What inspired you to start taking photographs, and what is the primary inspiration for you to keep working in this field?
I moved to NYC in 1983 to become a painter. I have made art since I was a little kid, was always making something. Used to take lots of polaroids in the late 80’s, early 90’s. I took a small pocket 35mm camera with me to Miami around 1995 and also a box of letters, there I created my first “word pieces” and it all just clicked (no pun intended) I think in a very visual manner, and a camera helps best facilitate my vision. My imagination is my main motivation – ideas come from everywhere – I’m just a conduit for them. I love photography as it is “real”, while at the same time a complete construction as is any art form.
In your opinion and experience, how can emerging photographers evaluate themselves as ready to start promoting their works and seek broader exposure for their photographs? What is one vital action you would recommend photographers undertake to find their audience, be included in exhibitions, and gain professional representation?
I attended art school, and have always been around other creative people. For myself, critical dialogue with smart people is essential to really figuring out what ones work is actually “about”. A strong basis of art/photography history, most importantly an awareness of the work of others that has come before you is very important. Otherwise there is no context for ones work.
That being said, I think one must always follow their own intuition and vision really do what they are inspired to do, photograph what you are most passionate about, and then hope that there is an audience for it – be true to yourself. There are no guarantees or sure way of doing anything – just work hard and manifest your visions through your work.
How did it come about that you achieved the status of successful, professional photographer? What steps were involved in reaching your level of success?
I’m not really a “professional photographer”, I’m an artist, I make things that I show in art galleries mainly. I don’t do “commercial” work. I have had to make my work when there seemed to be no audience for it. There are lots of people out there with cameras (especially these days with digital cameras which I never use) Hard work is the only way really, that and always pushing yourself to make better work. Figure out what makes your work special/unique and push in that direction.
Tim Hailand, Andreas Kronthaler in Milano in Berlin, 2008
Tim Hailand, Bernhard Schulte in Kaiserwerth in Rome, 2008
Tim Hailand, Fabrizio in Rome in Paris in Provincetown in London, 2007
Tim Hailand, François Sagat in Paris in Las Vegas, 2007
Tim Hailand, Lori Bell in Miami in Berlin, 2008
Tim Hailand, Maciek Mika in Krakow in Berlin, 2007
Tim Hailand, Self Portrait in Pittsburgh in Prague, 2008
© all images Tim Hailand