We had the good fortune of connecting with Timothy Little and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Timothy, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Initially it was just meant to be a creative outlet to help me decompress after a day of conference calls, number crunching and managing a team of bankers along with all the joys that having a high level corporate job includes. As a night time landscape photographer living on Cape Cod, nothing really helped reset my mood like photographing the moonlit sands leading up to a light house or letting the camera tick away at capturing an hour of star trails over the National Seashore.
When I first started creating art, it was just for me and occasionally I would sell a print or two here or there. I didn’t often even talk about it. But word around the office got out about it, clients started hearing about my literal “moonlighting” and before I knew it I was doing my first art show. Soon after, I was being asked to teach my techniques. Within a few years, I could be found doing one of three things: banking by day, shooting and teaching by night and traveling around Cape Cod selling my artwork at outdoor shows. It even lead to a book deal.
Eventually, I started wondering if I had enough going on after dark to leave behind what was going on after dawn. It was the realization that the only thing stopping me from going farther down the path was my day job. I found myself thinking about this frequently but not quite ready to take the plunge.
My corporate job was killing me. I was burnt out, unhealthy and tired. And yet, there was this potential “out” the universe had offered me in the form of the art. On a cold January day in 2018, I left the security of that world behind for the uncertainty of the other. But what I also left behind hopelessness. When I finally decided to commit to this path, I didn’t experience the anxiety I expected would come with it. I felt excited and energized. This was how I knew I had made the right decision.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
First and foremost I would describe myself as a night time landscape artist which is a fancy way of saying that I do a lot of photography after dark by moonlight or starlight. It allows me to capture the passage of time through long exposures with the intent of showing others what the world looks like while most people are asleep. There is a peacefulness to it and my goal is to convey that through the artwork that comes from this process.
Along with being an artist, being an instructor and experience leader has become a large component of nearly anything I do. This is also what makes me the most proud of my creative journey – the ability to share my knowledge with others who are willing.
I’ve always been very thankful to those artists I have encountered who shared something of themselves to help me further my own art. My primary business model is to pay that forward by offering tours and workshops here on Cape Cod. I’m always humbled when someone takes time away from their vacation or visit to the area so that they can experience night photography with me, learn a new skill or lay eyes on the Milky Way as it spans over a light house. Sometimes, months later I will hear again from attendees who are excited to share how they took what they learned and captured some amazing skies elsewhere on their own journeys. This is when it comes full circle for me.
I used to think the hardest part about any business was navigating the different personality types and ways of communicating with them. When I started the tours and workshops several years ago, I quickly learned that it wasn’t going to be difficult at all because we all have the overlapping of a shared interest – art and creating it. It just doesn’t matter what your political or religious views are and whether or not they differ from mine because for the time we are together we are both there to create something memorable.
My biggest challenge is actually the weather as it is the one thing I can’t control. I can, however, control how I approach a cloudy sky or a foggy shoreline. There’s an artistic opportunity in each of those. Being flexible in this business is key. Rather than think about what the weather conditions are stopping me from doing, I try to think more about what they’re able to give me.. Learning this lesson has kept me from deciding to stay home on most nights!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’ll be the only person on Cape Cod you’ll meet who will take you on a tour without the intention of visiting a seafood restaurant!
First off, I am going to show you all the light houses we can drive to. This includes Nobska Light here in town, Highland Light in Truro and then a stop at Nauset Light to take Cape Cod Potato Chip selfies with the lighthouse because that is the actual lighthouse on the front of the chip bag!
You can bet we are going to hop a boat out to Martha’s Vineyard where we will stroll the streets of Edgartown while I point out all the JAWS filming locations before stopping for fried dill pickle chips and paninis at the Wharf Pub Restaurant. And of course we will be stopping at Mad Martha’s for ice cream.
To burn off those calories we will walk out to Edgartown Light before hopping the bus to Oak Bluffs to check out the Camp Meeting Association cottages otherwise known as the “Gingerbread Houses.”
Back on the Cape, I’ve got hikes planned at the Shining Sea Bike trail (along with my beagle Sunny who will accompany us) and later a dune hike out to Race Point Light in Provincetown.
And of course, we will visit the Cape Cod canal to watch the historic train bridge lower to allow one of the local trains to cross. If we’re lucky we may even catch a cruise ship trying to squeeze down the canal waters.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Absolutely! First and foremost, my parents who are thankfully, at the time of this interview, still here to see the successes. To this day they remain my biggest fans and when I was growing up they gave me a lot of freedom to pursue all sorts of crazy creative adventures without judgement.
The photographer who made it all “click” for me was Troy Paiva. Discovering his art nearly 15 years ago sparked my own journey and in 2021 I had the honor to host a workshop with him, not unlike the one he offered and I attended way back when! It was a life time highlight!
And of course the people I’ve met along the way who share the interest and the journey. They are Ken Lee, Mike Cooper and Steve McIntyre.