Welcome to the Webbpage Blog. Home of Tim Webb Photography. Here is where you can see what really goes on in my life. Enjoy!
"When my Dad first got sick in 2017 I really came to grips with my own mortality, and I basically started 'nesting.' I started copying all of my photo albums and negatives and organizing my archive into digital folders on my computer. There’s no telling how many thousands of pictures I’ve copied and scanned" since then. I've copied most of my personal albums, as well as my parents' albums, along with albums of my friends that I grew up with. "And I even have a complete PCHS Class of 88 gallery on my website with over a thousand pics going back to elementary school."
During this process, I became paranoid about all of the photos that are just sitting somewhere on a disc or external hard drive in my archive, that should be part of my official portfolio, but would otherwise never see the light of day again. I've literally woken up in the middle of the night, thinking about a decent photo that I took in 2005, wondering where it's at. As a photographer my photos are a lot like my kids. When you create a photo it's like giving birth. You conceive it in your brain and your eyes, and it comes to life through the camera, which is just an extension of your brain. The thoughts of losing a photo is like losing a kid. Even the bad photos, I just can't bring myself to delete them.
"My boys could care less about my archive, but Laura appreciates history like I do. For better or worse, it’s history and it matters to me. She’s my little curator (and my little undertaker). I’ve told her, 'When I die, don’t stress out over what to do with all of my shit! Feel free to get a bottle of wine and have a big bonfire and burn all of it! But in the meantime, I don’t have the heart to let it go, so you’ll have to do that for me.'”
So, about a year ago, I got serious about my updating and organizing my portfolio (Click on the Portfolio button on the home page to access it). If a new client wants to hire me, the slideshow on my home page has plenty to help them decide if I'm worthy or not, but my actual portfolio galleries represent my life's work. They're a body of work that I've been building since I was a kid in 1978. They're like owning a virtual photo gallery. Some photos are in there because they represent my best work. But to be honest, most things are in there because of the story behind photo, not necessarily the photo itself. For example, one of the largest galleries is called Snappers which are behind-the-scene photos of myself and the people I've had the pleasure to work with the last 36 years. I've even added cutlines to several in that gallery, just to add a little context.
It's taken me almost a year to get my portfolio lined out because I still have to go back and edit most of these. Let's just say... I wasn't the greatest in the darkroom. Water spots and dust spots were my nemesis. And with the digital photos, trying to find the full-rez versions has been harder than I thought. My general rule is no photos less than 1000 Kilobytes. Some of the early digital cameras just didn't produce large files.
I don't know that I'll ever fully retire from photography because it's something I can do as an old man, but I am slowing down some, focusing more on meaningful projects. My OCD can rest easier now that my life's work is organized and preserved.
If anyone wonders why I end all of my blog posts with -30-, it's because back in my day that's the way they taught you to end your stories, so that the copy editors would know that it was the end. Tradition holds that back in the day with the wire services, New York would end a story with -thirsty- so that Chicago would know that was the end of the story. Thirsty meant it was time to go drink a beer. And that eventually turned into the shortened version of -30-.
Here are a few Snappers. I'm not sure why it's called Snappers. The former crew at the Lexington Herald-Leader coined that phrase, and it stuck!
I had never seen this image before. Then one day in 2017, while I was scanning in some of my parent's photo albums and negatives, I ran across the negative to this photo that somehow never got printed in 1979. Wow! What a hidden treasure! My Dad took a picture of me taking a picture of my Mom on our family farm in Carter County when I was in 4th grade. I had been doing photography about a year at this time. My Dad couldn't have started me out any harder than he unknowingly did. I was using an Agfa viewfinder camera that my Mom's brother brought to her from Germany in the early 1960s. It was 100 percent manual, with no light meter or focus mechanism. So I had to guess at the f-stop and shutter speed settings, as well as the footage between me and my subject. And to boot, he started me on slide film, which has no forgiveness. To this day, my greatest strength as a photographer is being able to recognize and evaluate light. I owe all of this to my Dad who taught me how to read light, years before my time. Thanks Dad!
After shooting all but two days of the FEI World Equestrian Games for the Louisville Courier-Journal in the fall of 2010, I was ready for a nap on the last day in the media center.
Shooting my first of several Kentucky Derbies for the Louisville Courier-Journal in 2006.
I'd love to have a dime for every time I've set up and torn down a light system in my career!
The greatest assignment ever! Covering Spring Break 1991 at Daytona Beach for The Eastern Progress.
Jerry Schierman, seen here with me at the All-A Classic in 2014, was one of the most important mentors that I ever had. I mowed the grass at East Kentucky Power in Winchester during the summers of 1989 and 1990, and on rainy days I was inside the buildings changing light bulbs. Jerry was the communications manager at EKPC, and gave very valuable advice when he told me to switch my major at Eastern Kentucky University from public relations to journalism, because he said it would make me a better writer. Jerry's department always had the brightest lights because I would constantly change them out on rainy days just so that I could hang out up there and ask questions.
Jerry gave me a very sobering critique of my photography in the summer of 1990. Things like the importance of being in focus, and better darkroom skills. He was brutally honest, and as bad as it hurt, I really needed to hear that because I was at the point that my parents and friends were telling me how good I was when I really wasn't. Sometimes you need to hear the truth and I worked hard to get better at photography because of Jerry.
Instead of developing my last roll of film I decided to keep it.
Photography is a lot like a mistress. You love it and it constantly pulls you away from your family. So I worked hard to involve my kids with my work as much as I could.
The Eastern Progress staff Fall of 1991. Our class was easily the most successful class to ever come out of The Progress, even to this day, thanks to the teaching, nurturing, ball-busting, paycheck-withholding, genuine love, and mentoring of our adviser Dr. Libby Fraas, middle row, far right. Some of the people photographed here went on to work at The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Southwest Times Record, The Milwaukee Journal, The Detroit Free-Press, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, a state representative, and press secretary for governors Paul Patton and Steve Beshear. And then there was me. I worked at The Clay City Times and came back to Eastern as the University Photographer. What can I say... I stayed local, HA!
The general consensus was if you can work for Libby Fraas you can work for anybody in the country. And that was so true. Don't even think about missing deadline. It's not an option. Which was why it was so epic for our last issue on December 4, 1991, that Doc made the decision to hold deadline for me to come back from my native Powell County where I had covered the death of former Kentucky governor Bert T. Combs on that Wednesday. I wrote my story in my head on the drive back to Richmond, and then had a whole host of editors, including Doc standing over my shoulder editing in The Progress office as I wrote it. Turns out, I was the only reporter there that day that mentioned that he died within a few feet of the parkway that bore his name, The Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway. I passed off my film for my assistant photo editor to develop and print. The OCD in me hated to pass off my film, but deadline was deadline! To say that I went out in a blaze of glory is an understatement.
The group from Argentina kidnapped me and absconded with my camera during the 2015 Alltech One Conference. But a good time was had by all!
I interned with the Kentucky Press Association in Frankfort during the Spring of 1992, covering the General Assembly. I wrote a weekly wrap-up story and sent it out to all of the weekly newspapers in the state. It was a great time to be in Frankfort. Brereton Jones was inaugurated governor. Arkansas governor Bill Clinton made a presidential campaign stop. It was the first session after the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990. And the FBI conducted a sting operation that later lead to several arrests in Operation Bop Trot. But best of all was living in the old KPA house on Capitol Avenue, just two blocks from the capitol, with three other friends from Eastern, and two girls we met at the Legislative Research Commission. One of which was Laura Hasselwander, above, who was an intern photographer for the LRC. Laura later hired on fulltime with the LRC.
Pictured below, after being super skinny my entire life, beer, Ale-8s, and college food caught up with me and gave me a gut in the spring of 1992. And unfortunately, it has never gone away since then. But, as I like to say, I have way too much money invested in this Dad-Bod of mine to get rid of it now!
Kentucky House of Representatives, April 1992.
Hanging out with Dana Estep at The Clay City Times during the Summer of 1991. I turned down an internship at the Lexington Herald-Leader to come back to my hometown community newspaper. People told me I was stupid for doing that, but I got so much experience that summer as both a writer and a photographer that I would have never gotten at the Herald-Leader. I literally lived with a police scanner 24/7. Sometimes it's best to trust your gut feeling, even if it doesn't make sense on paper.
Don't ever stop working a good angle, even if it means pushing your nose out of the way.
Wading the Licking River in Cynthiana with my camera condom, while photographing muscles, May 2018.
Enduring sub-zero temperatures in the Red River Gorge, January 2005, just to get some snow shots.
My Dad gave me some valuable advice in 1989, "The one thing in life you can count on is change. You may not like it. But you can count on it." As much as I loved being the University Photographer for my alma mater, it was time to move on in January 2004. I turned over the reigns to my student photographer Chris Radcliffe, who quickly blazed his own trail and took the position to new levels. He's seen here testing firing a remote camera behind the glass in McBrayer Arena with me and my son Nolan in 2006.
Covering the Boys Sweet 16 as the official KHSAA photographer in 2013 with my buddy Mark Cornelison, who was with the Lexington Herald-Leader at the time and is now UK's University Photographer. I didn't realize it until later, but coach Cal and his son Brad were sitting behind us.
My tribe and I at The Eastern Progress awards dinner, April 1991. I was named Outstanding Ad Rep that night after a year of selling ads in downtown Richmond. The following semester I became the first person in Progress history to win that award in two different categories, when I was named Outstanding Editor as photo editor.
Here is some recent work that has taken me all over Kentucky. This is why I love my job. I get to document so many slices of life.
The Kentucky Youth Tour
For the Kentucky Electric Cooperatives
Madison County EMS
For Madison County Opioid Response and Empowerment Project (MORE)
Jackson Purchase Energy Cooperative
For Kentucky Living Magazine Hyster-Yale
University of Kentucky Health Sciences student awards and Department of Physical Therapy pinning ceremony.
For The University of Kentucky
The venerable Ted Hampton on the eve of his 60th anniversary as the CEO of Cumberland Valley RECC. To
put that in perspective, JFK was president when Ted began leading the co-op. That's my photo that he's holding,
that was converted into a painting by my good buddy Kevin Osbourn of Winchester.
Cumberland Valley RECC
For Kentucky Living Magazine
Laura's Stockyard Cafe
Bowling Green, Kentucky
For Kentucky Living Magazine
Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition
University of Kentucky Opera Theater
The Super Bowl of Preaching
For Crossroads Church
University of Kentucky Police Department Portraits
For The University of Kentucky
East Kentucky Power Cooperative
Burnside & Maysville, Kentucky
For East Kentucky Power Cooperative
John May of Licking Valley RECC holds portraits of his father and grandfather who once served on the Licking Valley Board of Directors. John used to serve on the board as well, but is now the manager of administrative services.
West Liberty, Kentucky
For Licking Valley RECC
UK Healthcare Pharmacy Department
For UK Healthcare
Chamber Day is the biggest reception of each year's Kentucky General Assembly, and is Lexington's largest sit down dinner with about 2,000 attendees.
For The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Former University of Kentucky basketball player and current investment guru, J.P. Blevins at his Main Street office.
For The University of Kentucky Alumni Association
The Great Teacher Awards Dinner
For The University of Kentucky Alumni Association
Transylvania University fans celebrate their women's basketball team winning the national championship in Dallas, during a watch party at the Kentucky Theater.
For Transylvania University
I’m really proud to have been part of the special alumni magazine that Eastern did on Coach Roy Kidd. Covering his career was definitely a highlight of my career. I even brought my pencil out of retirement and wrote a story about chasing his 300th victory at the end of the 2000 season and the beginning of the 2001 season. With over 300 wins and two national championships, Roy Kidd was undoubtedly one of the greatest to ever coach the game!
By Tim Webb
At the beginning of the 2000 football season, as Coach Roy Kidd was inching closer to his 300th victory, I knew that moment would be the one photo that would define my career as Eastern’s university photographer. I could sense that it would be the one image that would still matter a hundred years from now. I just had to make sure I was there when it happened.
Leading up to 300, I did several photos with coach because I knew the university and media outlets would be needing images. One of my all-time favorite photos of him came from a portrait shoot that I was doing with coach and the four consecutive trophies that came from Eastern’s appearance in the national championship game, from 1979-1982. We were casually talking about him being a quarterback during his playing days at Corbin High School and Eastern, when out of the blue, he picked up a football and donned a left-handed quarterback pose with a big smile on his face. For a coach so meticulous in his planning, it was such an impromptu moment.
Counting my days as photo editor of The Eastern Progress, I had been covering Coach Kidd and the Colonels since 1991. During my time as a student at Eastern, players like Lorenzo Fields, Elroy Harris, and Tim Lester were lighting up the record books. I photographed the Colonels last great playoff run in the fall of 1991, that included a 14-3 win over Appalachian State in the rain and mud during Thanksgiving weekend in Richmond, and then a heartbreaking 14-7 loss in the semifinals to Marshall in Huntington.
I was too young to remember the national championship years. But in a lot of ways, as time marched on and I went from a student photographer to the university photographer, I recognized that I was photographing the end of the golden age of the Kidd era. But I also saw it as an opportunity to document the end of Coach Kidd’s illustrious career, and it was an opportunity that I took seriously.
With the 2000 season drawing to a close and coach sitting on number 299, I gave up the opening morning of deer season with my family, to make the long trip to Charleston, Illinois, as the Colonels took on Eastern Illinois and future NFL quarterback and broadcaster Tony Romo. Eastern’s season came to an end that Saturday afternoon, and with it, the quest for 300 would have to wait another year. As I drove back to Richmond, I couldn’t help but be envious of all the deer hunters who were clad in orange, scattered across those Illinois corn fields. But another thought was also weighing on my mind, “Surely they will schedule a home game to open up the 2001 season so that Coach can get his milestone win at home.”
Nope. Chasing 300 wouldn’t be that easy. For me, the 2001 season kicked off with an even longer drive to Mount Pleasant, Michigan, to photograph the Colonels against the D1 Chippewas of Central Michigan University. While the Colonels took a lead into halftime, we left Mount Pleasant while still sitting on number 299. On a positive note, before leaving town, I ran into Walmart and bought a copy of ESPN the Magazine that had ran one of my sideline photos of Coach Kidd, previewing his march toward 300.
I knew that Coach Roy Kidd’s 300th win was a big deal to Eastern Kentucky University, but I was beginning to see the scope of just how big it was on a national level, as Coach Kidd was in the same conversation with coaches like Bobby Bowden of Florida State and Joe Paterno of Penn State, the only other active coaches at the time with more than 300 wins.
I knew that coach’s chances were going to be good the following Saturday when we were set to take on Liberty University back home in Richmond in the stadium that bore his name. What I didn’t realize on that long drive home in early September 2001, was that the long-awaited number 300 would happen less than 72 hours before the events of September 11th changed our world forever.
As expected, on a beautiful Saturday evening, September 8, 2001, the Colonels beat Liberty 30-7 to give Coach Roy Kidd his 300th career victory, solidifying him as one of the greatest college football coaches in the history of the game. As the sun fell and with the clock winding down, his players doused him with Gatorade, and then they hoisted him on their shoulders and carried him out onto the field.
For a few seconds I froze and didn’t know what to do because the clock was still running with about 30 seconds, and the game was still going on. I thought, “You can’t do that…you can’t do that…the game is still going on!” All I could think about was how I had driven so many miles and spent so many hours chasing 300. And now, here it was unfolding in my back yard, and I was about to miss it because I didn’t want to be a rule breaker.
Finally, I ran out onto the field and cut into the middle of the huddle as it was still moving. I popped up in front of Coach Kidd and was able to fire off two frames before stumbling backwards out of the huddle. I still didn’t know if I got the shot or not because although I had just converted from film to digital a few months earlier, I played it safe that night and took the money shot on color film. When I got the film back from a local lab on Monday morning, my heart sank when I looked at the first frame because one of the players who was holding coach’s leg was looking directly at me with his tongue stuck out. But thankfully, he had looked away and put his tongue back in mouth for the second frame. And that was the frame of film that will go down in Eastern Kentucky University history.
The celebration on the field that night was unlike anything I had ever experienced. You could tell there was a sense relief with Coach Kidd because the weight of number 299 had been resting on his shoulders for several months. You could see the sense of accomplishment on his face, along with a big smile, as he and Sue embraced on the field. It was as if everything they had worked for all those years culminated that night. And while Coach was celebrating with his family, the students were busy tearing down the goal posts. It warmed my heart to watch as they carried one of posts off of the field like an army of ants, down Kit Carsen Avenue to its final resting place in downtown Richmond at Madison Garden.
I realized that night as I was packing up my gear to go home, that Coach Kidd was never meant to win number 300 on the road. The opposing fans wouldn’t have appreciated it the way we did, and they certainly wouldn’t have torn the goal posts down. It was only fitting that number 300 was won at Roy Kidd Stadium in Richmond, making “Cabin on the Hill” that was sung that night extra special.
Chasing 300 and covering the last half of Roy Kidd’s storied career was an experience that I’ll cherish forever.
I love working with Wade Harris. Wade is a videographer with the Kentucky Electric Cooperatives, who spent years working for WHAS in Louisville. He got smart like the rest of us and moved over to the PR side of things. He always does a great job of recording behind-the-scenes as a I photograph stills for Kentucky Living Magazine. The only thing that I hate about working with Wade is that his camera adds about 40 pounds. Or at least it seems that way, HA! This is a video that he shot back in the summer while I was doing a cover shoot with Scott Spencer of Licking Valley RECC who fell off a pole during an ice storm because it had rotted beneath the ground and snapped while he was at the top of it. He somehow miraculously lived through it.
Former University of Kentucky and National Geographic photographer Sam Abell used to say that "bad weather makes good photos." Sam would know because he has travelled all over the world for the pages of National Geographic. I did a job for LinkBelt Cranes back in December that needed to be shot at night and needed to be a quick turnaround because it was for a trade magazine that wanted to put LinkBelt's new U3-AT model on the cover, and they were on a tight deadline. LinkBelt will be rolling this new model out at ConExpo in Las Vegas in March.
On the night that we were supposed to do the shoot, it started raining. It went between a misting rain and a light rain. To be honest, I was hoping they would call it off because I was being lazy and didn't want to get out in the rain. And I really didn't want to get my equipment out in it, because the weather had reached that fine line between using a towel and plastic bag to keep things dry, and having to go into full-blown camera rain gear mode. I've always joked that I have more money tied up in rain gear than most soccer mom's have invested in their cameras (not that I have anything against soccer moms). But using rain gear for your cameras is like taking a shower with a rain coat on. But on this night, I was able to get by with a hand towel. I was really proud of how the cover shot turned out because the rain and moisture in the atmosphere added another dimension to the color spectrum of a photo. Plus, we even used smoke bombs to add to the effect. The smoke is what caught the yellow light behind the crane.