Exclusive Interview With Tim Bracey

Tim Bracey

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Lensational Magazine: Hello, Tim Bracey. Great to have an interview with you about your amazing work. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Tim Bracey: Hi. I’m Tim Bracey and I’ve been a photographer for the past 8+ years. It’s more of a passionate hobby than a job, which is why I love it so much. I started out photographing landscapes, but quickly discovered my passion for photographing people.

 I started with senior portraits, homecomings, and proms, but wanted to expand my knowledge and skill set, so I transitioned to shooting models. My favorite genres are beauty, body paint, creative hair/makeup, editorial, fashion, and glamour. 

I mostly work with new and established unsigned models but hope to one day work with signed agency models. When not behind the camera capturing photos or in front of my computer editing photos, you can find me mentioning models and collaborating alongside my fellow photographers or with models hair stylists, and makeup artists to expand our knowledge or extend our portfolios.

Lensational Magazine: How did photography become your medium?

Tim Bracey: I started photography as a way of striving for balance to my job as a software developer/business analyst in the healthcare industry. I needed a hobby passion which was at the opposite end of the spectrum from analytics and business. Photography became that medium.

Lensational Magazine: What inspired you to pick up a camera?

Tim Bracey: For years I’d been inspired by Ansel Adams and his black & white nature photography. Back when we used physical calendars, I would always purchase one with his work in it.

Tim Bracey

Lensational Magazine: Can you tell me about your first experiences with photography?

Tim Bracey: My first real experiences with photography came when I used to travel a lot for work.  Sometimes I would need to stay over the weekend at the job location. I used to love going sight seeing and sending postcards back home to my friends and family. 

Over time as the number of people grew, it became harder and harder to keep up with writing personalized messages to each member. At some point I purchased by first point and shoot camera and decided to start taking photos and posting them on Facebook and Instagram.

Lensational Magazine: What role has photography played in your life?

Tim Bracey: Photography has been instrumental in providing me a great work/life balance. Along my journey I have met and become friends with some amazing people. Some of which are more like family than friends. Photography has also been a great way to meet new people.

Lensational Magazine: Is there a purpose that drives your work?

Tim Bracey: My desire to produce quality work and help others build strong portfolios, skill sets, and professional relationships is what drives me.

Tim Bracey

Lensational Magazine: How do you personally access creative inspiration?

Tim Bracey: I get a lot of creative inspiration from looking at the work of my peers, social media and Pinterest.

Lensational Magazine: How would you describe the creative process behind your work?

Tim Bracey: I would describe my process/approach as very analytical. Once I have an idea or concept I try to determine what I need in order to make it a reality. That includes determining wardrobe, hair/makeup, location, and looking for the right people to bring my vision to light.

Lensational Magazine: How do you describe your photography style?

Tim Bracey: My style is very classy meets creative. I love beauty, fashion, and editorial and try to mix in the right amount of creativity.

Lensational Magazine: What mistakes to avoid while editing photographs?

Tim Bracey: I try to avoid over editing the skin and body.  You don’t want the skin looking too plastic, or modifying the person’s body to the point where it doesn’t accurately depicted them.

Tim Bracey

Lensational Magazine: Tell us about post-processing. What programs are you using? Are you doing the post editing yourself?

Tim Bracey: My post-processing begins by importing the photos from the shoot into Lightroom.  After making minor corrections in Lightroom, then open the photo in Photoshop.  While in Photoshop I make additional minor corrections such as removing stray/fly away hair and blemishes. 

Once completed, I retouch the photo using several plugins from Retouch4Me (healing skin, dodging & burning, removing red eye vessels, and adding shadowing to convey depth) and Luminar AI/Neo. Lastly I return to Lighroom for some final tweaks or to apply a preset to alter the look and feel of photo.

Lensational Magazine: Let’s pretend at a specific moment you will decide – out of the blue – to drop down this career in photography. Hypothetically… Which way would you go then? What path would you choose instead?

Tim Bracey: With AI (artificial intelligence) becoming more and more of a reality, I would like to delve into it. Actually, we’re going to be doing that at work soon in order to improve patient care/outcomes by extracting data from unstructured fields.  Exciting stuff!

Tim Bracey

Lensational Magazine: According to you – what makes a “good photographer”? Is the vision, the sharpness of the image, or the chance…?

Tim Bracey: What makes a good photographer is understanding that it takes more than the latest, top of the line equipment in order to produce a great photo. It’s a team effort involving the photographer, model, makeup artist, hair stylist, designer, wardrobe stylist, and location.

Lensational Magazine: What led you to photography field?

Tim Bracey: It was the push from a family friend that made me what to pursue photography further. I had done family photos for her family and her as well as prom and homecoming photos for her kids. She noticed I had a passion and eye for photography and encouraged me to further develop my skills.

Lensational Magazine: What advice can you give our young photographer’s readers trying to succeed in the field?

Tim Bracey: Never give it. Like with anything in life, it’s going to take time, money, and effort in order to improve and succeed. Also…practice, practice, and practice.

Tim Bracey

Lensational Magazine: What is your precious moment or achievement in your photography career?

Tim Bracey: One day several years ago before I started to actively pursue photography, I took my niece to the local arboretum. I ended up taking several photos of her. I decided to get an enlargement of one to frame it and hang it in my living room. 

When I returned to pick up the photo, there was a note on the envelop to remind them to ask if I had permission from the photographer to print the photo. Apparently, they thought the photo was so good that it must have been taken by a professional photographer. I was shocked they thought it was of such high quality. It was the spark that ignited my passion for photographing people.

Lensational Magazine: What cameras and lenses do you use?

Tim Bracey: I own 3 DSLR cameras (Canon 5D Mark II, III, and IV) and 1 mirrorless camera (Canon R5). As for lenses, I have several for those specific systems (24-70 mm, 70-200 mm, 100 mm, 50 mm, 24 mm, 35 mm).

Lensational Magazine: During the past years, you did so many impressive shootings. Which was the most exciting for you? What is the project you are the proudest of?

Tim Bracey: There are so many to choose from, but one of the shoots I’m most proud of is the Day Of The Dead shoot I did a few years back. I’d been wanting to do one for years ever since I saw a Day Of The Dead Barbe doll of all things. Everywhere I turned I was met with disappointment over the dress I needed. I was able to give up hope, but realized I knew someone that could take a dress I have and sew appliques on it. This greatly reduced the cost of the outfit and she went above and beyond of what I expected.

Tim Bracey

Lensational Magazine: How often do you shoot big projects? How many people are on your team?

Tim Bracey: I try to shoot a big project once every 3 – 4 months. It takes that long to come up with an idea/concept, get all the pieces and parts you need, find a locations, and assemble the correct team. Teams rotate, but typically there’s me, the photographer, a model (multiple if needed), and a HMUA (hair stylist/makeup artist). If I’m lucky the makeup artist does hair as well. If I need someone who specializes in hair, then there’s a person who does hair and one who does makeup.

Lensational Magazine: If there is a place that you will love photograph and you have not done it yet. What it’ll be?

Tim Bracey: I would really love to do a shoot somewhere in Europe. Their architecture looks amazing and would provide the perfect backdrop for a fashion or editorial shoot.


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