Tim Riddick Photography

Washington DC - Orlando - New York

Tim Riddick Photography is a fine art film wedding photography studio based in the metro Washington DC area. As a wedding photographer with a photojournalism degree allows for Tim Riddick to capture moments organically as they happen. Tim Riddick serves the area Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC.

Letters to Grey

Greyson Brooks,

Happy 3rd birthday. Naturally, I will only get to spend part of your birthday with you because I have to work. It is something that I hope I don't regret when I get older. I have been telling myself that you won't remember that I am gone on this day and we will have a nice party for you when I am home. To be honest, I feel guilty as hell. I feel guilty because I feel as if I often have to make these types of decisions. The type of decisions where I have to juggle our financial well being over lost memories. I have been telling myself that I will be around when it matters. The more it happens the more I find myself falling into the traps of doing exactly what my father did when I was young. At times, I feel lost in where I am leading us. I would imagine that a lot of fathers feel this way. Perhaps, this feeling is even more prominent to me because your birthday will always fall around Fathers Day. 

There will be times in your life where you will feel lost. You will wake up one morning and not truly understand where you are heading in life. That is ok. You just have to remember and remind yourself that your mother and I have given you the tools to fight through this feeling. Life isn't easy. It just is not. I, personally, feel at 36 that I still have no clue what I am doing at times. I am lucky that my parents were hard on me and forced me to grow up even when I did not want to grow up. That tough love is something that I still resent today. I am trying to find the balance between being firm and loving with you and your brothers. Your mother and I often times are just trying not to mess you guys up. LOL. We have no clue what we are doing half the time but we know our love for you three is immense. The love we have for each other and for all of you is what keeps us going. We are not perfect. We make mistakes. We yell, scream sometimes and argue. We are trying to figure this out. It is not easy. It is because we are not just fighting for each other we are fighting for you. What am saying is that life does not come with an instruction manual. You figure it out as you go through it. You can make anything work if you become a giver and work hard. 

You have to find balance in life. No one will ever give you anything and you have to make your own luck in life. People will find reasons to not like who you will become and what you stand for in life. You just have to realize that you are never as good as they say you are (there is always room for improvement) and you are never as bad as they say you are. Learn from the mistakes that you make and try not to make them again. If you do, try not make it a third time. You have to be unwavering in your convictions. People will tell you those convictions are wrong. Convictions can be wrong but not if you are truthful with yourself. 

At three years old, you are a bundle of joy and pain. You are the most affectionate child but in the next breath you are screaming at the top your lungs. You love copying and doing whatever your older brother, Noah, does. Your favorite movie is Wreck it Ralph. You love the color blue. You love trains. I mean, LOVE trains. You are fearless. I have seen you jump head first into the deep end of a pool with not knowing how to swim. You are obsessed with Honey Nut Cheerios. You do not eat dinner. It is probably the most frustrating thing about you in the evening. The funny thing about the fact that you don't eat dinner is that when I leave the house the last thing you typically say to me is "are you going to be home for dinner"? Your grin lights up my heart. You enjoy sitting in my lap and licking my face. I still have not figured out why you do that. We call you our Sour Patch Kid. You are sweet and sour. You are almost always the last kid to fall asleep at night. You also like baseball, scooters and your tricycle. 

I always like to end these letters with a bit of advice. This advice is generally stuff that I have figured out in 35 years of life. Find work that makes you happy. If finding that work can improve someone else life than you are heading in the right direction. Money and wealth will looks good but it will not keep you as comfortable as having a family. Do not be in a rush to get married. I got married to your mother a week before i turned 29. A good marriage can start at 21 or 41. Work hard and make yourself indispensable in what ever you do in life. Speak your mind even if it makes people feel uncomfortable. A lot of people spend a lot of time avoiding tough topics. Learn to apologize. There is nothing shameful admitting when you are wrong. The greatest thing I have learned is to say I am sorry when I am wrong and when it is tough to do so. To paraphrase John Mayer, do not worry about being 'discovered'; discover what you want to do. Love people. I mean, really, love people. If you do then you will never objectify them. When everyone else zigs then find a way to zag. Be different and never fall into the trap of trying to be like everyone else. Love God. All good things come from and through Him. Always remember, I love you. You can not lose me. I will always be here.

Love,

Dad

How to get better at anything

I often feel as if everyone wants to be the best at everything. Let me be the first to tell you, it will never happen. I do not mean that you can't be good or the best at something, it just means you physically can not be the best at everything. In my personal life, I just want to be a really good husband and father. In work my wife, I just want to create something that someone will consume and find valuable in their life. I don't want a ton of followers on Instagram, Facebook or really any social media platform. The problem with trying to be great at social media is that it is not really social at all. Facebook has become a sounding board for many people. It is a a place where likes and shares have become a replacement for real face to face interactions. I can not tell you how many conversations that I have been a part of that starts off "Did you see on Facebook?" No, no I did not. Social media will never replace the benefit of a face to face meetings. It will never replace grabbing a cup of coffee and catching up on life. It will never replace relationships. If you want to get better at something then start with building or in many cases rebuilding your relationship with real people. 

Picture taken on a Leica M6 Kodak UltraMax 400

Understanding Who You Are

Advice for creatives.

You have to really audit who you are but not in the Facebook or Instagram kind of way. Let's be honest, a lot of people do not care about your 'likes' or followers. Likes and followers will mean nothing in 2020 or sooner. You have to audit yourself in a way that will allow yourself to be honest with you are as a person. Then and only then will you truly be good at whatever you are trying to accomplish in life.

photo taken 5 or 6 years ago on a canon 5D Classic with a 50mm 1.4

Kindergarten thoughts

I work alot. On my days off I often have an extremely hard time not thinking about work. I find purpose in work but the reason why I work is for my family. As a father and a husband the difference between doing something for them and realizing that spending my time off with them has tendency to be a bit grey.

 My wife said something to me recently that really spoke to me. She said "Noah, needs you." Those 3 simple words caused me to look up from my phone (I was sending an email to a client) and listen. She continued "you know he is going to start kindergarten this fall and the time we have taken for granted over the last 5 years is going to be gone." That really hit hard. I know, I know, I know another parent is lamenting online about "my kid is getting so big". The reality is that he is getting big and he is getting older. The days ahead are going to be filled with school, a little playtime, a little homework, dinner and bedtime. That just doesn't seem right for some reason.

I know as parent that I am responsible for my kids. I also knew that the moment I held Noah for the first time that my life was never going to be the same. Today, I am having a little bit of regret. I regret being on my phone so damn much instead of being more engaged. I regret being a little annoyed of having to read 13 books at bedtime. I regret not taking him out to play catch or to play basketball (well it was actually football but Noah gets that confused from time to time). I also regret being away so much and not honoring being home for dinner. After all, it is the one thing that Noah loves to do, eating as family.  

I know a lot of parents who are working parents and we are fortunate to be able to have my wife stay at home with the kids. It is not easy. Staying home or working is both work. I would argue staying home is the harder the job. I know the time we spend with our kids is an opportunity to invest our time wisely. The time we spend with them is to help set them up for the day they leave the home for 8 hours. It is to instill in them the sense of knowing right from wrong, how to be compassionate to others and to know that they have a sense of purpose. 

In the past, I would often laugh at parents who would post pictures on social media of themselves crying when their kids left for school. I will probably still laugh a little but now I kind of understand why. We are sending a piece of ourselves out in the wild and hoping that the time we invested was time well spent.

The reality of life is that we are not perfect and that looking back at things that we are going to have regrets. The hope is that we learn from those regrets. The hope we have is that the sun will rise again tomorrow and in that we have another day to make a change. Life is about change and the difference is knowing that everyday we have to make a change to be a little bit better then the day before.

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Photo taken on a iPhone 7 plus in portrait mode. Edited with the Mastin Labs and VSCO app. 

Morning goodbyes

On Wednesdays, I take Noah to preschool and Grey stays home because his preschool days are Tuesday and Thursday. It doesn't prevent him from wanting to get dressed and wanting to put his backpack on. He does this just so he can stand out on the front porch, wave goodbye to Noah and to tell him that he loves him. It melts me everytime.

I don't want anyone to think that my kids are perfect and that they are always like this with each other. They are not. I do find parenting to be extremely difficult at times. It is a constant feeling of not knowing if what you are trying to instill in them is actually working. Moments like these are the things that tell me that we are at least making some headway.

My wife, who does a lot of the heavy lifting, has been working to make sure that when they are fighting that they stop and hug each other. She told me the other day, when I witnessed the hugging, it was to remind them that they are brothers. I could not agree more. I have a pretty awesome wife and a great partner in this thing called parenting. 

Shot on an Iphone 7 plus and edited with the Madtin Labs app on my phone.  

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The Life We Built.

Kari,

Happy birthday sweetheart, it seems pretty crazy that we have been at this for so long. When I tell people how we met they have the tendency to laugh. I was singing Ricky Martin "She Bangs" at the bread station inside of the Cheesecake Factory when you walked up to me and told me "no one sings Ricky Martin". Little did you know that 10 years later you would be spending your life with that guy who was erroneously singing his heart out while cutting bread for a guest. It was that day that I feel in love with you. Sure, we have had our ups and downs and times and the times where we questioned what the hell we are doing. It has not been easy. I also think anything worth having means you have to put a lot of hard work into it. I can not imagine life without you. I mean, who else is going to take care of our wild bunch because we both know you are the better parent. Your patience with our three boys astounds me every day. I know you think I am not watching but I am. You make sure that they get enough vegetables, that there socks match (most of the times), you carry the heavy load because I am often gone at night pursuing my passions.  You always read books, sing songs and tell them I love you at bedtime. I am in awe of you every day. There comes a time in ones life when words are not enough to describe a feeling. I am going to attempt to describe it visually through the life we built. 

I love you and I am so happy I stole the line from Good Will Hunting and I left Florida because "I had to see about a girl"

ever yours and happy birthday.

tr.

The Life We Built.

Dad Life

Takes four days to get to like me

But two to wanna leave

But the part that really gets me

Are all the moments in between
Fuji Xt2 Rokinon 12mm 

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Women = Men

Gender equality is ingrained at a very young age. We teach our kids that women are lesser than men. It is subtle, like in the wording on clothing. "Tough like Daddy" "Mommy's little helper". It's almost like women are not able to do things on their own. They are, but we rarely, if ever see something like "Strong Like Mommy" or "Tough like Mommy" on clothing for boys. It's also why the majority of boys clothes are blue and black and girls clothes are pink and yellow. Who says a boy can't like sparkles or the color pink? Who says girls can't play with dump trucks and hot wheels?  My wife is the toughest and strongest person I know. So, why shouldn't my 3 boys realize that?

My wife isn't physically stronger than me but we don't acknowledge that strong doesn't always have to mean physical strength. It's just rare that we as a society acknowledge that women are strong. Especially, when it comes to children. Women are thought to be care givers and men as workers. Gender roles are seen everywhere. Teaching young boys that women are strong and independent of men, I think is a good thing.

I find my wife to be amazing and she is also my rock. My wife and I want to raise boys that are respectful to women. It starts with teaching them young and boy are we up for the challenge.

Trying to break the barrier of perception of gender rolls is extremely important. 

 

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