Tim Keller 2016

I take most of my photographs where I live, in beautiful northeastern New Mexico and nearby southern Colorado. Growing up by the beach in southern California, I read my dad's photography magazines: he had a community college degree in photography but had to give up his career dreams to get a "real job" when I came along. I shot skateboarding and surfing with a friend's 35mm camera and 400mm lens on a tripod, developing and printing the shots in his darkroom. In high school I took a one-year photography course in the art department, where I learned composition and the mantra "simplicity is a virtue". 

I was a surfer; I competed in the first international skateboard championships at Anaheim. My grandparents were country people. They got me summer jobs on a huge ranch where my grandpa worked. Between that and Thoreau, then The Band and Merle Haggard, I became a country boy, moving from coastal southern California to the redwoods and wine country of Sonoma County, on to southern West Virginia, then back and forth between Texas and New Mexico a couple times each. I taught school in all four states, along with a few other odd jobs, some odder than others. 

Tim Keller Photography at White Sands National Monument

I always enjoyed getting good photographs, but I never bought a camera: I used hand-me-downs. At the end of 2007 I dove into photography, buying the just-released Nikon D300 digital SLR camera and some great lenses. I’ve been immersed in making pictures ever since. By the following summer I couldn’t look at a magazine without studying the photographs accompanying articles. Many of them I admired and envied. Others, I thought, “I could do better than that.” That led me to looking for subjects for photo essays, writing my own articles to accompany them, submitting them to magazines.

Tim Keller by Christina Boyce

In January 2009 my first photos and features were published in Western Horseman and The Chronicle-News. Magazine and newspaper work has become my focus. I love combining photography and writing, telling stories with my pictures.

A show of 28 of my framed works, "Tim Keller's New Mexico," was displayed for two years at Raton's Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites. Much of that work accompanied new work in my 2013 exhibition, "Eastern Plain," at the Lea County Museum in Lovington, New Mexico. Celebrating a major renovation, Raton Museum re-opened its gallery in 2014 with "Unfiltered," a show of 44 of my photographs. For now, though, I've stopped framing work for shows and galleries while I enjoy focusing instead on producing more stories for newspapers and magazines.

Tim Keller - New Mexico photographer

My wife, artist Christina Boyce, is director of the A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art in Trinidad, Colorado, after owning her own art gallery and a stint as Raton's tourism coordinator.

The summer of 2012 brought change and growth: after 13 years in Des Moines, we moved to a big century-old Craftsman home at the base of Bartlett Mesa on the northeast outskirts of Raton, and I bought Nikon's new full-frame pro camera, the D4. In 2016 I added the D5 so I can carry one lens (usually the 24-70mm) on the D5 and another (70-200mm) on the D4. (My 14-24mm and 85mm lenses get far less use.) Life continues to be an adventure.