Meet the PhotographerTimothy Mollen
Our new Nantucket outpost is the ultimate summer destination—from the beach books to the surfboard decor, down to the surrounding photography, which nods to the seaside life. Below, we get to know the talented lensman behind those gorgeous sun-kissed images: ACK insider Timothy Mollen, founder of Mahalo Content ad agency and Hidden Oaks Lane fine art photo studio.
P.S. Love what you see? Check out his collection here or, if you find yourself in Nantucket, shop his work in our store on 11 South Water Street. We consider his prints instant escape…
I fell in love with photography through my career as an advertising director and cinematographer. While I really enjoyed taking classes in digital photography throughout high school and film school, I only took photos for myself or family, and focused my creative efforts on moving images. It wasn't till I started posting photos of landscapes and people during my travels on Instagram that I realized I loved the art of photography as much as I did moving images. I was really appreciative of the responses people were having to my still work online, and it fueled me to want to learn and continue to grow more as a photographer as well.
I think part of me has always loved the visuals of “surf life.” As an absolute novice to surfing, for me it’s more about the incredible blending of nature and sport. I love the idea that surfing involves an understanding and appreciation of the power of nature, and visually that creates a cool palette to work with.
I started the series after a two-week vacation to Nantucket in 2018. I realized that many of the beach cars on the island are incredible art pieces and a reflection of the owner’s personality. Each car has a unique character that I love to bring to life through photography. The sense of nostalgia that can be captured of vacations and summers gone by continues to draw me towards the subject.
As you can most likely tell from the photographs I take around the island, I certainly think that Cisco Beach might be one of the most beautiful places on earth. It’s perfect on a foggy morning or when you get a deep red sunset where the water and sand reflects the sky like a mirror. Also add star gazing at Miacomet to your bucket list. I don’t know another place you can see the galaxy with the naked eye like that anywhere near Boston.
That is a wonderful question. My gut tells me it’s a longing for a nostalgic sunny, coastal vibe that I grew up with when I was a child in Florida. Both in Florida, where I was born, and now as an adult living in a coastal town in Massachusetts, I have always gravitated toward the water and coastlines. When I travel away from the coastlines for work or pleasure, I still long for beautiful sunny backdrops and will always try to incorporate the sun into my work, no matter the setting. It’s funny that even in my photography of the freezing Mont Blanc setting at 13,000 feet, I still ended up composing the shots so the sun is a main character in the image; I think it makes even colder landscapes still feel more vivid and alive.
Both get their names from idyllic moments in my life. Hidden Oaks was my childhood street on the Florida Coast. I associate it with beautiful tree covered streets, colorful gardens, and a strong connection to people that helped shape who I am today. Similarly, Mahalo stems from a life changing experience I had while visiting Kauai with my wife in 2018. There I realized that I wanted to leave a more conventional 9-to-5 job and focus on subjects that bring joy to my creative senses. Mahalo, in Hawaiian, essentially means gratitude, and I am reminded every day how lucky I am to be able to do something I love every day.
I’m hopeful that, during this unique summer, my family and I can visit the beaches again on Nantucket, the Vineyard and the Cape. I look forward to seeing people happy and enjoying the outside world again. I hope the events of the last four months have given people an appreciation of how lucky we are to get the opportunity to explore outside and become closer with nature. It would be great to take a few pictures while I am there as well!
I spend time with my wife, Allison, my eight-month-old son, Henry, and my Golden Retriever, Teddy. I enjoy gardening and tending to my jungle of indoor plants, which are both different forms of natural creative expression for me. Of course, I love to travel to new places and sometimes just enjoy them away from the lens. I find removing my concentration away from a camera or computer screen for a while helps me shake loose the cobwebs and focus on what is really important. The creative answers always seem to come when you separate yourself for a bit.