10 minutes with Mathew Scott

Interviews with Photographers September 23, 2013 7:24 am

When did you first know that you wanted to be a photographer?

I have always been into photography, one of my first jobs was in a photo lab, and I practically lived in the darkroom. I never really considered it as a career when I was younger, but I didn’t really think of anything as a career back then. I would say once I was living in San Francisco, a full time photo student, and was exposed to the possibilities of both fine art and commercial photography, that was when I made that decision… It wasn’t a tough decision to make, as thats the point in my life when I realized if I worked hard enough, I could actually do something I love for a living.

 

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

 

What was your first paid shoot?

One of my first paid shoots was with a music magazine called XLR8R. I was assigned to photograph a feature story on bay area rapper, Turf Talk. This was also the first time I had ever worked with a musician.. I got to the meeting point, and everything was all good, but then he didn’t show up. I was pretty determined, I called his PR person, left messages, and ended up sitting at this middle of nowhere Starbucks for over three hours. I was determined to make this shoot happen. He finally showed up and said he had 15 minutes to shoot. By this time it was in the late afternoon, and fortunately I already had plenty of time to figure out exactly where I wanted to shoot. The natural light at this time was really good, so to speed things up, and get the most out of my 15 minutes, I put my lights away, and shot non stop using the natural light. He was actually really nice to work with, and I got some great images. Thats when I learned to roll with the many variables that can come up on a shoot, and when I realized that some people, especially when photographing real people, which is a majority of editorial photography, might not understand what really goes into a photo shoot. This is also why I love these types of assignments. You may have an idea of what you are going for, but you never really know what to expect until everything is unfolding in front of you.

 

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

 

What would your dream assignment be?

That’s hard to say. I look at photography as a dream job, so I am genuinely excited for the assignments that come in. But if I had to choose a particular kind, I would say anything that lets me travel. Any assignment that lets me be somewhere for an extended period of time, documenting something/someone, an assignment where I get to create a body of work, not just one portrait, those are always my favorite to work on. There is something about being somewhere you have never been before, you get that urge to shoot everything and anything, never wanting to put your camera down. I really enjoy those moments.

 

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

 

Have you ever thought about what else you might be doing if for some reason photography hadn’t worked out?

I guess I did early on, when I was still in school. I went through a period when I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I started out as a graphic design major, that lasted for about a year, then I just did nothing for a while.I worked at coffee shops, bartended, and had an assortment of other odd jobs. I did know that I wasn’t cut out for the typical corporate life, it just took me a minute to figure everything out. Once I went back to school, and jumped full time into photography, I remember throwing out any other option. I had the mentality that it was all or nothing. There was definitely some moments early on where I didn’t know if it was going to work out, but I can be a pretty stubborn person, so I didn’t let those times distract me from my goal, which is something I am still working towards today.

 

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

Mathew Scott

 

I love it when being stubborn can pay off. If you could go back ten years, what advice would you give yourself?

I would probably tell myself what an “App” was, and to start developing one!

But really, I probably wouldn’t have much to say.. Maybe have a little more patience.. I have definitaly made my mistakes along the way, and I am probably still making new ones now, but I think I have done a pretty good job at learning from my experiences, and I am happy with where things are going.

Any words of wisdom for the up and comers?

Stay focused (that is easier said than done), and consistently create, and show new work. Basically, stay productive! It can take a while for people to take notice to what you are doing, and that can be pretty frustrating when you are first starting out, but if you stay persistent, eventually things will come together.

 

Mathew is based in Los Angeles. See more of his work, here.

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