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Lean Timms: Prints charming

Olivia Afiabo

I’ve found that one of the best additions to a room—something that will simultaneously calm, excite and inspire—is an artwork from some fantastical far away place.

Whenever I look at an artwork depicting something foreign or intimate from some distant location, I find my mind drifting to that place—even if I’ve never been there, I just take creative liberties. This is exactly why

Lean Timms, in case you’ve never seen her incredible work, is a travel, food and lifestyle photographer whose online journal, www.leantimms.com has a style all of its own.

Scrolling through her work you can see a subtle link between her photographs, whether a landscape, gourmet food shot or someone caught in a candid moment, even if the photographs happen to differ vastly in composition, there is an undertone in all of Lean’s work.

'North' by Lean Timms.

‘North’ by Lean Timms.

“I’m ever inspired by the slow living movement, and strive for this in both my daily life and work,” explains Lean.

“It’s about living mindfully, prioritising the things that need and take time, being present, and appreciating simple, slower paced moments. By living a more appreciated life those simple moments become more vibrant, and capturing that through photography is gold to me.”

It’s these slow living moments that draw you into her shots and make you ask yourself, “Where is that?” “Who is that?” and “How can I get there?”

“I love to capture moments that do and should take time – the joy on a friends face from engaging in good conversation, the process of food from soil to the belly, the fashion designer who hand knits jumpers using organic, hand spun Faroese sheep wool, the couple who at the end of a work day meet at a wine bar to enjoy a meal together, the moment where afternoon sunlight shines through the window and creates a silhouette of an olive branch on the bedroom wall, or a beautifully curated lounge room where later, someone will take time out to enjoy stillness and rest,” Lean reflects.

'North' by Lean Timms.

‘North’ by Lean Timms.

It would be easy to assume that someone with such a unique eye and profound vision has been working in a professional capacity for many, many years, however, with Lean that is not the case.

“It was only three and a half years ago that I first became interested in photography,” Lean says. “I originally studied creative industries and teaching at university and then went on to become a high school performing arts teacher. After only five years in the full-time teaching game, I decided it was no longer for me.”

“When I moved to the USA for two years in 2013, I picked up a friend’s DSLR and began teaching myself to take travel and food photos and started sharing them on an online journal.”

Photographer Lean Timms

Photographer Lean Timms

“From there I channelled all my loves into my photos; travel, food, lifestyle, portraits and interior design. I was very lucky to land the help of a few incredibly talented photography friends along the way, too. I’m so grateful that I now lead a full-time freelance life working in a field that inspires me and fills me up creatively.”

With high demand for Lean’s freelance work, and the immense popularity of her photography and Instagram, it’s a natural progression that she is making her prints available for purchase.

'North' by Lean Timms.

‘North’ by Lean Timms.

Lean’s print store will launch with a collection entitled, ‘North’, which she describes as, “a visual affirmation to my love of Scandinavia and my recent travels there.”

The launch will be your chance to not only peruse her striking work, but to have it adorn your home where can drift to a faraway destination and follow her through the backstreets, cafes and parks. It’s your chance to hold a piece of photography that captures a part of Lean’s travels.

“There is nothing better than experiencing a place like a local,” Lean says. “It would be a shame to travel without doing so. If I’m in a city, I always ask around for the best precincts to find baller cafes and restaurants, markets, museums and vistas. Usually if you seek out one great place, you’ll then be led to others.”

“Only locals know about the hidden back street where the old Turkish man sells the best midye dolma, or the less touristy waterfall to see a puffins nest up close.”

And though displaying a dreamy print of Scandinavia on my wall doesn’t mean that I mightn’t one day venture there myself, I would be a fool to think that I could capture the essence of a slow living, outland moment as skilfully as Lean.

the essentials

What: Lean Timms’ ‘North’ Print Launch
When: Sunday 2 April
Where: www.leantimms.com/printstore

All images supplied


Olivia Afiabo

Olivia grew up in Canberra before moving off to Wollongong to study creative writing at the University of Wollongong. After receiving a Bachelor’s of Creative Arts degree she returned to the Capital to pursue a career in writing and publishing. The first step in this journey has been interning at HerCanberra and, though she misses the beach, being back with family and old friends has been a welcome change. There’s nothing she loves more than reading, writing and watching football (the ‘no hands allowed’ variety). More about the Author