Hi Matt! Thank you for sharing some time with us. Where do we find you and what’s keeping you busy at the moment?
Currently in Norfolk, Virginia working on graduate school studies and assignments for clients. Headed to NYC in a few minutes for meetings and Berlin after this for a graduate school session.
We’re really happy to have you as judge for our theme AN INSTANT. Have you been on award juries before? What are you looking for in a winning image?
I’m generally looking for something that will cut through the noise of what I am exposed to on a daily basis. I absorb far too many visuals on a daily basis and it takes something that resonates with me on an emotional level.
How did your love of photography begin? When did you realise you wanted to be a photographer?
My love of photography began at a very early age, when I was probably 9 or 10 years old. I made the leap into photography as more than a hobby when I began studying photojournalism at Ohio University in 2004.
You’re a pretty active Instagrammer, Tumblr poster and Twitter user. Do you think it’s important for a photographer to tap into all of these networks? Are they important for your career, or just as an outlet for your prolificacy?
Social media is sadly a very important part of spreading the word about your work these days. Again going back to the noise that we have to filter through on a daily basis… if you intend to make a living with photography everyone out there thinks they are a photographer. The people who hire photographers have many external constraints, but they won’t hire you if they don’t know you exist, or what it is that you do well.
You photograph your family frequently – and the images are always beautiful and intimate. Are your daughters experimenting with photography, and would you encourage them pursue it as a career?
Both of my daughters seem to have some artistic inclinations, though I can’t say I’d encourage them to pursue the same career. It’s not an easy path, and I don’t relish the idea of them struggling in the same ways I have. That said, I will support them in the pursuit of what they are most passionate about.
You were one of the founding members of LUCEO – a pioneering photography collective. Can you tell us a little bit about why you formed it, and why you eventually left?
LUCEO was formed as a support network for a group of independent young photographers who didn’t feel like we had a place in the industry, so we made a place for ourselves. The same struggle holds true today as I’m working independently again … there really isn’t a place for my work. I left in 2012 when my second daughter was born so I could spend more time with family and focus on personal projects around America.
You’ve shot for some pretty huge clients – Apple and Tiffany & Company for example. What are those experiences like? Do you like them? They must help support your personal work…
Not really… both experiences have been “low-end” commercial work with low pay, high expectations and zero resources from the clients. They sound cool, but in reality, it’s not really. That said, I’ll still take that kind of work because sadly it pays more than editorial.
Unfortunately we lost Matt at this point – NYC beckoned. Enjoy some of his incredible photography below.
All images © Matt Eich