Behind the Lens with Tim Zimmerman

Cheesy headline aside, Zimmerman is legit. You can find him traveling almost non-stop for a better part of the year, making some of the most amazing images to hit the pages of many snowboard publications. Let’s take a minute to see whats going on in his head…


When did you begin shooting photos?My first experience with a camera was around 15 years old. I tried to shoot pictures of my friends skateboarding with my mother’s Canon AE-1. My dad was pissed that she let me use it. I didn’t get serious about it until ’97. Hell, I’m not sure if I’m even serious about it now.

Was it love at first snap?I get obsessed with things I’m not good at. It was less about love and more about determination. A friend once told me that the best part of anything is being good at it. I’m not sure if I agree with that 100% but now that I’m reasonably certain I have all the essential technical aspects of photography figured out it’s really fun to try and push the button on the outside of the box.

What crews did you run with in your “early days”?

Well, when I was still learning how to click lenses on in central Pennsylvania I ran with Shawn Durst and the Western New York crew. Once I made it up to Vermont I was fortunate to meet the guys that I still regularly shoot today: Kyle Clancy, Danny Kass, Zach Leach, Colin Langlois, Shane Flood were staples for me. Those guys brought me into this mess and I definitely owe my career to them.

What about snow-sport photography makes you drive countless miles, hop endless red-eye flights around the globe, regularly risk frostbite, and live out of a suitcase for a better part of the year?

I think it’s the fact that I don’t get bored with snowboarding. I’m never satisfied with anything I shoot and I will go to great lengths to try and do new things, try new techniques and see new places as much as I possibly can until the end of my days. If continuing to do that requires the sacrifices of travel then so be it. Snowboard photography is so much more than just action. It’s such a challenge to convey what it’s like to really BE a snowboarder. I can’t imagine what it’s like for the guys that come up with their “style” and stick with it for an entire career. Snowboarding is constantly changing and evolving and I like to think I go with its flow.

What/Who influences your photography?

For the most part it’s rider talent, terrain and weather. I’m lucky enough to be able to work with the best snowboarders in the world and what they do is so inspiring that I feel the need to make the best photos I possibly can to do them justice.Outside that I really enjoy the work of Andreas Gursky & Martin Parr. I’ve been fortunate to have some solid mentors in my life as well. Gary Land was a big influence on me when I was still back East and Trevor Graves continues to inspire me with the direction he’s taken NEMO.

Is film still in your photo arsenal?

I haven’t shot a single frame of film in over two years. I respect film shooters but it’s just not something I need to go back to. I spent a lot of time figuring out how to re-create all my favorite film “looks” with digital capture and I like to think I’ve moved past that and I’m more interested in working with the amazing range of tones you get out of a RAW file. It’s like magic when you start digging into your files.

Are you gluten intolerant?

No, I’m fairly tolerant of all foods except sushi.

When will you drop the snow gig and head to the beaches to shoot surfers in between your mai-tai’s and bikini babes?

The problem is that I wouldn’t be satisfied on the beach. It wouldn’t be long until I’m dragging out homemade water housings into the surf and hiring assistants to hold up my flashes. I’m all about making my life as complicated as possible. There’ll be plenty of time to relax when I’m dead.

Visualize yourself as a rapper, any shout out’s?

How about if I just say thanks instead of giving a “shout-out.”So, thanks to anyone I’ve met. Inspiration accumulates and manifests itself in the influences from every person and place I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and seeing. You’re all appreciated.

Nemo blog personally thanks Tim for taking his time to participate in the interview and sending us some awesome shots!

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3 Responses to “Behind the Lens with Tim Zimmerman”

  1. […] Graves took care of that right here. That’s because the guys from Nemo did an interview with Tim on their Blog. Go check out Behind the Lens with Tim Zimmerman.Nemo has a cool Blog and so […]

  2. Theo Shaw says:

    photoblogs are cool and i maintain at least two of them*;-

  3. i maintain at least 3 photoblogs coz i love taking pictures and sharing it online:*,

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