February Member of the Month

Our member in the spotlight this month is photographer Tim Collins, whose ‘Amsterdam Photo Safari’ has been featured in National Geographic’s 2017 Cool List!  

We sat down to talk with Tim about his photography and business:

S: How did you get started with photography and your business?

T: “Well, when I was growing up I never thought something like that was possible. Coming from a working class family getting a ‘good job’ was becoming an electrician and that never interested me. So, I went to university and studied psychotherapy because that was another ‘good job’ to go into, but when I finished that it didn’t feel right. I went to Amsterdam and I was only supposed to be there few weeks but it turned into five years!”

S: What inspired you to stay there for five years?

T: “I was inspired by everything there but I didn’t know anyone so I would just ride around on my bike discovering these amazing places, and I started to take pictures of it, of different things and people that I thought looked cool. I stumbled across this 1950s’ style Barber shop and when I looked in I could see these massive men covered in tattoos with big beards. I wanted to photograph it, I was a bit shy then but I went in asked would I be able to take some shots, they told me to come back the next day, so I did.”

S: Were you building your portfolio up by this point?

T: “I hadn’t got paid for that one, and I just carried on taking pictures of cool places in Amsterdam. I started to get a following and I guess people started to see the pictures on Facebook and I got contacted by some lifestyle editors that wanted me to take pictures for them. Then a director got in touch with me, he was making a film and wanted to know the best places in Amsterdam. I started thinking: ‘you know what this is going really well; I should do something about this.”

S: What did you do?

T: “I thought I was onto something because I was taking local people out, and they were saying how amazing it was and that they didn’t know half of these places existed. I decided to set it up as a business called Amsterdam Photo Safari. I would just take people to my favourite places in Amsterdam, not before long people from all over the world were coming! I was showing them all these places and at the same time I was getting to refine my photography. I had to stop doing the photography tours because I was getting too busy, so I brought some friends to help me out and that’s still going. It’s become so well known that it got featured in National Geographic’s 2017 Cool List!”

S: Are you working on any interesting projects that you can tell us about?

T: “I just got back from doing a photoshoot on Netflix’s The Crown; that’s for a book coming out this year. I also photographed Peter King who won an Oscar award for the make-up design on Lord of the Rings. That will all be coming out this year.”

Check out Tim’s work here and follow his Instagram to keep updated: @timcollinsphotographer 


By Sarah Nisbett