DJ Cobalt 60: Why do you love creating images and what is it about the human form that you find so fascinating?
Timothy Patrick: I have always been sentimental, holding on to keepsakes and memories way too long. I have a collection of ticket stubs that started when I was in the fourth grade. Shooting a photograph feeds that drive I have to immortalize a moment. When I started shooting nudes I fell in love with the intimacy and trust involved. I quickly learned that all people are imperfect, but it is those imperfections that are beautiful and worth capturing.
DJ Cobalt 60: Has creative self-expression always been a big part of your life? I know 2011 marked you starting to take your photography more seriously but, does it make sense to you now looking back in retrospect that this would be your preferred chosen art form or an artistic medium you could see yourself work in?
Timothy Patrick: As a kid I would always have a camera with me on vacations, but being a photographer was never something I aspired to. It wasn’t until high school when I let my creative side show by creating crude websites and writing horrible, horrible poetry. Several years later while attending San Francisco State University I began putting my web and writing skills to use, combining them with photography and video in an effort to catalog a now-defunct wiffleball league. That led me to pursue a career in graphic design, and now photography is my creative outlet from that.
DJ Cobalt 60: One of the reasons I love following you on social media is the fact that you are as much a fan taking photos as you are of looking at other peoples’ photos, you even recently started your own blog titled “Pleasantly Dispensed” to showcase images and artists that you find inspiring. I know the list must be always changing and expanding but who are some photographers or models who have shaped and influenced your own photography?
DJ Cobalt 60: What’s your set-up like? How has is evolved over the years? What do you think have been the most and least useful pieces of equipment you have ever bought?
Timothy Patrick: My gear bag usually includes my Canon Rebel XT, a few prime lenses and either my Polaroid One Step or my Fuji Instax Wide. When I started out I sank under the weight of all the gear you think you need to shoot like the pros, but time and a minimal budget to spend on gear made that feeling go away. I enjoy what I shoot and how I shoot it. The least useful piece of equipment I have is a sandbag (to weigh down my light stand) that currently serves as a doorstop in my office.
DJ Cobalt 60: Taking into consideration how much of your work is digital, why did you decide this year to retry using film, a process you had only dabbled with on a few photo shoots in the past?
Timothy Patrick: When I challenged a friend to shoot a 52-week project, she challenged me to do the same. I felt the desire to shoot film in order to differentiate the project from my digital work. The idea to shoot all Polaroid stemmed from the fact that I know I could quickly shoot, scan and upload a photo to meet each week’s deadline.
DJ Cobalt 60: Some people would argue that photography’s future lies in digital and it would be counterproductive of you as a photographer to use film, in your opinion is film photography a dying art form?
Timothy Patrick: I think the future is wide open to both digital and film, it just depends on your preference and the ability to deliver a quality result. In terms of film as a dying art form? I think the opposite is true, and I really think shooting and developing your own film is the art form.
DJ Cobalt 60: You once wrote that you feel all your work featuring the human form (while not always sexual/sensual) is an expression of your sexuality, which I find interesting because I can quite easily distinguish your photos from other photographers based on how relax and calm your models come across in them. They seem so nonchalantly at ease that your work feels more like it was shot by a female photographer than a male one. In my experience most male photographers especially when photographing females tend to be very loud and aggressive your work on the other hand is more subtle, mellow and contemplative. The fact that your model or models may be posing nude almost seems to be taken for granted and more of an afterthought than a point of great focus. What has you work taught you about your own sexuality and perception of beauty?
Timothy Patrick: I am so very low key when I shoot, a model once thanked me for the “zen like” experience. I do not understand male aggression, and I never will. It’s just not a part of who I am. What I bring to the table is a relaxed experience, a comfortable space and a friendly dialogue within an intimate setting.
I have never really been drawn to a particular type of beauty. Shooting a wide range of people has reinforced the idea that all shapes and sizes are beautiful in their own right. And that learning process has taught me to be extremely comfortable with who I am, and to love the body I was given. That understanding has brought me closer to my wife in many ways.
DJ Cobalt 60: You’ve been pretty blessed so far to have collaborated with quite a number of talented models and while I love most of your work I want to draw specific attention to your collaborations with DeSalle, Floofie, Cam Damage, Krysta Kaosand Ashlee Nichole admittedly quite a long list but for me those photos contain magic in them because you brought out a side of your models I’ve never seen anyone else be able to before or since, an accomplishment that deserves considerable praise when factoring how active models like Floofie and Cam Damage are. It kind of goes without saying but as a viewer you always want to see a photographer do more than just copy and paste their existing style to every model they shoot. You really want each shoot of theirs to be its own unique expression and your work does that for me. Like I said what’s captured in those photos is magic it transcends the confines of words. How much of your work is premeditated? Had you already known how you were going to photograph Cama model you had waited quite some time to photograph and were a big fan of prior to your shoot or was all you knew was that you wanted to photograph her?
Timothy Patrick: Thank you very much. When I first started I would be up all night before a shoot, worrying about location, how I would shoot in that location and how I would light, etc. It was too much, and I quickly learned to just show up and let it happen. Fortunately the nature of my work allows for that type of spur of the moment creativity and collaboration with my subjects. I know that I can book someone, have them meet me somewhere and we will find a way to creatively use the space. To take Cam for example, I knew she was going to be in San Francisco, and I knew I could use a friend’s apartment for the shoot. I think we had briefly discussed wardrobe beforehand, but nothing more. It was relaxed, working with what we had and the results of that morning are still striking to me. The same thing goes for DeSalle and Floofie and Krysta.
DJ Cobalt 60: Placing yourself on the other side of the camera and taking self-portraits of yourself while nude helped give you the confidence to photograph your models as they posed nude. You describe the experience as never feeling more vulnerable and one every photographer should try. Is the dynamic between a photographer and a model one that allows for equal self-examination?
Timothy Patrick: Listen, you’re asking someone to trust you with their likeness. You can’t truly understand what you’re asking of someone until you put your own body out there. When you do put your body online, it’s scary at first, but then it becomes empowering and fun and you begin to see yourself with new eyes.
DJ Cobalt 60: What is an image of yours that you believe best represents your style and aesthetic and what was the situation surrounding it?
Timothy Patrick: A recent photo of Verronica Divine stands out as one that captures the warmth and intimacy shared in a quiet space. Verronica and I had been following one another for quite some time, but since neither of us travel that much we had never met. It was great finally meeting and working with her…she had great energy and kept me laughing the entire time.
DJ Cobalt 60: Given the opportunity to photograph any person living or dead who would you choose?
Timothy Patrick: Right now, without a doubt I would choose Emily Blunt. Those eyes…
DJ Cobalt 60: As an artist what is the highest compliment that you can receive?
Timothy Patrick: I just want to know my work is more signal and less noise.
My Dream Camera…just give me the Canon 5D MKIII or even the Fuji X100S and I’ll be over the moon.
WHAT I EXPECT FROM EVERY MODEL I SHOOT WITH…I do my best to be courteous and professional. I expect the same.
WHAT EVERY MODEL SHOULD EXPECT FROM EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER THEY SHOOT WITH…comfort and security and the utmost professionalism.
THE LAST TIME A PHOTO LEFT ME SPEECHLESS…Today, looking back at something intimate of my wife and me.
MY IDEA OF SUCCESS…The adrenaline buzz I have after a good shoot is all I crave. Nothing tops that.
DJ Cobalt 60: For people interested in learning more about you or your work where can they go?
Timothy Patrick: Anybody interested can visit http://timothy-patrick.com/ where they can find photos, my social media links and info on purchasing prints.
DJ Cobalt 60: Is there any you would like to thank who has supported you throughout your career or been instrumental to your career?
Timothy Patrick: Without question I have to thank my wife. Without her support and love I would not be able to follow my passion.