Timmy Risden, a Naperville native visual artist, is a growing example of becoming passionate and talented in a craft that did not come to him naturally or that he was exposed to at a young, adolescent age. In a sense, photography was forced upon Risden when he needed to fulfill a fine arts credit his sophomore year of high school. When his counselor suggested Photography I, Risden fought him on it, but eventually realized that the only victory to come out of this situation, would be to take the course. Since then, Timmy Risden became amorous about photography and has grown a successful career out of his newfound passion. When Risden isn’t shooting artists such as Playboi Carti, D Savage, Lil Durk, or Joey Fatts, you can find his bylines in Lyrical Lemonade or find him studying at Western Illinois University.


Q: What is your full name and where are you from?

A: My name is Timmy Risden and I’m from Naperville, a suburb of Chicago, IL.


Q: How long have you been doing photography?

A: I got into photography my junior year of high school (I just finished my freshman year of college). I started out with EDM photography actually because some of my friends were DJ’s at the time and brought me along to shows.


Q: How would you describe the growth in your skill since you’ve started?

A: It’s all been a learning process, not even just in photography but as myself as a person. As a music photographer, there’s so much to learn about the business, shows, artist relationships, and more. Once you learn how to combine that with the photography aspect, you can run with it.


Q: What inspired you to want to do photography?

A: When I was a sophomore in high school, I needed to fulfill a fine arts credit and my counselor suggested I take Photography 1. I fought him on it but eventually realized I had to, which lead to me asking my friends if I could take pictures at a show for a project in the class. They liked what I came up with, I had a great time, and the rest is history.


Q: What is one of the best shoots you have ever done?

A: Every time I pick up my camera I try to make it my best shoot yet but one that I really loved was this past year when Lil Durk came to perform at my school at the time, Western Illinois University. I had just started working for Lyrical Lemonade and my first article ever was on the show. Meeting a high-caliber artist for a second time is always important because they never remember the first time they meet anyone first time, but usually can recall a second time.


Playboi Carti

Q: Who do you hope to shoot one day? What event do you plan to shoot one day?

A: Anyone that knows me knows I’m a huge Travis Scott fan so I would love to shoot with him, maybe even hop on a tour someday.


Q: What is some ultimate goals for yourself and your career?

A: The ultimate goal is to watch Lyrical Lemonade grow and hopefully make working for the team a career one day. I’m currently in between majors in college but both will help give me the skills I need to go into that type of work.

Q: How do you remain focused and execute every project/task handed to you?

A: I think of the end goal, even the smallest projects can get in the hands of someone unimaginable. I would hate to look back 20 years from now and think about what could’ve happened if I skipped school for a day to get that shoot or if I worked a bit harder for that artist that might not have as big of a following as some of the other artists I work with. Every single thing you do matters in this digital age, literally anyone can see it.


Q: Who are your inspirations?

A: Documentaries and certain movies inspire me so much, most of my best ideas and concepts have come after watching them. But as for names, my brother Cole Bennett, Travis Scott, and A$AP as a whole just to name a few.


Q: How has Lyrical Lemonade helped advance your career?

A: I joined Lyrical Lemonade last September, I was between publications with a two week period where I wasn’t doing anything. I actually thought very seriously about quitting. I had been friends with Cole for about a bit before this but he decided to give me a test run for a couple weeks and see how serious I was and you know the end story to that. Having a team like them behind me is awesome, I’m convinced we’ve got the hardest working team in our area. They always push to see the most out of everyone. All love to LL.


Q: Do you have a specific lens you use for your shoots?

A: I go through phases with equipment, I don’t own a single lens that isn’t prime though.


Q: How would you define the style of your shoots?

A: With all the photographers you see at every single show and every single event nowadays, it’s really important to get your own style and develop something that people will remember. Most artist’s have a image or persona, especially in rap music, and as a photographer, it’s super important to stay consistent to match that. You can always tell when someone is taking pictures of an artist for a check rather than more.


Q: Are you currently working on any projects?

A: I’m working on a bunch of things right now, you guys should see some of it coming up in a few weeks here. Pictures, music videos, collaborations, all that. I’m not holding back this summer.






















Q: Seeing that you have shot for numerous public figures/musicians, what can you tell us about your feelings/emotions towards these accomplishments?

A: I’ve always read interviews and watched podcasts of people saying how achievable moments like that are and I just want to say that it really is. If I can argue with my counselor over a Photography 1 course to later get some of the work I’ve done, you can work for whatever you want.

Q: When you edit your photos, what style do you go for?

A: It depends on the environment of where the shoot was, I’ll always try and match that energy and put the viewer in my shoes.


Q: Do you plan to shoot beyond music events?

A: Definitely. Music events are fun but it’s definitely not all I can do.


Q: What do you believe are some of the conflicts many photographers experience in their craft?

A: Finding a style. As you start shooting shows or events where you meet other photographers, you might see some people with the exact same set up as you. You’ve got to find a way to make your work stand out whether that’s through different equipment nobody uses, unorthodox angles, or something else.

Q: What would you like the readers to know?

A: In addition to all I talked about, I also manage an artist named Young Jasper who has been on a roll lately, be sure to check him out here. Also, be sure to follow my work on IG/Twitter @timmyrisden.



About The Author

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awkward. college student. entrepreneur. womanist. radiant. lover of all things. growing, blossoming each moment.

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