Behind The Lens With Tim Borrow

Tim Borrow Photography | Instagram | Facebook

"The ocean, surfing, and the adventures they present to me are where my true passions lie"


Hey Tim! For those reading, tell us a little about yourself...

My name is Tim Borrow, I’m 26 years old and currently based in Bristol. I grew up in a small town in Worcestershire called Bewdley, far from any coast-line or ocean. I got into photography at the age of 15 as a means of documenting my friends skateboarding and was instantly hooked. It was only when studying architecture at Plymouth University that I was introduced into the world of surfing and since then have found the ocean, surfing and the adventures they present to me are where my true passions lie. I’ve had the pleasure of working with surfers from all over the globe, from home grown UK talent such as Reubyn Ash and Harry Timson to international world champion Carissa Moore. Interesting facts... I only learnt to swim three years ago and I can't surf.

Describe your photography in 5 words

A visual array of energy.

What are some of your passions that influence your photography style?

I have a lot of other passions aside from photography but I wouldn’t say they influenced my photography style too much. Starting out, my photography in the world of skateboarding which is still a big passion of mine probably influenced the way I approach composing an action shot but fundamentally I would say it was simply the places I visit and the people I meet.

Where is your favourite place to shoot?

Anywhere with a good crew of people/ mates just having a laugh and not taking things too seriously.

Have you any trips or exciting projects coming up?

I’m off to the World Surfing Games in Biarrtiz, France to document the English squad and their time at the games. Then through summer I will be working on a few personal projects back in England and just chasing swells when they pop up. Hoping to head across to Canada later in the year as well, explore the British Columbia and Vancouver island.

What is your preferred equipment to shoot on?

My go-to work horse for surf and action photography is the Canon 7DMk2 with a selection of prime lenses and an Aquatech Waterhousing. I’ve recently picked up a little Fuji X-70, it’s a rad little camera especially for travel stuff and more candid shots when I don’t want to carry around a big SLR. I always have my Olympus XA film camera with me on trips as well. I think there is something really special about having that limited amount of shots and the whole process of developing the film yourself, it really makes you take time with a shot before you take it.

What would you like viewers to take away from your work?

That they enjoyed looking at it.

Who are some photographers that you admire and respect?

In the early days of my surf photography I found a lot of inspiration in the works of UK photographers Mickey Smith and Ben Selway. Both of whom seemed to have a more artistic approach to photographing surfing and the ocean rather than just getting a tightly cropped action shot from the beach or a standard fisheye barrel shot. I would say they certainly had an impact on the way I go about capturing surfing. Nowadays I take inspiration from all forms of art not just photography, I love checking out galleries and exhibitions whilst travelling around.

What tips or advice would you give to someone wanting to get into photography?

Be patient.
Take a camera everywhere you go.
Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Put your best work out there for the world to see.
Don’t expect to be rich.

If you could shoot with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

It’s got nothing to do with surfing but I would love to have shot a few portraits of Jimi Hendrix.


View some of Tim's favorite photographs below!

Underwater fun

Golden Shadows. Surfer: Reubyn Ash

James Parry and his Moroccan Moonfish

Canary horizonz

Carissa Moore flaring in Morocco

Grey days in France

Ice cream?

Late summer perfection, France

Sunset spinners in France, Surfer: Miles Lee-Hargreaves

Heavy slabs in Ireland. Surfer: Will Skudin



Free ride

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