30 Nov 2020

Spotlight on: Tim Buiting

The story behind DGTL label's record sleeves artwork

In the upcoming three ‘Spotlight On’ articles, we are turning the light to three artists close to our hearts, Tim Buiting, Tim Straver, and Tasso Okinawa. The artists behind the record sleeves of our label’s releases. Every artist gets to work his magic and create the artwork of 5 releases each that we publish as a series. While the music of every EP tells its own story, the art of the 5 sleeves creates a storyline throughout the several releases. We met all three creators through a different aspect of the festival and with their work for the record label, they got to express their artistic self in a new way.

The first artist we collaborated with for the first five record sleeves is the all-around nice guy Tim Buiting. Also know as DGTL’s main photographer. When Tim Buiting was asked to create the artwork for the label’s first five records, he had to think outside of his usual fast-paced shooting at events; creating that one magical shot of the crowd or an artist in a split second. For the shots of the sleeves, he approached his artistry 180 degrees in the opposite direction. In his search for a location for the shoot, he ended up at the train station in Liege (Netherlands). He was searching for a place where he could play with the architecture in an abstract way. Tim spent two days at the chosen location to get to know every angle. This resulted in multiple abstract photos depicting the lines and patterns of the building. 

‘’The biggest challenge was to shoot a series that would appeal to the artist and would connect well with the music at the same time’’, says Tim. Since he didn’t get to hear the music before he started shooting, he made sure to capture some more hard and straight photos and others more organically-shaped. In this way, the artists had a wide range of pictures to choose from. 


Looking back there isn’t much Tim would change, he says. It describes his style and skills that he had at that specific time. "It’s nice to be able to look back on that and see how I have grown from there. In general, I notice my style of editing is changed and if I look back on a few years ago I would give myself the advice to try not to edit too harshly but keep it all a bit softer".

The DGTL Records shoot wasn’t Tim’s first abstract work though. Back in 2018, Tim Hoeben - DGTL’s label manager – noticed one of Buiting’s conceptual photos on Instagram, and the idea to ask him for the creation of the record sleeves was born. Buiting took this opportunity to get recognized not just for his event photography, but for his more contemporary work too. The plus-side was also to have two completely different assignments for the same company. 

‘’At events, you have to have perfect timing to capture that one money-shot". Shooting the material for the record sleeves however, Tim could take his time trying different things. 


Fast forward to 2020, Tim Buiting is doing more contemporary work like a series he shot in Morocco, Hong Kong, and New York City. ‘’I love to travel to a big city and stay here for a few days all alone with my camera. Three years ago I went to Hong Kong and last year I had the opportunity to go to New York City. Getting up very early and walk through those cities all day long in search of something that catches my eye. Mostly these are the little unnoticed daily life things that I love to capture’’. One of his favorite works is the photo he made next to the Eye Museum, now included in the ‘Streets of Amsterdam’ book.


Due to the current situation, it’s hard to travel to other cities and make new series in the same line as Hong Kong and New York, but fortunately, Tim has not been sitting still. Tim’s working on his skills in the studio and tries to shoot a lot of portraits. ‘’In the future, I hope I have the opportunity to combine my portrait and event work with traveling".


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