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Sun photog up for major awards says skateboarding helped launch career

This photo of Canadians Jamie Teetaert and Daniel Deslauriers, and American Braden Pewe with the Club de Skinautique waterski club sailing off a large jump during practice on the American side of Lake Metigoshe in August is one of 12 pictures from Sun photographer Tim Smith’s portfolio submission that garnered him a nomination for Photojournalist of the Year. The winner will be announced at a gala in Vancouver on May 24.

TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

This photo of Canadians Jamie Teetaert and Daniel Deslauriers, and American Braden Pewe with the Club de Skinautique waterski club sailing off a large jump during practice on the American side of Lake Metigoshe in August is one of 12 pictures from Sun photographer Tim Smith’s portfolio submission that garnered him a nomination for Photojournalist of the Year. The winner will be announced at a gala in Vancouver on May 24.

Brandon Sun photographer Tim Smith has been capturing moments since he was a teenager.

This photograph of 10-year-old Tatyanna Zazalak, who is living with late infantile Batten disease, a rare and fatal disorder that has robbed her of her sight, speech and ability to move so far, is one of 12 photos from Sun photographer Tim Smith’s portfolio submission that garnered him a nomination for Photojournalist of the Year.

Enlarge Image

This photograph of 10-year-old Tatyanna Zazalak, who is living with late infantile Batten disease, a rare and fatal disorder that has robbed her of her sight, speech and ability to move so far, is one of 12 photos from Sun photographer Tim Smith’s portfolio submission that garnered him a nomination for Photojournalist of the Year. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)

The aerial photo of flooding in southwestern Manitoba is also nominated in the Pictorial category. The winners of the News Photographers Association of Canada honours will be announced at a gala in Vancouver on May 24.

Enlarge Image

The aerial photo of flooding in southwestern Manitoba is also nominated in the Pictorial category. The winners of the News Photographers Association of Canada honours will be announced at a gala in Vancouver on May 24. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)

Tim Smith, Brandon Sun photographer

Enlarge Image

Tim Smith, Brandon Sun photographer (FILE PHOTO)

Smith, who joined the Sun in October 2007, said snapping pictures of his friends skateboarding when he was younger piqued his interest in photography.

What started out as a hobby has grown into a successful professional career earning the humble photographer multiple awards and two 2013 national award nominations.

The News Photographers Association of Canada announced earlier this week nominees for the eighth annual National Pictures of the Year awards competition. Smith has been nominated in the pictorial category for his June 2013 aerial photo of a vehicle washed off of Highway 83, south of Highway 2, after a series of powerful storms ripped through Westman. Smith said after spending a day on the ground, he and a Sun reporter were able to track down a pilot in Virden to get an aerial view.

The image "tells the story of the flooding but it kind of has a peaceful esthetic," Smith said. "When I shoot, I’m looking to tell a story from a unique perspective that readers might not be familiar with."

Smith is also nominated for the Photojournalist of the Year award for which he submitted a portfolio of 12 images taken throughout 2013.

This isn’t the first year Smith’s name has been featured in this competition.

In 2008, he received an honourable mention in the feature category and in 2009 placed second in that same category. In 2010, he finished first in three categories — feature, pictorial and portrait — and was also a nominee for Photojournalist of the Year.

Another honour Smith recently received will see him travelling to New York City next month for the prestigious second annual New York Portfolio Review.

The review will give Smith a chance to receive one-on-one critiques from some of the most distinguished photo editors, curators, book publishers and gallery owners from around the world. Smith said he hopes he gets a chance to meet with National Geographic Magazine’s director of photography, who is among the list of 75 reviewers.

"To get a meeting even with one of them would be a rare experience," Smith said. "I’m really looking forward to it."

What earned Smith this rare opportunity was a portfolio of 20 images he took as part of a continuing, four-and-half-year-long personal project documenting Hutterite colonies across southwestern Manitoba.

"I had a desire to do something long term, to really sink my teeth into a story and the Hutterite culture continues to fascinate me," he said. "They’re at a juncture where there’s a lot of changes taking place among the colonies and I’m interested in how the colonies work to hold on to their traditions and values in the face of an ever encroaching outside world."

His primary focus has been Deerboine colony, which is located 20 minutes northwest of Brandon, but he’s also visited more than a dozen others.

Although he’s been a professional photographer for 11 years, Smith said it’s the extra freedom he gets outside of work that drives his creativity

"I’m really passionate about photography, so to fit it into a nine to five schedule just doesn’t really work," Smith said, admitting that focusing so much time on his craft requires a strong support system at home.

"All that stuff that I do on my own time cuts into my personal life, family life and friends ... so it takes supportive friends and family to be able to do it."

The winners of the News Photographers Association of Canada honours will be announced during the 2013 National Pictures of the Year Awards Gala on May 24 in Vancouver.

For a full list of nominees, see: npac.ca/2014/03/2013-national-pictures-of-the-year-nominees/.

» lenns@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 12, 2014

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Brandon Sun photographer Tim Smith has been capturing moments since he was a teenager.

Smith, who joined the Sun in October 2007, said snapping pictures of his friends skateboarding when he was younger piqued his interest in photography.

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Brandon Sun photographer Tim Smith has been capturing moments since he was a teenager.

Smith, who joined the Sun in October 2007, said snapping pictures of his friends skateboarding when he was younger piqued his interest in photography.

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