Meeting with Tim Hawk on one of his photo shoots -photo courtesy of Jeremiah Daniels

Photography is a passion that has followed Tim Hawk since he started working for his high school year book. Making use of aperture, shutter speed and focus, Hawk works to make sure that every shot he takes is better than the last.

Hawk has pale blond hair and blue eyes and usually wears a solid color polo shirt that he wears alongside a solid pair of blue jeans. As far as height goes, he is about 5’ 9″ or 5’ 10″.

Recently, Hawk shot a photo story for the 33rd Annual Doo Dah Parade, which was a parade that took place in Ocean City, New Jersey on April 14. This parade is held in order to honor the end of tax season, as well as bring in the summer.

But, the highlight of the parade?

That would be the 500 basset hounds that were in attendance.

“The biggest part of the parade is the basset hounds and it’s a fundraiser for the tri-state basset hound rescue,” Hawk said. “They raise money by walking around during the parade and this is how they earned money to help out the basset hounds that are in need.”

Money earned would be used to cover medical funds for basset hounds and other treatments that would help them with adoption.

Ears flopped and drool flew as the basset hounds participated in the basset hound olympics. They participated in events such as the 10-meter sprint, 15-meter hurdles, and the high jump.

Hawk was born in 1964 where he grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. He was raised by his father and mother, Tom and Lee. Wilmington is the most populated city in the state of Delaware and Hawk remembered it fondly.

“Wilmington was nice I played sports when I was younger so I was able to stay out of trouble for the most part,” Hawk said.

Hawk attended Mount Pleasant High School in Wilmington. It is a public secondary school that was first established in 1830. The original Mount Pleasant School House is still standing and is currently located on an acre of land which, as of today, is part of Bellevue State Park.

Hawk’s passion for photography first took off when he was involved with Mount Pleasant High School’s yearbook, “The Green Leaf.” Hawk took pictures for the Green Leaf throughout high school.

“Other than sports, partaking in photography was one of my hobbies,” Hawk said. “I remember getting a camera and taking pictures it caught my attention.”

Throughout high school Hawk said that he joked around and was like a class clown. He also was involved with a few of the sports teams.

“In high school I participated in ice hockey and I played football as well where I was the quarterback,” Hawk said. “I also participated in track and field where I did the pole vault.”

Upon graduating from Mount Pleasant High School, Hawk decided to further his education by attending Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where he majored in photography. Rochester is located in the New York Metropolitan Area.

“It was the premier photo college so that is where I wanted to attend school,” Hawk said about attending RIT.

Before attending RIT in 1982, Hawk’s mother passed away. There was a lot going on through his mind at the time. On top of that, most of the housing at Rochester was filled, so Hawk had to live with the Theta Chi fraternity his freshman year.

“Going into college you always hear so many bad things about fraternities I thought I was going to die,” Hawk said.

Fortunately, the fraternity brothers were all welcoming and friendly. It was pretty much the dream house for any incoming freshman: there was a kitchen as well as a bar in the basement where everyone was able to hang out.

Between the death of his mother and adjusting to the new college life, Hawk was placed on academic probation by the end of his freshman year with a 1.2 GPA. This served as a wake-up call and drove Hawk to raise his GPA back up to a 3.0 by his senior year.

During his senior year Hawk was the rush-master of the Theta Chi fraternity. However, on top of being in charge of the rushing process Hawk’s father Tom passed away. After graduating, Hawk had to navigate throughout the world without the guidance of his parents.

“Being a 21 year old college graduate and trying to figure out everything on your own is tough,” Hawk said.

Hawk currently resides in Wilmington, Delaware with his wife Lisa Hawk and their two children Sam and Reese Hawk. Working as a multimedia specialist for NJ Advance Media, Hawk’s photos can be found on NJ.com. They can also be found on The South Jersey Times website. Hawk also works as an adjunct professor at Rowan University where he teaches photojournalism.

Jessica Beym, supervisor for NJ Advance Media, worked closely with Hawk during their time together at the company.

“I’ve worked with Tim Hawk since I started in 2006 at what used to be Gloucester County Times,” Beym said. “Tim is always an incredibly professional photojournalist. We used to go out on assignments together when I was a beat reporter. Tim was always determined to get the best photo, even if it meant crawling on the floor to get the best angle, or waiting long after the other reporters had left.”

When Hawk usually goes out to shoot photo stories, he sometimes works alongside Lori Nichols, a fellow multimedia specialist for NJ Advance Media.

“Tim and I work closely together at NJ.com,” Nichols said. “We are both multimedia specialists, so we both take photos, shoot videos, and write stories. Sometimes we work on projects together, like photographing Eagles games and other events, but mostly we work on our own projects.”

As a multimedia specialist Hawk has shot photos for Philadelphia sports teams, whether it be the Eagles, Sixers, Flyers or Phillies. Both the Eagles and Sixers are popular right now, so many of the photos he had taken have been covering those two teams. However, Hawk enjoys shooting photo stories the most, where he gets the opportunity to meet and get to know new people over the period of time.

“Whenever you do a picture story you’re there for a while,” Hawk said. “You feel what they feel, you hurt when they hurt, and you are happy when they are happy, I think picture stories really allow you to get to know the person you are covering.”

Some photo stories that Hawk has done include the Popes visit to Philadelphia in 2015, the Eagles Super Bowl Parade and Barrack Obama’s visit to Camden in 2015.

“I’ve covered Obama in Camden I got like, six feet close to him,” Hawk said. “It was crazy, how did I get here, I’m taking pictures of the president!”

Whether he is taking photos at the beaches of Brigantine or basset hounds in Ocean City, Hawk takes photos with the purpose of a story to tell.

For questions/comments about this story, email features@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.

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