Interview: Photographer Matt Schmidt (USA)
Can you tell us a little about you?
I live in the United States currently and work full time making art, engineerig and pretty images along the way. I have a pretty busy life and love the freedom to just pick up on things I’ve seen and experinced in my life and make my version of art with it.
How and when did you get into photography?
Started shooting for real 2010-ish . . . picked up an old Nikon D1h and a 50mm and kind of messed with it and it grew on me.
What does photography mean to you?
In short . . . I have the ability to come up with an idea, any idea, develop it work it out and then visualize it in short order on a screen, print or canvas.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
Man that’s a hard one, I see so many great photographers and artists out here with flavors, styles and ideas I’m really influenced by all of them or rather what I see. I do like a minimalist approach and have a fondness of crafting, paints, glitters, materials, fabrics into my imagery . . . anything odd to try and accent the body canvas I work with.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Many places, galleries, from travel, networking with other artists and from my engineering background . . . you have to take what you see and bend it, artistically and make it something new and your own.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?
Sometimes yes and sometimes I just like to go with it, no ideas. I have a few close models where we just say, “Hey we’ve got a couple bottles of wine and all day, we don’t care what we do let’s just get creative and see what happens.” Those are the best sessions that when there are no rules and happy mistakes turn into interesting things.
Studio, on location or both?
I shoot both and they each present their own challenges and results.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
Both . . . It’s nice to be paid for “X,Y,Z Product” but it’s better to have free reign with your ideas and go nuts with them. I’m desparatly trying to find that client who’ll bankroll my ideas . . .
What has been your most memorable session and why?
I’m fond of workshops where you get to engage people face to face, you only maybe see online or someplace inaccessible. Workshops are old school networking at it’s best.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
I kinda appretiate a lot of things, most things maybe even all things . . . you have to embrace and find true beauty in the flowers around you and also the local rubbish pile. I’m inspired when someone say, first contact and without flinching, ‘Yes, lets shoot . . . I’ve seen your work I don’t care what we do lets just do something amazing.’
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
Nikon and I shoot most of my work with the 50mm or 85mm . . . I am experimenting with a few wide angles for the wonderful distored closeup feel . . . By the way, whats a Canon???
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
It’s a business treat it accordingly. Learn your craft as well as you can. Always compare yourself to your piers in the industry as a measure to do better yourself. Never believe your own hype . . . stay humble and connected to art around you.
What do you think of our new magazine?
Its very polished a wonderful look, It caught my eye instantly . . .