Tim Engle is a Master Photographer, Educator, and Fitness Advocate, excelling in Commercial and Sports Photography. A native of Sacramento, Tim is a multiple Addy Award-winning photographer who has served both national and international clients. Tim has had a camera in his hand since middle school but as a professional photographer, he has been active in this career for the past 15-18 years. Tim loves staying fit as in his childhood, he used to be the kid who was picked last for any kind of activity that asked for physical fitness. This greatly frustrated him and he always worked hard to be accepted, and as he progressed through high school, he had become the guy who was picked first.
As Tim was not very strong academically, so athletics was one thing that he decided to focus more on, as that was one thing that he was sure he could excel in. He carried that through his life by getting into school and studying Anatomy, Physiology, and Sports Science as well as Photography and Art. Tim has tried to continue that passion throughout his later years and is now helping his kids do the same by helping their teams through coaching and training them in the various fitness regimen. He is trying to be a good example for his kids as they grow up, as somebody who tries to live a healthy lifestyle.
All through middle school and high school, Football was his one true passion and Tim continued to play for two years in college. Football is one thing that he has always excelled at and he has tried to keep that fitness level since. When he was in middle school, Tim got picked at pretty severely by a group of kids.
When he reached high school, some of the same guys were on the football team that he wanted to join in his freshman year, but this time he was prepared and was able to tackle them down in drills, thereby exacting his revenge on the field, like a sportsman. This carried on through high school where Tim put everything he had into aggressively asserting his presence in the field, probably to make up for what he suffered through middle school. He also ran track, in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints as well as 400-meter relays and long jumps, jumping 18-19 feet, although he is proud that his sons have already surpassed him in that.
While he was busy keeping up his fitness regimen, the camera came up as a social shield for Tim as he was very shy. He rarely went to any events or parties in school and college as he grew up in special classes all through middle school and high school. The camera gave him a reason to be in a social situation and get involved unobtrusively in any social gathering.
That was before digital photography entered the scene and film photography was in its prime. He experimented with different settings of the camera, writing those setting on a whiteboard and taking a picture with the whiteboard in the frame. He kept binders of all these experimental pics that gave him an idea of how different lights and color temperatures interacted with the subject he was shooting. He ended up having 8-9 binders of these experimental photographs that gave him an insight into how photography worked. This curiosity got him into taking up photography classes at college while also playing football. He ended up surpassing most of his classmates in skillsets and quality of his portfolio due to the prior experience he had in photography through his little experiments in school. This got him a few prizes and grants from different schools.
He is still friends with Professor Rebecca Gregg of Sierra College, as the one who encouraged him into advancing his skillsets in photography at that time and keeps in contact with her. He sees her as one of the biggest inspirations he had in his life as she was the one who made him realize the fact that his true potential lay in photography where he could make a living and love doing that too. Photography was never Tim’s first career
choice. He had always wanted to enter the fitness industry and his first involvement with this industry was at the age of 13 years, cleaning weights for a membership in a gym, progressing with time to become a manager of a gym. He spent a large part of his life in health clubs in some form and ended up becoming part owner of a gym of his own. He started a company that dealt in Smoothie Cafes in gyms around the country and still is active in it. He has even combined his two passions at times, taking photographs for different companies in the fitness business, taking advantage of his unique insights in both these industries.
Photography has always been soul-cleansing and therapeutic for Tim and he thinks that photography allows you to focus on the present so much that you block everything else out of your mind, just being present in the moment you are. When he looks for a picture, it totally depends on the type of shot he’s interested in. If it is a portrait, he thinks that a good, strong eye-contact of the subject with the camera is important. When he’s outdoor, he takes note of the shapes, lights, shadows and other elements, weaving them into a harmony of sorts.
For him, the type of shot is totally dependent on the end-goal. When he is working with a makeup artist, designer or a hair stylist, he communicates with them and tries to find out what exactly they want out of the photoshoot. He tries to stay true to the desires of his team and tries to give them something of value so that they can have the energy to back him up when needs their assistance. Tim agrees that digital photography has transformed this industry a great deal, but adds that the basic art of photography remains the same and unless the photographer is well founded on the principles of photography, they cannot shoot good pictures despite all the hi-tech gadgetry and post-processing software. You may have excellent command over photo-editing software, but if you do not have the vision to take good pictures, you cannot rise to the top.
Tim believes that teaching others about photography reinforces the techniques in his own mind and he has the opportunity to re-analyze those techniques and thereby improve them further, through the interaction with his students. Sometimes these interactions reveal areas that he may have skipped till now and he is pushed towards trying something different. Being in a group interaction helps each and every participant of the group as photography is a constant learning process, which is augmented through the exchange of ideas and techniques. It is his firm conviction that good technology does not make you a good photographer, it is the skillsets you develop using the most basic of gear, that help you in excelling in this field.
Over the past few years, Tim has grown to be critical of his own work, trying to improve upon the work he has been doing in the past. He has been simplifying his technique and no longer uses complex stuff. He enjoys the commercial aspect of things, the long planning to get the perfect shot, working with the clients and bringing their vision to life and in the future, he wants to evolve into someone doing more commercial stuff. Tim loves to spend his leisure time with his kids, coaching them and their teams in different sports. Despite being a part of a large family, Tim makes sure to find some time to spend with his wife, talking about how they spent the day.