Home > Flash Masters Members Spotlight – Tim Kamppinen

Flash Masters Members Spotlight – Tim Kamppinen

Flash Masters Members Spotlight

Tim Kamppinen


Where in the world are you based? Where is the most exciting location you have shot at?

I'm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. One that stands out was when I shot a small wedding in Las Vegas where the bride was a photographer friend of mine. We drove out to the middle of a dry lake bed in the desert for the ceremony which was a really cool location for me, being from the midwest.

When did you set up your photography business and what genres of photography do you shoot?

2009 - I'm primarily a wedding photographer with some senior portrait work sprinkled in here and there.

What would you say has been your most memorable photography job and why?

Probably a wedding I that I shot in Cabo with my wife (fiancee at the time) Amanda as my second shooter. She has her own photography business, but sometimes we second shoot for each other. It was my first destination wedding outside the US and I was really nervous about traveling with my gear, going through customs, etc. Once we made it to the resort though it was a lot of fun. The wedding itself was great, the couple was awesome to work with, and the following day we tagged along with them and like 40 of their family/friends on a private sunset cruise along the coast in two giant catamarans. Officially we were there to photograph the cruise, but I think we ended up spending as much time drinking as we did shooting!

What is your all time favourite photograph you have taken and why?

Hah! No way could I really pick just one single photo as my favorite of all time. But if I have to pick something I guess I'll go with the photo that's currently at the top of the home page on my website. It was taken with a 14mm lens, held against the top of a grand piano to get the reflections. I like it because it's one of those photos where multiple elements that I try to incorporate into my style are coming together in a single image. The dramatic lighting, of course, but also a strong composition, vivid color through use of gels, and an abstract quality where the photo looks like almost an entirely different space than what was seen by the naked eye.

Reveal one thing you keep in your camera bag that people may not expect to be there. Why is it there?

Protein bars! It's my primary source of calories while shooting a wedding, specifically MetRx Big 100 Super Cookie Crunch and/or Crispy Apple Pie, because they're delicious and have a pretty good calories/protein ratio (400cal / 30g). Yes, I'm a meathead.

What is the biggest reason you like using off camera flash?

Being able to create magic out of nothing, without being at the mercy of whatever light happens to exist in the current location.

What is the best part/biggest benefit of being a Flash Masters member?

It motivates me to continue improving my work and to keep on learning. The educational content is great for that, as well as just looking through all the great photos in each collection and noticing the different ways that people have used light in their images. It gives me ideas for things to try and subtle ways to tweak some of the lighting techniques I already do to create images with even more impact.

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone starting out on their flash photography journey, what would it be? 

Practice a lot and learn your gear inside and out. Watching instructional videos, etc is great but if you don't go try it out for yourself you probably won't retain much and in the heat of an actual shoot you'll most likely just fall back on whatever you're most comfortable and experienced with.

Thank you so much Tim for your incredible members spotlight! We are so proud to have you as a Flash Masters member and are so excited to speaking to you live in the Flash Masters community about how you created some of these amazing images! Want to see more of Tim's brilliant work? You can find the links to all of his socials on his Flash Masters profile page!