into partnership with another mainstream Agency based and continued building on his successes whilst exploring other area's such as Public Relations and Corporate photography with many large UK company contracts until an economic downturn in the country forced him to re-evaluate his options and seek a new challenge.
At a young age Tim joined the Royal Navy, serving with 42 Commando Royal Marines in many parts of the world, it was a few years later that during a 'free climb' (climbing unassisted without ropes) that Tim was doing on the face of Voss Point in Norway, which towers to almost 4,000ft, that his world took a change forever. Tim had completed his climb and after securing a 'cam' into the wall to rope on and rest after 5 hours of assent, the cam came loose and the secondary cam could not take the strain and he fell. In many ways Tim was lucky in the the fact that he only fell 147ft before hitting a snow covered outcrop of rock to break his fall. With multiple very serious injuries he was alive but was loosing his grip on life quickly.
"I remember drifting in and out of consciousness, the snow around me appeared black and I remember wondering why and then realising that it was because of my own blood. I seemed to be their forever as the wind blew across the ledge and I clearly remember feeling the coldest that I think I have ever before, or indeed since. A helicopter was sent but they had some problems to get the winch man down to me because of the proximity of the rotors to the cliff wall, eventually they managed to swing him quite litterally onto the ledge where I was perched and I was taken from there to nearby Bergen hospital, having need to be resuscitated 3 times during the flight as my body started too close down. In the weeks that followed I was moved to a Royal Naval hospital in the UK and spent the first month mostly in a drug induced coma, 9 months later and a huge amount of care and physiotherapy I left hospital and the Marines and started a new chapter in my life"
After leaving the service Tim followed a more corporate route working with large media companies such as Virgin and Orange where he took on the role of Network Operations Manager in charge of the UK mobile data network. He pursued this career for several years and remained devoted to photography but enjoyed that only at a personal level. In 2006 following a company wide restructure Tim's network department and all 110 staff that sat under him were put on notice of redundancy pending the move. It was at this point that Tim decided to pursue his passion in photography and make the leap to create and launch Ambient Life to transport his vision forward.
"Over the years I had thought a lot about going back into photography and often spoke with people and friends about it, my career was doing really well in networks and when you are in a position like that its hard to make that leap into the unknown. In a strange way being made redundant was very likely the single best thing that ever happened to me!
I sat down for 5 long days at my dinning room table and created the business plan for AmbientLife, I researched my markets and the industry and used my senior management skills to look at things logically and from a business perspective and not just creatively in what I wanted to achieve. Many people that I spoke to at that time told me that it was next to impossible to achieve what I was aiming for because I was too old, (really!) did not live in London and my work was too much like 'art', ironically when we gain a new client and I ask what led them to commission AmbientLife for their project I am often told by the client that they love the fact that my work is 'almost like art...'
I worked very hard and remained focused on my goals, often working 18 hours a day to build my contacts, home my skills, and train myself to meet the now growing 'digital' side of photography. In many ways I started and built my business my own way, not following on from others but taking my business forward my own way, choosing and walking my own path you could say, this is something that has always been very strong in me, to find my own route in life and follow my heart even when it appears to be a path that is less walked by others."
Over the recent years Ambient Life has continued to go from strength to strength. Over recent years Tim has travelled to the US to film many instructional videos for KelbyOne to join the ranks of instructor photographers around the world such as Joe McNally, as well as giving several TV interviews about his work and what makes him tick emotionally and professionally. These classes have done extrordinaerily well and have lead Tim to return to the US on several occasions to take part in The famous Photoshop World Event held each year in Las Vegas where he has spoken not only about his methods in business and working hard to create a successful business but also about himself, his own personal beliefs in live and what drives him to always push that little bit further, endeavouring constantly to create something fresh and new within his own industry.
Over recent years AmbientLife has seen a very healthy growth in new clients, which we believe is testament to the quality of the work that we produce with virtually all our commissions being generated through referral and reputation, something that we feel is very important. We are lucky enough to work with some amazing people within the advertising industry and have been very fortunate to have taken part in some great projects over the last few years, it is always great to push the creative boundaries, look for new approaches and never be scared to try and look at a project or feature through new eyes as others may see it to allow you the opportunity to break away from the main stream and create something that hopefully becomes very memorable for both your clients and their own customers.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring apart from more opportunities.
USA Video Personal interview with Tim Wallace
UK Magazine Car Photography interview
Chicago Video Interview with Tim Wallace
Hungry Eye Magazine Hasselblad Anniversary Feature with Comment
Advanced Photographer Magazine Interview Tim Wallace
Scott Kelby US Interview Feature with Tim Wallace
MAN LONDON Magazine Interview with Tim Wallace
Professional Photo Magazine Feature and Interview with Tim Wallace
Hasselblad 'Our World' Interview Interview with Tim Wallace
Photofocus USA Robert Vanelli Interview Podcast interview with Tim Wallace
APA - Automotive Photographers Association - Worldwide Interview with Tim Wallace
f11 - Photography Magazine - Worldwide 50 page Feature Interview with Tim Wallace
Shutterbug - Photography Magazine - US Pro Interview with Tim Wallace
F2 - Freelance Photographer Magazine - UK Print Interview with Tim Wallace
PhotoFocus Interview with Robert Vanelli Pro Interview with Tim Wallace in Las Vegas
Professional Photographer Magazine - UK 'Living the Dream' - Pro Interview with Tim Wallace
F2 - Freelance Photographer Magazine - UK Personal work in US Interview
Digital Photo Pro Magazine - US Pro Interview with Tim Wallace
The Review Magazine - London Interview with Commercial Photographer Tim Wallace
A lifetime behind the lens A personal view on film and camera's from Tim Wallace
Camerapixo (Europe) Special 'Tim Wallace Interview' Magazine Edition- 48 Page Interview and Feature
BBC TV Interview with Gerallt Jones of BBC Wales (UK) - TV Interview following Tim's Charity Seminar Event in Wales for Disadvantaged Children
Fuji Interview (UK) - Personal Work and using the XPro1 - Interview
3LT (UK) - Pro Feature Interview
Photographer Monthly Magazine (UK) - A Century of Car Advertising - Interview
Interview FOTOGRAFIE (Germany) - Pro Feature Interview
Digital SLR Magazine (Europe) - Darwin Project Interview
.Get Inspired Magazine (iPad) - Darwin Project Feature
The Coolector (Europe) - Personal Work Feature
Topaz USA - Pro Insight Interview
Professional Photographer Magazine (UK) - The 'BIG' Interview
PHUCK Magazine (South Africa) - Pro Spotlight Feature
Light It Magazine - Interview - iPad
Pro Interview (Europe) Digital Photo - Pro Magazine Interview
Seamless (Europe) - Photographer Spotlight
Profoto Sweden - Pro Photographer Interview and Videos
Professional Photographer of the Year Awards 2013 - 'AmbientLife Tim Wallace Wins 2 Awards
Personal Interview (US) - 'The Inspiration' with Larry Becker
US Interview - 'Business Interview with TV Host Mia McCormick
500px - 'Photographer Spotlight Feature'
Profoto Sweden - 'Pro Interview'
Pro Interview - US - 'Personal Interview'
Photography - Scott Kelby- 'BTS of Kelby Classes'
Leading Pro's at Work - DSLR Europe- 'Pro Interview'
Profoto Magazine Germany - Pro Photographer Interview
Le Grand Pro Feature - Pro Photographer Interview
Nikon Pro Book - Pro Feature
Professional Photographer of the Year Awards 2011 - Tim wins Advertising Photographer of the Year
Photography Week 'Pro Interview'
Royal Photographic Society UK - Pro Interview Article
Car Industry Awards 2011 London - Tim wins Car Photographer of the Year 2011
US Photographer Interview - Borrowlenses- 'Interview'
DSLR PRO Malaysia- 'Pro Interview'
Kelby TV USA - Pro Photographer Interview
DSLR Cutting Edge PRO - 'Photographer Feature'
Hasselblad Victor Magazine - 'Pro Photographer Feature'
PhotoPro Magazine - 'Lighting Feature'
Calumet - 'Photographer Spotlight' Interview
Digital SLR Photography - 'Photographer Interview' UK Magazine
Scott Kelby - 'Guest Interview' US Feature
Elinchrom Switzerland - 'The Making of Tim Wallace' Feature
What Digital Camera - 'Creative Drive' Photographer Interview
BBC Interview - Awards Interview with Tim Wallace
Focus Magazine - 'Photographer Tim Wallace' Feature Interview
Hasselblad Award - International Photographer of the Month
UK Business Awards 2011 - AmbientLife Win Best New Business Awards
Digital Camera - 'Out There' Magazine Interview
Nikon Europe - Pro Talk at NEC UK for Focus Event
Pro Insight - 'Capturing Cars' Feature
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