His photographs are on the covers of prestigious rock magazines, he has the opportunity to work with metal music legends like Slayer or Nightwish and he does them amazing photoshoots. Tim Tronckoe is a young photographer from Belgium, who is chasing his dreams doing what he loves in the best way he can. In the special interview he talks about the secret of his success, his work with many outstanding artists and plans for the future. Enjoy the interview!
You started your career as a music photographer eight years ago from some local festivals and now you are working with such artists as Slayer, Nightwish, Epica, Skunk Anansie and many more. When did you become interested in photography and how did you manage to succeed in this business?
I've always had a huge interest in creating images, both stills and videos. My love for photography really expanded once I started going to concerts. Combining the love for music and photography inspired me a lot. After a while, I wanted to take it to another level. I wanted to capture the artists next to the stage, so I started doing photoshoots. My work got picked up by some magazines, record companies and bands and I've been adding bands to my client list ever since.
I think the key to my success is the fact that I'm not trying to outstage the artist I'm portraying. I'm patient but demanding at the same time. And if you're passionate about something, you will succeed. You will fall, but it's up to you to get back on your feet.
My favourite photos of yours are the ones from the big metal events like Alcatraz Metal Fest or Graspop Metal Meeting - some of them are really dynamic and powerful. Is it difficult to capture the perfect moment when the artists are so active on stage?
I don't think it's that difficult to capture it, it's more a thing of how to capture that one moment. I try to break the rules of photography every time I see an incredible moment. Of course, it's sometimes easier for me, because I can mostly shoot a full show, which gives me more time to capture moments other photographers can't. Let's say that most of my best work is the child of both patience, focus and luck.
During your prolific photographic career you had the opportunity to work as a portrait photographer with a lot of musicians with different personalities, habits and behaviours. Do you remember any funny situations from your photoshoots?
Of course. One time I was waiting for the guys from Disturbed who were going to have their portrait taken together with Nikki Sixx. All of them were ready to leave for the photo studio while Foreigner was on stage singing 'I wanna know what love is'. We had to wait a couple of minutes, so all of them could first sing along to the song. That was extremely funny.
There are more stories, of course, but some of them are just too good to share :)
Adam "Nergal" Darski (Photo: Tim Tronckoe)
Talking about exceptional artists and funny situations, you have worked with Polish musician Adam "Nergal" Darski from the black metal band Behemoth. How do you remember this collaboration? I know that Nergal's photoshoot was very exciting and unusual.
Nergal and I have known each other for a couple of years now and we like each other's work a lot. One time, when the band was on tour in Europe, I had just met the girl of Hysteria Machine. She's an incredible artist who makes the most beautiful wearable art I've ever seen. So we went for a collaboration. I checked with Nergal and he was immediately up to do a shoot wearing one of her designs. One of our all-time favourite images to date.
On your official Facebook page we can find the information that you are a fan of metal and rock music, so your work is like the best work ever: you photograph your idols on stage and enjoy the gig at the same time. What is your most-liked kind of hard music and who are your favourite musicians?
Well, actually it's kinda twisted for me. I'm a big rock fan, but when I'm shooting a band on stage, I don't really catch a lot of the audio. I'm so focused on the visuals, that I mostly forget about the fact that it's actually such great music they're putting on. Some of my favourite artists though are Alter Bridge, Dropkick Murphys and Epica; They never fail in putting on a great show, also visually. This definitely goes for Epica. Great people to work with and they make incredible music.
Your photographs are featured in the magazines like "Kerrang!", "Metal Hammer" and "Rolling Stone", you are the most favourite photographer of metal icons and you are just 26 years' old. I guess there are still a lot of fresh ideas and great dreams on your mind. What can we expect from you in the future?
I have a lot of dreams and plans. I realize I'm still young, but to me, the sky is the limit. I'd really like to work with some pop artists as well. Just to get them and myself out of our comfort zones.
Slayer (Photo: Tim Tronckoe)
Do you like Tim Tronckoe's photographs and would you like to see more? Please visit his official website and his Facebook profile: