From audit manager to photographer extraordinaire: Tim Canfield talks work-life balance
“I want you to be successful — whether that means within the firm, within photography, or elsewhere.” –John Browne, Denver partner, to team member Tim Canfield
That’s a statement you wouldn’t hear in most corporate workplaces today. Really? Permission to pursue your true passion? But, as Plante Moran’s Tim Canfield can tell you, these are the kinds of work-life balance conversations that can happen during check-in meetings with your Plante Moran partner.
Becoming “successful” outside of work is becoming a reality for Tim, an audit manager with EKS&H, now starting his 11th year with Plante Moran. Tim’s on a mission to spend more time with his wife and two young daughters and pursue his lifelong passion: photography.
Tim developed an interest in photography in high school, where he shot in black-and-white film and spent hours in the darkroom developing pictures. But it wasn’t until four years ago when he took a solo, pre-sunrise hike in Rocky Mountain National Park that he really felt the nudge to dive back into photography and reinvent his craft from the ground up. Prior to that, he dabbled in photography when he would travel — often in cities with his wife. But, sunrises in the concrete-city landscape couldn’t quite beat the majestic beauty of the great outdoors. “It felt like my first real photoshoot,” he says. “It’s an experience I won’t soon forget.”
Today, when Tim’s not in the office crunching numbers, he’s taking photos. “One of the biggest draws for me is the combination of being able to create beautiful photos while spending large amounts of time in nature,” says Tim. “I enjoy getting off the beaten path and discovering new places — even in familiar locales. I love connecting with these places and immersing myself in them.”
“When clients interact with me, they don’t just see an ‘audit manager.’ They’ll ask, ‘How’s your photography going?’ and suddenly, the door is open for a deeper, human connection.”
Tim’s team is supportive of this interest; his partners even check in with him frequently to see how his photography is coming along. After all, people care about passion — and it can be contagious. “I enjoy sharing my passion for photography with staff and clients alike,” he says. “When clients interact with me, they don’t just see an ‘audit manager.’ They’ll ask, ‘How’s your photography going?’ and suddenly, the door is open for a deeper, human connection. And, it works two ways; when I share my passion for photography with clients, I get to ask and learn about what they love as well.”
Tim doesn’t just view his love for photography as a part-time hobby. He has plans to grow and work toward offering in-field photography tours and workshops throughout the Western United States. Conducting a photography tour involves leading a group of people into breathtaking locations and guiding them through the entire photography process: proper camera settings, composition, and digital processing.
One of Tim Canfield's many beautiful photos, taken in Washington’s Olympic National Park.