I’ve long thought Dr. Seuss wrote his iconic book Oh, the Places You’ll Go with the camera in mind. Long before our high-tech phones, carrying a camera — and being really intentional about what to shoot — inspired so many meanderings in pursuit of something worth capturing. “You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care. About some you will say, ‘I don’t choose to go there.’ With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.” For Lean Timms, picking up a camera truly redirected her path and sent her to so many places, down so many interesting streets, and introduced her to so many people.
Five years into a high school performing arts teacher role, Lean realized it was no longer the gig for her, but she wasn’t sure what her next move should be. In the meantime, she picked up a film camera and began to teach herself the art of travel and food photography. She began to share her work, learned from other talented friends and started working for small magazines. Before long, enough work was flowing for her to pursue photography full-time. Today, Lean spends half her time on the road and half her time in her bright, inspiring studio, surrounded by a loving partner Sophie, creative housemates and an affable furry chap named Taj.
Lean has always been drawn to her Canberra, Australia home. “The inner north has always been a favorite area of mine in Canberra — plenty of hip and happening places to wine, dine, and explore, easy access to the rest of town and plenty of old-build, wooden cottages, which I love. I’ve always preferred homes with character and age compared to newer builds, so I was keen to find something along these lines.” Finding her rental wasn’t easy, but patience paid off. Her home is one of the “artisan dwelling” timber cottages built in 1927 and is part of the National Trust (heritage listed). Of all the places Lean could go, she found her way right to a home built specifically for nurturing a creative life. —Quelcy
Image Above: Photographer Lean Timms reviewing prints in her Canberra, Australia studio with furry assistant, Taj. Lean recently expanded her photography business to include a print store, where she shares her love affair with Scandinavian landscapes and design.