Thursday, January 8, 2009

Interview and Feature in DPI Magazine

I was featured in a great Taiwanese magazine called DPI.  It was a lovely spread so I'm going to share it with you guys.  There's even a shot o' my mug!
I've added the interview below, so please enjoy!  

1. When I see these pictures, somehow I associated the scene with circus, but what or who would influence and inspire you in creation most?

This project originated with the idea that I wanted to illustrate strange people on a long and epic journey to find a place to belong. Originally I photographed real people, as they were. The people I chose were unusual and some of them did come from the circus but it wasn’t until I began creating fictitious characters that the project became more about my imagination and less about my observation.
The idea of the circus always symbolized a runaway fantasy – a troupe of gypsies that live a strange and wild life. I understand how people can feel like they don’t fit in and I wanted to show people on a journey as they search for a place to call home.

2. What is the first consideration when you do the composition?

I always start with the biggest, grandest idea and then, if needed, dumb it down to a level at which I can actually produce. Being able to shoot things separately has really opened up a lot of creative opportunity and has altered how I imagine images. It is also very challenging to make sure that the things that are not really together end up looking like they belong. I don’t want any of my images to look fake – the real fantasy is only achieved when you think what you are seeing is real.

3. In most of your works, the people are facing wild nature view alone, any particular meaning of it?

There are many reasons for this but mostly the idea of the wilderness is there to illustrate the journey. I love adventure and often adventure takes place outside the safety of civilization and the adventurers must face the unknown wilds of the wilderness. There are a lot of images of people alone because often times the most important journeys must be taken alone.

4. What is your design process? (I call it “design” because what you do is not only taking photos, but creating scene of stories.) Do you ever reflect real story happened around you to photos? If so, can you share the most impressed one to us?

I usually make a rough sketch of the layout and then identify what elements are needed. I need to figure out what can be shot at the scene and what needs to be shot later. Sometimes the photographs are one shoot, with little Photoshop, and sometimes the photographs are completely fabricated using dozens of different shots.
Most of the ideas of these images come from wanting to illustrate some sort of symbolism. All of the images illustrate concepts and ideas, for example The Pack Rat illustrates the struggle of the journey while carrying a heavy load. The load can be memories, regrets, or even material possessions – it can all way you down.

5. Besides photography, what are your interests else? Are they involved and plus to your work?

Besides photography I am also a musician in a band that is lucky enough to travel the country. This helps me because I get to see a lot of different places on tour and I always bring my camera. I am currently working on an image that is a stormy seascape where I’ll be using the clouds and sky from a thunder storm that I shot while in New Mexico.

6. So far which is your favorite personal work? Why?

I don’t have a favorite because I always know that I will improve and usually I can find faults in my work. I am always trying to make sure that I keep pushing myself for better work so I don’t want to ever be too satisfied with myself.
If I did have favorites the two that stand out to me are The Librarian, because the person in the shot is a great friend of mine and it illustrates him perfectly, and The Birder because it is a very old shot and I am not sick of it yet.

7. What is your dream?

I’m not sure. I have a lot of dreams I think. I want to keep elevating my photography until it reaches a point where I am competing with the best photographers in the world. I want to work enough so I can retire at a young age and help support my parents and family. I want to direct commercials and movies. Go on a safari. Create a charity. Make a children’s book. Own a castle on an island. Have a farm with a lot of dogs. Be in school forever and earn a degree in everything. Make some sort of lasting difference that has a positive effect on people. Lots of stuff! I’d like to be a respected, well liked and decent human being that people are happy to know.

1 comment:

Margo said...

Matt this is so awesome - you are rockin it, just like we predicted in LL!