FaceTime Photo Shoots with Tim Dunk

WHAT an intense few weeks. I feel like this week is an oasis of calm after a period of frantically trying to cobble together a new ‘life infrastructure’. I tried to cope alone in my garden-less flat with my four-year-old son for the first couple of weeks. I did my best to keep us both sane with plenty of baking, crafts and Joe Wicks workouts (intermingled with lots of Googling re the Furlough system and Universal Credit entitlement) but it soon became apparent that I was going slightly doolally. Crisis talks were had with my co-parent and my sister and we sussed out a better arrangement… which involved me temporarily moving house.

I’m not the kind of person who copes well outside my comfort zone but luckily my sister’s house is a very comfortable zone so it didn’t take me too long to adjust.

Social media has been a minefield lately but enterprising ideas, businesses diversifying to fit current times, have really inspired me. I kept seeing Tim Dunk‘s FaceTime photo shoots and thinking… WOW. I had so many questions! How the hell does he do it? How much is it? What’s the availability like? How long does it take? What do I need to do to prepare? What’s Tim Dunk like? Well let me answer these questions for you right now my friends.

Q. How much is it? £50, £10 of which goes to The Trussell Trust food bank charity.

Q. What’s the availability like? Check it out HERE! (I managed to book for a couple of days away but I’m guessing with all the PR coverage Tim’s getting he’s probably much busier now).

Q. How long? 30 minutes.

Q. What do I need to do to prepare? You’ll need an iPhone 6 or higher, running IOS 11 or later. iPads work but not Macbooks (unfortunately the project doesn’t work with android phones). You need to have FaceTime Live Photos enabled (Settings>FaceTime>Live Photos – toggle on) and your phone needs to be set to upload photos to icloud.

The only advice Tim gave in terms of preparing physical ‘stuff’ for the session was: “The shoot will be as successful as you make it, please bring creativity, enthusiasm, styling, props, let’s go all out!”.

What I did: washed and styled my hair (novel!), put on clothes that make me feel like me, put on makeup including my fave bright lipstick (Mac Lady Danger), set up a little area (in what I thought was good light) with my favourite plants, prints and cushions. I specifically booked for 5.30pm because I knew the light would be great at that time. The golden hour!

Q. How the hell does he do it? He calls you up, has a look at what you’ve set up, has a look at the light in your house. It’s like a team building exercise trying to show him the bits he wants to see through your phone. You’ve then got the task of putting your phone static somewhere in exactly the position he wants for the shot he wants. You can’t really prepare for it… you just kinda need to roll with it and have fun. At one stage I had bananas down my dungarees and a chilli moustache. My sister got involved (those are her fingers holding the cacti!) and I think at one stage Tim saw my bro-in-law getting changed for work (when I bombed into their bedroom looking for the best light).

Q. What’s Tim like? A bloody legend. I think you can tell that from looking at his online presence; the photos and words he shares. I think he’s a down-to-earth kooky character with a burning passion for creativity, connection and art.

My testimonial:

We’re not spending much money at the moment. We’re not putting petrol in our cars, we’re not getting rounds in down the boozer, we’re not eating out. If we’re lucky enough to have a bit of spare money I think this is a great product to invest in. It’s an excuse to put make up on and do your hair which makes you feel like a flipping film star, it’s fast-paced FUN, it’s supporting an independent creative and giving money to charity. It’s personal art you can keep forever that will transport you back to this insane surreal time. This is the photo that does that for me. I call it ‘Lockdown’…

I’ve also found it brilliant seeing familiar wedding industry faces and what creativity they’ve brought to their session. Below are some of my favourite shoots.

What about Tim’s real life?

(Extracted from his ‘about’ page online) He’s a proud Northerner and alternative Yorkshire wedding photographer. He like photos and people, so taking photos of people seemed a logical thing to do with his days. He’s laid back and real, and so are the pictures he takes.

Normal life also sees Tim running a co-working and photography studio in Leeds called Light Space, full of worryingly creative people doing awesome things.

Keep up the good work Tim!


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