We had the good fortune of connecting with Tim Drake and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tim, how do you define success?
To me, success has little to do with monetary gain. I need only enough money to provide for my daughter and pay my bills. Success for me has been about overcoming the fear of failure and believing that I have something unique and valuable to offer the world. For much of my life, I was plagued with self-doubt. I was afraid to jump into the ring, scared of being seen. I felt like a fraud. I thought “If anyone knew how incompetent I am… …how little I actually have to offer..” I lived a very safe life on the sidelines. This safe life, however, was boring, unfulfilling and lacking in richness. Then, I discovered the camera. What I really discovered was my eye, my way of seeing the world. The camera is my way of showing others what I see. I have never taken a class in photography or received any kind of training. Photography, and photographers, can be intimidating. There are a lot of rules, much to know about lighting and editing and technology. The technology alone can be overwhelming. I had a lot of excuses for remaining safely on the sidelines. Nonetheless, I jumped in without fear. I have learned and come to believe that I am unique, and that what I have to offer is valuable. My work has been well-received. I believe success is highly subjective and personal. I have been successful beyond my wildest dreams.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have found myself photographing mostly dancers, ballet and contemporary. I love the art of dance. Dancers are some of the world’s greatest athletes and artists, combined into one beautiful package. It is such an honor and a pleasure to participate in the art of dance and capture its beauty. I have a unique ability to catch a dancer in the air at the exact right moment, on the first attempt, almost every time. Dancers continually ask me how I do it. I don’t know how to explain it; I just do it. It is natural and instinctive and easy for me. it is also a whole lot of fun! There is an art promoter in Dallas who has expressed interest in sponsoring, promoting and hosting my next exhibit. I am beyond excited about this project, but can’t release the details just yet. I am also booking wedding shoots a year in advance.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I absolutely love East Dallas. I have lived in the area twenty-seven years. I currently live in Exposition Park, where I also have my photography studio. Exposition Park is such a cool neighborhood. It is inhabited mostly by artists, painters, actors, writers, directors, photographers… When friends visit from out of town, and we are not in the midst of a global pandemic, I like to take them to an original play at the Ochre House Theatre, and a magic show at Confetti Eddie’s. I also like to take them out for drinks at my favorite dive bar, Eight Bells Alehouse. Of course, I would take them to Tarantino’s Cicchetti Bar & Record Lounge, the restaurant I will soon be opening with my partner, Peter Tarantino. Italian tapas and vinyl records in a cool, mid-century modern setting. White Rock Lake is one of my favorite parts of this city. I have ridden my bike around the lake more times than I can count. There are so many great restaurants, bars and music venues in Deep Ellum, Lower Greenville, Bishop Arts and downtown. One of my all-time favorite places for drinks is the Library Bar in the historic Melrose Hotel.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My daughter, Alex, is my inspiration. She is such a pure human. She was placed on this earth to love. Alex does not fear; she is not concerned about how others perceive her. She dances and sings when she feels like it, and does so with abandon. She approaches strangers simply to say something nice to them. She isn’t stifled by rejection. In twelve years, this little girl has taught me how to live. She has helped me to see that what other’s think of me is not important. She has helped me learn to be comfortable in my own skin. Alex is so comfortable in hers. She lives life with zest; she lives out loud. Because of Alex, and her example, I find myself living free for the first time in my life! My creativity flows from this freedom.
These are the dancers in my photographs, in order (all taken by me): Diana Crowder Tracey Cutler Nika Antuanette Lisa Mills Kaley Jensen Chandi Dayle Libby West & Marisa Ellis