Matthew has been a member of the D.C. chapter of the American Advertising Federation (formerly the Ad Club) since 2010. Joining an organization that is adjacent to, and often interacts with, your own industry is an easy way to understand how your own profession fits into the greater scheme of things. Matthew loves elegant communication strategy and execution in all forms whether it’s written, visual, aural, or all of the above.
Matthew continues as a member of the committee that promotes and puts on the yearly “Addys” awards banquet, held each spring. One of their goals is to raise awareness of the awards and encourage more agencies and groups, of all sizes, to enter their work. One of the strategies they came up with was to interview previous award winners and make engaging portraits. The results would be shared on the AAF-DC blog and social media. Through mentions and tagging, their strategy is to get each subject to help in spreading the word using their own social media channels. As past winners, they served as their evangelists.
The trick with this shoot was to come up with a studio set-up that Matthew could bring to different agency offices. It had to be small, easily replicable, and have few moving parts. The theme was “unexpected” so Matthew also needed a mechanism that allowed people to be fun and unique, but not so much that it required an intricate production. After some experimenting, he came up with the idea of a white (light gray) background and a white tabletop. He would intentionally have the subject on a low stool so they would be forced to interact with the white/off-white line formed at the intersection of the two. That was it. Everything else in the image would be up to the subject. Enjoy the series.
Matthew, a proud Maine native, learned how to photograph people by bartending. Both professions require reading people quickly, anticipating their needs, and adjusting your inane banter accordingly. To be fair, he also learned a thing or two as a commercial photography major at Syracuse University, where he spent hundreds of hours up to his elbows in smelly photo chemistry.
I guess It’s fair that he earned most of his professional training washing dishes.
Today he uses all of these skills and more as a commercial, advertising and editorial photographer based in Washington, DC. He specializes in making regular folks comfortable in front of the camera and is hired by repeat clients for his ability to deliver images on deadline and on budget.
When he's not writing about himself in the third person or making images, he's probably with wife, chasing their two sons around. He’s actively lobbying his family for a pet skunk, who he is going to name Kodak.
Clients include: 2U, Google, National Geographic Kids, Network Media Partners (now MCI), Price Waterhouse Cooper, Science Magazine, Thomson Reuters, and many other editorial clients and universities.