Thymann started taking pictures as a teen as an art tool for painting. Self-taught and two years out of college, he opened a studio in 1995, and started winning awards for his photos and music videos, including a 2002 Clio silver award for work on Nikewomen.com, Cannes short-listed work for Carlsberg and best photo award at the Denmark Advertising Awards in 2003. Repped for photography by ESP, he also continues to direct out of Pink Films.
While Thymann's work is wide-ranging in tone and scope, the lighting serves as his trademark, defining a style that is simultaneously bold and mysterious. Occasionally, elements of clothing or scenery pop with brightness, such as Danish advertising work in which a coyote appears in a neon shade of pink. These elements could be easily altered -or even created-in post, but admittedly "not a fan of After Effects," Thymann says that nearly all of his work is achieved in-camera. In the case of the coyote, the brightness came from spray paint, while he has also been known to use reflective tape and shoot directly at the sun. "Whether it's movement, explosions, multi-exposure, motion blur, flash or daylight, I photograph things that you wouldn't experience with your eyes, that you can only achieve through a camera," he says.
"His lighting is beautiful," says BBH/NY art buyer Josette Lata, who has bid on projects with him and knows his work well. "His ideas are new and slightly eclectic without being too overproduced. He comes to everything with a happy and almost innocent approach. His world is unique and technical." According to Thymann, almost none of his influences are photographers. "They're literal references, or artists or directors sometimes," he explains. "I like Stanley Kubrick, but we all do. My influences are a big mash of graffiti and skateboarding mixed with physics and science and technology."