FPA Member Profile

Tim Markland – Associate Member

All Images © Tim Markland

Q&A with Tim Makeland

What came first, sport or photography?
“Sport. My first visit to a football ground as a kid was with my Grandad who was a Bolton Wanderers fan. I can’t remember the exact year as I was only young, but they played Chelsea. I fell in love with the atmosphere that day, but unfortunately (some would say), I grew up supporting Aston Villa, and a childhood of misery ensued.”

First match photographed?
“Trafford v Altrincham”

Favourite ground and why?
“The Villa fan in me means Villa Park will always be my favourite stadium to visit, but in terms of work, (can’t believe I’m saying this) I love going to Burnley. The working atmosphere there has always been kind to me and I’ve met a lot of incredible photographers at that ground.”

Canon, Nikon or Sony?
“Canon.”

Favourite match or football related event photographed?
“Aston Villa 3-3 Sheffield United. My first time photographing at Villa Park and I haven’t really felt an atmosphere like it since, when they scored a last minute equaliser after being 3-0 down.”

Biggest lesson learnt?
“Don’t try and aim for the biggest games first. The photos I’ve been most pleased with have often come at lower league games. There’s so much more scope for creativity at those grounds, and the atmosphere the fans create is usually ten times better. That being said, I’m still no where near the level I want to be at, and knowing there’s always room to improve is the best lesson I know of.”

Which photo included in your FPA gallery are you proudest of and why?
“I could say any of the Aston Villa photos, because initially that was my goal, to photograph them. But I’m most proud of the photograph at Radcliffe in the dressing room. I had to do a lot of pushing to get in there after they won their play-off final. I didn’t think I’d come away with anything as my flash gun wasn’t syncing correctly, but luckily I managed to get a decent shot.”

Any funny or interesting experiences photographing football at any level?
“Photographing Sunderland fans away is always a delight, as there is such a variety of characters and you’re almost always guaranteed a good fan celebration shot (if they win). I also fell over in front of a few hundred fans at Blackpool once, which was a little bit embarrassing!”

How did you feel just before you photographed your first match professionally?
“Pretty relaxed to be honest. It was Rochdale v Portsmouth in the FA Cup. The most nervous part was collecting my accreditation and sitting down in the press room which was already full as I hadn’t quite gotten my timings right.”

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