For the past quarter century, Tim Zielenbach has been photographing fleeting moments, preserving them for others to experience.
Tim first picked up a camera in high school, after a back injury derailed his plans for breaking Jack Nicklaus’ major record. He started working at his local newspaper at 17, and studied journalism and psychology at Indiana University.
His path to international photojournalism began in 1992 with a position with the Sunday Times, South Africa’s largest newspaper. During that same year, he was a contract photographer for the New York Times’ Johannesburg bureau. After concluding his studies, Tim joined the staff of the Chicago Tribune.
Tim moved back to Johannesburg in 1998 and covered breaking news and feature stories across the continent. Major bodies of work include political unrest in South Africa, Congo and Zimbabwe, famine and civil war in Sudan, Niger River development in Mali, and the effects of violent crime in Johannesburg.
Tim returned to the United States in September 2001, and worked for Texas newspapers from 2002-2004. Tim tunneled out of the journalism world in 2004, moved to Savannah, and changed his focus to document celebrations, family histories and corporate events.
Tim’s photographs from Somalia’s famine and the Rwandan Exodus into Zaire were nominated for Pulitzer Prizes in Feature Photography. The World Press Photo Foundation honored his work from King Hussein’s funeral in Jordan, and in 1994 named him as one of the ten most promising photojournalists younger than 30.
His favorite photograph preserved the moment that his oldest son Josh held his infant brother Sam for the first time.