We had the good fortune of connecting with Trenton Timberlake and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Trenton, why did you pursue a creative career?
I’ve always done something related to art through out my life, whether it was drawing as a kid or making YouTube videos at 14. I think being able to express myself with my creativity is something I’ve always done. When I was 14 I purchased a $100 Sony NEX-5N from a local pawn shop and in reality that is what kicked off my Photography / Videography. A ton happened in those few years which would be to much to type out but I’ll fast forward to what really started my photography journey and why I have such a passion for it. Sadly when I turned 17 my dog of 17 years passed away, it was then I realized I only had 1-2 good photos of him at the time, he was older and not photogenic so I rarely took photos of / with him. That hit hard and it kind of started this snowball effect of wanting to capture everything so I have these photos as memories later on in life. That sad realization turned into taking my other dog to trails / dog parks to get photos of him and I ended up teaching myself photography that way (with the help of some YouTube videos here and there). I soon after learning photography ended up getting a job with my local newspaper as a freelance photojournalist in Brazoria County named “The Facts” which I believe truly helped me in so many areas as a photographer. I learned how to take portraits, candids, photograph sports, and the thing that sticks out the most to this day is Wildlife. They sent me on a assignment to Crocodile Encounter in Angleton, TX. My assignment was to photograph a massive alligator that was found at Surfside beach a few months prior, he was in super rough shape when he was first found but I was there to show him now and how much better he was doing. I remember when I finished and hopped in the car I had this feeling like a door had opened as cliché as it sounds. I’ve always had a love for animals my whole life even as far as to setting the goal of doing the Texas game warden academy when I hit 21. But after taking those photos of that alligator and seeing them blown up on my computer screen when I got home just felt amazing. Since then I’ve been doing wildlife photography non stop, not even as a job but just for fun. Its so relaxing and its great to just hang out in nature.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
So photography / videography was a hobby turned into a job, since I was 15 I’ve been making money from it. Whether that be working for a newspaper as a photojournalist or flying to Arizona to film a interview. It’s been great but its also been a challenge. Starting off young with low grade camera gear is super discouraging when it seems every other photographer has the best gear available. That’s something that gave me more drive which was to prove you don’t need the best gear. Does new gear help and make photography easier? Yes.
But at 15 you don’t have $3k to drop into a nice camera. I do believe having that mindset of knowing I won’t have the best of the best gear and that I’ve got to use what I had at the time made me learn my camera very well. A photographer who has a low grade camera that knows how to use his camera can produce great images. Its like having a car, a Lamborghini would be nice to get around in but a Toyota Corolla will do the same job, just without all the bells and whistles.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There’s a ton of places that could be visited in a week, personally I’d probably hand them a camera and drag them to the local wildlife refuges to take photos lol. But I’d say hitting up Surfside beach, the Sea Center in Lake Jackson, playing airsoft at a local field, and just stopping at random places throughout Brazoria County could make for a fun week. For food spots I’d definitely say Brew N Bake in Lake Jackson or El Toro in Clute would be first on the list. I think there’s a ton to do in Brazoria County so narrowing it down is pretty hard.
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?
I would 100 percent dedicate my shoutout to my parents. I’m very thankful of how much they’ve supported me throughout my life and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. From driving me around to pawnshops to help me find my first camera to riding with me as I go to wildlife refuges around Texas to photography wildlife, they’ve always believed in me and I’m truly thankful for them.
Facebook: Timberlake Photography
Image credit to the photo of me taking a photo during sunset goes to: @captures.by.zac on instagram