The Smokin' Hot Espresso calendar is going to make it's return after missing this year. We are halfway through production, as we are spending a lot of time on each month's shoot. It's gonna blow the first calendar project we did out of the water. I get more and more excited about the calendar with every shoot we complete and I see the photos roll off the camera. These photos, of course, are about the girls, however, we've really done our homework this time around, and all of the themes and locations we are shooting in are so much fun. It's not just about the girls, it's the content matter they are involved in that makes it different. That's what makes it fun for me, really integrating the subjects into the environment I'm capturing them, both being just as visually engaging. I've posted a few screenshots from some of the BTS video captured, I can't post too much, as we want the calendar to be a pretty cool surprise. Be on the lookout for more info on this soon, the calendar is dropping late November.
Spotted this the other day, I landed the cover of Cascadia Weekly again. I want to say it was a little over a year the last time my work was on the cover. Cascadia Weekly magazine that runs up in the Bellingham area. The Upfront Theatre is one of my commercial clients. They are keeping the people laughing, I keep capturing, and there you have it. The Upfront is fairly young, only been around for a handful of years, but they are without a doubt growing and growing in popularity. Like a snowball on a very gradual hill, you can see the growth in attendance from month-to-month. It's so deserving too, they have some fantastic comedic talent there, and I'm just not saying that 'cause I take their photos. I've come walking out of their shows with my face hurting from a straight hour of laughing, and on more than one occasion. I don't see that play slowing down any time soon. They have a great thing going, and that is clear, as you can see with them on the cover of Cascadia, again.
I've made sure to photograph the cast on white seamless during the last couple shoots, as it's bulletproof, versatile marketing imagery. Ironically, it's about the easiest setup to do once you get the process of balancing the lighting under your belt. I've seen this particular style of my work with them on just about everything - flyers, drink menus, and... magazines. It just works.
Commercial work, mini sessions, weddings, and more all in the same week. The last month has been a crazy mix of work, if it weren't for iCal keeping my schedule and head together, I wouldn't know what mode to wake up in. It's an interesting thing, switching it up from shooting food products in the studio to children in the park the next day. Clientele interaction, lighting, and photographic approaches... the whole game changes with the wildly different jobs. One thing is for sure, all the variety keeps me on my toes, and... consequently keeping me away from the blog as of late.
Speaking of variety, the mini sessions have been bringing just that. From a single person to the full family shoots, I've been shooting it all and at a few different locations. The kids always bring unexpected surprises. They are definitely a challenge, but a welcome one, because they provide hilarious expressions when they come out of their shell. Couple goofy ones I've taken over the last week in the post, along with a young man I captured down at Ruston Way. Plenty of bloggin' to come on that later down the road.
So a few months ago, I was struck by an idea that quite honestly upset me because I hadn't thought of it sooner. That idea? Shirts. Shirts with my logos on it. A vain idea? Maybe a little, but I work some pretty large events sometimes. It's not like I sport my own shirt, strut up to a random person and go, "Yep, (sigh) I don't know if you know this... but I'm kind of a big deal" (looking off into distance and thumb pointing to my own logo on chest). Sometimes I'm up working my lighting magic in front of crowds prior to said events starting, where I literally have 750 - 1,000 sets of eyes on me as they anxiously await the start of the event. Why would I be up in the lime light, doing lighting photography? My clients will be working/promoting themselves at events, they hire me to cover them working the events, and sometimes we get to have a bit of fun on the venue's "stage." This means me, lightings, lots of gear, and staged photo shoots upfront. I'm sure most of the people who are there are wondering what the hell is going on, maybe curious what and why I'm taking photos, and I bet some are wondering what these photos are turning out like. How would they ever get that chance when they don't have a clue of who I am or where to look? It's not like I grab I mic, turn the to crowd, "I'm Matty, that was my show, checkout my site, goodnight!" Shirts are a far classier approach, don't cha think? Those whose interests are perked, can look closer and read my logo.
As fast as the trip arrived, it has gone just a quickly. The trip to Arizona for some work, some vaca time, and if other photo opportunities presented themselves I'd take them. But... when it's 110 degrees out, you aren't exactly hunting for them. Sitting inside of the hotel room, it's easy to say, "yes, let's go do a shoot!" The second you open the door of your A/C'd room, the heat smacks your body with the mind-changing power that takes photographic ambitions and melts them away, leaving the sole desire to jump in the pool. The heat consumes your mind just like when you have to go the bathroom really bad, with concentration lost, all you can think about is your body trying to escape it. That's pretty much how my time in Phoenix has gone.
I'm guessing a lot of you heard or read about the haboob that blew through Phoenix. A haboob is a giant dust storm, and this one was a mile high and about 100 miles wide, so yeah... it was pretty crazy. People have lived here their whole lives and said they've never seen anything like it. I guess I'm just that lucky of a guy. We were out eating when it came in, and we and to try and drive home in it. The dust was so thick that I missed a couple turns back to the hotel.
A few days into my stay here in Arizona. Couldn't pass up the opportunity to photograph the Grand Canyon. Talk about a giant hole in the ground. Really makes you appreciate time and how little humans have spent on this planet, looking at the gapping hole in the earth, a product of 17 million years of erosion by the Colorado River. Talk about perspective...
Photo above of yours truly, snapping some photos from one of the viewpoints along the route. Little warm on the journey out, indicating 103 degrees during a pitstop.
Completed a family portrait shoot the other day in Sedona. The background looks fake, in fact, I bet some people might just automatically assume the photos are photoshopped. It was scenic to say the least. Those photos are coming soon to the blog.
I hoping to squeeze in some other portraits while I'm here if the opportunity arises. Stay tuned for more from Arizona.
Project Showcase made it's appearance last Friday at the Toledo High School as Andy and I spent the day capturing photo and video content and talking to the entire student body at an assembly. We were on a wickedly crammed schedule. Our goal was to come down and create some powerful, dramatic photographs to display in the community, photos of various students in specific compositions, and get everyone pumped up (which it totally will). Somehow, we decided that 11 of these deliberate, high-caliber shoots could be done in one day. That's right, 11 shoots, 11 different locations, situations, students, all with their own specific idea to showcase, and all executed in an 8 hour timeline. No, we didn't scout the day before, we didn't map it all out, but we did have a history of knowing the school from our days as students there, so we felt it wasn't too necessary. All we had was a piece of paper with the basic subject matter for each concept. It was a run-and-gun situation, which gave the day a little more excitement/stress sprinkled on top with such a hefty goal. Oh, if you are totally lost on what the heck I'm talking about, visit ProjectShowcase.org.
So, before the first school bell rang, we were already headed to our first shoot location. Luckily, the school staff pre-selected students for our basic concepts, and the entire school was aware and extremely accommodating of our little circus act going on that day. The staff also appointed us with 5 student helpers for the day. Thank God too, cause I had a stupid amount of gear to lug around... 11 times. Setup, teardown, and packing gets a little crazy with so much stuff, so the extra hands were super appreciated. A little training on the side and the helpers were breaking down my lighting gear and packing by the third shoot all by themselves, it was a well-oiled machine. They really did a great job and saved us a ton of time, making our crazy goal reachable.
No, not "old school" as in an old photograph, or even a comedy movie reference, but literally... old school. Like... driving back to the small town I attended high school at, a place I've maybe visited twice since graduating about 11 years ago now. A defining moment I think is brewing in this old town. It's something you can kinda smell in the air, lots of exciting things just around the corner for this place.
In short, the town of Toledo, WA is hurtin'. The community as a whole (including schools, residents, and the local businesses) is slowly eroding away, something Toledo has witnessed within the towns that share it's very boarders. People new and old, past and present residents don't want to see it fade away in the wind, and they are trying to do something about it. They've created "vision: Toledo," a group of community members who are pulling together to see what they can do inject life back into Toledo. Being a past resident and student myself, I found it important to do what I could to join the movement. I think attending a small school, actually getting to call everyone in the school by their first names, literally knowing each and every person in the school, and feeling that true sense of community is a privilege. I've moved a lot in my life and I got a steady taste of larger schools. In the bigger places it seems like you are just another kid in the giant herd, another tally to an already large number of students, and never really getting that sense of community, cause... well that community is just so big you never really get the full scope of things. I made the conscious decision to attend the Toledo school, see what all the small town fuss was about. Turns out it really was a different kind of experience, something that felt more meaningful, more substantial. Everything from having a better relationship with all the teachers, to sports, to not having to use last names with every peer reference... it was nice. I think I turned out different, better than I would have than if I had attended a larger school, maybe even leaving school feeling like I had a better grasp on my own identity.
Keeping the ball rolling, the camera clicking, and the flashes poppin' this week up in Bellingham with quite the variety of shoots. Completed a photo/video shoot with a tango couple, and you'll see that content soon. Until then, here are some BTS photos from the shoot!
The colorful/ugly drapes in the background windows are not really drapes, just fabric we've clamped in front of the windows to block the daylight so that we could blackout the room, improvising in a not-so-ideal location. What's up with the funky couch? Well... I just found in hanging out in the hallway, I liked it, I worked it in the shoot.
It's finally here. I've been wanting to create an online store for years now, and just finally got around to doing it. What is the online store? Well, it's place where you can purchase my work in any size and quantity you'd like. The prints are produced by BayPhoto, a professional print shop used by the photography professionals. They produce great prints, have great prices, and deliver right to your door.
I've made various photos of mine available at the store, however, I will now be using this store as the vessel for my clients to order prints of their photo shoots.
You can visit the store anytime by clicking the button at the top of the page. Visit often as I will be consistently adding new content!
It's been kind of a crazy week and a half, with all kinds of subject matter in front of my lens. Seven shoots in the last nine days, ranging from fashion to product to aerial photography. It's been a couple days since my last post and just wanted to check-in with you guys. Lots coming your way via the blog here in the days to come. I don't want to try and guess the sheer number of photos that have been imported onto my laptop during this last nine days, I just try to keep pushing on and pumping out photo album for my amazing clients. I think I should have something presentable by this evening or tomorrow, so stay tuned!
Zoom, it passed right by, another workshop completed, another set of legit photographers roaming the landscape. This is a photo I snuck in of Shawna, one of the students from this last weekend. She's been shooting for years, but had been letting the camera call all the shots. She was tired of that, decided to take the workshop so she can nail the photos she wants in life.
Still hearing inspiring stories from the first group of beginner workshop students, which is so great to know the benefits of the workshop are still coming for them. For more details on the past workshops, visit the workshop website by clicking on "workshops" at the top of the page.
If you can remember back last December, I traveled to Maui to shoot a destination wedding. It was an amazing time, the wedding was beyond beautiful, and the Travel channel was there to document this particular wedding. They were doing a piece on destination weddings, and happened to pick Daymeon and Leeann's event. The video was just released, and I've reposted it here on my site. You'll get a glimpse of me working with the couple on the beach for their formal wedding shots. Enjoy!
As a thank you to all my future clients (who ever you may be) who schedule your photo shoot with me any time in the month of April will get 5 free prints of the size of your choosing, all the way up to 18x12. Your shoot does not need to be in April, you just need to schedule it during April to get this complimentary offer. And if you live within a 15 minute drive of either my Tacoma or Bellingham photo studios, I will hand deliver the photos, along with your photo disc myself so that I can shake your hand one more time and tell you thank you for choosing Matty Photography. For those who live outside of those ranges, your disc and photos will be carefully packaged and mailed.
My client's satisfaction with their photography experience is so important to me. I want to make sure you get to see your beautiful photos in large print form so that you can see the amazing quality and care that I invested into creating your photos. My photo shoots are fun, the clients always have a good time. It's not a time where you are stuffed into a room with a stranger who doesn't want to make a connection with you. My shoots are spontaneous, anything goes and unique pictures are made. I want to know what you want, so we make pictures that are a culmination of both of our ideas. All of these factors shine through to the final print, which you will now get, free of charge! I can't wait to get to know you guys and take your photograph!
Just as the first beginner workshop was wrapping up, I already had people asking when the next one will be. The short answer to that is in about two months. I'll be presenting the first advanced workshop in roughly a month from now, so keep...
The second and final day of the very first beginner workshop has come and gone. The weekend went by SO fast, just whizzed right on by! Lots of information, lots of shooting, and a lot of laughs and smiles through it all. Today was a lot more applying all of the photography knowledge and techniques the students learned from the day before. Example above, Bailey, the brave soul answering my volunteer call for a subject to use for lighting examples. With getting exposure knowledge and techniques all squared away yesterday, the students got a taste of light and how important it is to our composition, and were able to apply everything learned yesterday to refine their photography with light techniques today.
If you are interested in learning about photography from the beginning, or would like to up your game with an advanced class, please take a minute to look over the Matty Photography Workshops site!
What a great day of photography. The workshop went from 9am to 5pm, only breaking for lunch, so we got a lot of information covered. Everyone in the class is doing great. We have a wide variety of photography experience in the class - from people who have never really touched a DSLR to people who have used DLRs for a while now, but either shoot in automatic modes or do not fully understand how to manipulate the camera to create a wide variety of photography. It was so much fun today to see the students learning the fundamentals and then watching them successfully execute those skills just minutes later during the shooting sessions. I'd have to say the most fun parts of the day were the shooting adventures outside of class. After each major topic section we break for a shoot to adapt the newly learned material. The students quickly fell into a groove and were roaming around the Bellingham streets taking photos, working on the new objectives. A few funny moments as the group of photographers all stood in a line and took photos of passing cars, working on shutter speed techniques. The reactions of the drivers were hilarious, them not quite knowing how to react to their own personal paparazzi snapping photos of them. I love the sound too, 8 DSLRs just capturing away all at once.
Below, the group getting some last quick pointers before going out to do their thing.