Blog: Studio Experience - Jay Maul

2022  |  Milwaukee Studio

I didn't understand what a great portrait photographer was until I worked with Tim.

I did one session at his studio, on the recommendation of a friend who thought I should capture my 2-year-long pandemic hair before a healthy trim.

I expected to get great photos, because I'd seen Tim's work, and we'd met ahead of time to discuss a few shots we both wanted to do. What I didn't expect was how much of an experience it would be.

We started with coffee and a conversation, and I soon found myself in a place I’ve historically found very uncomfortable: in front of a camera.

After the first, rather conservative, round of pictures, he offered a few suggestions on wardrobe changes and new shots to try.

Here’s my favorite example:

I had no intention of wearing a cowboy hat that day - in fact, I’m not sure I’ve worn one in the last 25 years. Tim made it seem like a good idea, and it ended up being one of the best shots. Paradoxically, he’ll get you out of your comfort zone, while making you feel comfortable the whole time.

The result wasn’t just a good photo; it was a reflection on what I thought about myself. It was an exercise in examining these thoughts, exploring them, and questioning them. What made it possible was having Tim there as a subtle guide through the process.

I went in expecting to have a few pictures taken, but left feeling more like I just visited a float tank or a therapist.

This was one of the last shots of the day, and it’s one of my favorites. If you look closely, you can see Tim in the photo too. He made a comment about editing himself out, but I asked him not to. This photo is a reminder to me that it wasn’t really about the pictures, but rather an interesting day spent with a new friend who got me to look at things in a new light.

I felt refreshed, and the photos from the session are a great, lasting reminder of what a meaningful experience it was.

“Tim will help you to look at things differently, including yourself.”

jay maul
Posted in Portraits.