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Timothy Hogan – Commercial Photography, or When Art and Commerce Collide

by David Fox

Timothy Hogan is an American award-winning still life photographer and Hasselblad brand ambassador.

Timothy Hogan Fine Art Photographer
Timothy Hogan Fine Art Photographer

He works in his photo studio named “Convyr“ in Los Angeles, USA, where he shoots for various advertising campaigns and creates exclusive photo projects.


Timothy Hogan was born in Santa Monica, California. He studied photography at Syracuse University and was graduated in 1998.

After graduation, he spent 12 years in New York, but since 2011 he returned to California.

When growing up, Timothy was always curious about creating things and understand different materials, so that curiosity is still very much a part of his mindset today, which led him to do what he is doing now.  Experimentation is undeniably a very big part of his workflow.

Timothy Hogan
Timothy Hogan

Still life photography (not so still)

Timothy’s main type of photography is to shoot still life. Since he often photographs for commercials specifically, he aims to create an attractive appearance of the brand by using a compound of light and nature elements like water or fire.

Timothy Hogan Photo
Timothy Hogan Photo

He describes himself as an observer, who analyses various nature’s material, its conditions and shapes, thinking about how he could use them to create exclusive, but a brand-related atmosphere.

One of the most popular materials Hogan uses in his photoshoots is water. He shot various cosmetics or alcohol drink pictures by using water splashes and drops.

That looks like a powerful but also playful way at the same time to create a lively atmosphere in the picture, which makes the brand look very aesthetically attractive to the viewer.

Timothy Hogan Photograph
Timothy Hogan Photograph

Other common materials Hogan uses for his still life shots are fire and sparks. These elements add some spiciness to products like alcohol drinks or fragrances and intrigues to taste or smell them.

You can also find his product shoots surrounded by various types of smokes’ compositions. It creates a mystical appearance for the brand and smoke itself looks quite intriguing.

Timothy’s work is a great example of how to present a different type of product of combining them with simple natural materials as water, fire or smoke.

During his career as a photographer, he already created commercials for well-known brands as Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Chanel, Visa or Smirnoff.

Timothy Hogan is featured in our feature article about the most influential photographers here

Importance of colors

Most of the time Hogan works in color photography. While shooting for different kinds of brands, bright colors are important, but it is important to make them look natural too.

Timothy Hogan Advertising Photography
Timothy Hogan Advertising Photography

Even if he needs to create a picture for a colorful product, Timothy also likes to choose bright colors for the background of products, for example for various types of fragrances commercials.

By using this way, the brand looks even more expressive and colors together with the brand to create a positive and lively entirety.

Rules for the perfect shot

According to Timothy, the main components which are needed for a great picture are the perfect lighting, perfect expression, mood, and the perfect composition.

By this, he doesn’t mean that the image should fit into the popular photography’s rule – rule-of-thirds, according to which, the shooting object must be in the right place, but to analyze and think how the object could find his perfect spot and then give -interesting thought for the viewer. YeeNstudioproject-1sra9vu-1024x590


The Fin project

Timothy is a huge fan of surfing, so he created a special photo project, dedicated special to craftsmen who invented the Fin on the surfing board.

The Fin Project
The Fin Project

Wide or thin and sharp, big or very small, made from wood or plastic, grey or colorful – various fins of surfing boards are captured during this project, so the viewer can see a wide range of fins, compare each other.

Also, the photographer showed his creativity and imagination by creating interesting compositions of putting multiple fins into ornaments and figures, which according to a photographer, is a very strong graphic representation.

The result of this idea is very playful and amusing, but the most important thing about this project is how the surfing community was involved and the story about the Fin itself was told to the public.

Fin Project Surf Art
Fin Project Surf Art

This project is different from the pictures Timothy usually takes because he created images by using an only camera and no special visual effects, lights or colors added.

The Fin project is a great example of creativity, it inspires to create from everything from the first sight can look very simple, not special at all and turn into interesting compositions.

Instead of photography…

In one of his interviews, Timothy told, that instead of photography, he could imagine himself being a craftsman and build things from wood.

It looks like he fulfilled his dream by creating a wooden desk and audio speakers stand which were designed and hand-built all by himself.

You can see his creatures and even buy them by visiting his official page which you can find below.

Both things have interesting designs so let’s hope Timothy will create more things from wood in the future.

Timothy Hogan’s official page:



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About David Fox

David Fox is an artist who created to talk about art and creativity. He loves to write, paint, and take pictures. David is also a big fan of spending time with his family and friends.

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