When Matt comes into RMG HQ, we get nothing done but we have so much fun. Matt always has an ear to the ground and knows what's changing in the industry and beyond, and this is always reflected in his work.
We asked him a few quick questions about life as a photographer:
What made you become a photographer?
I have always been creative. I was lucky enough to be given a camera by my step father when I was about 11 years old and from there I was hooked. I loved the excitement of creating an image and the anticipation of getting film back from the lab (yes, I’m old and when I first started shooting it was all on film). I still have that same excitement today on the lead up to a shoot.
In terms of shooting with models, I think my interest in that came from my mum. My mum is super stylish and has subscribed to Vogue since I was a kid. I still have shelves full of copies of Vogue that I have saved. I used to love flicking through the pages and seeing all of the incredible images featuring stunning models, shot in beautiful locations and it sounded like the perfect job haha!
Was it difficult getting established?
I came up through the ‘photography ranks’ so to speak. I assisted established photographers and learnt my trade and gained experience working on large commercial advertising shoots for the likes of Adidas, Speedo, Sony. It’s a different route to most getting into the photography industry these days, but it was invaluable to learn from the people who had seen and done it in the industry already.
I was working with models and MUAs on these jobs and building contacts. I started to collaborate with people to build up my own portfolio of work and was lucky to be recommended by the model agencies as someone to go to for models looking to build or expand their portfolios. From there my own work started to build and jobs started to come in and my career evolved from assistant to photographer in my own right.
What do you love about your job?
The people! I meet so many different people in this job. People fascinate me and everyone has an interesting story to tell if you listen.
What is the hardest part of your job (something that people maybe wouldn’t realise?)
That people wouldn’t normally realise? That’s a tough question. The hardest part…? I don’t know about the hardest part but finding the balance between commercial work and personal work. I am always trying to make time for personal work and exploring my own creativity but most of the time the jobs that pay the bills have to take priority. I'm getting better though and have even started my own blog to help me stay creative! Excuse the shameless plug but check to out here…. https://www.mattwilsonphoto.co.uk/blog
Where is your favourite place to shoot?
Barcelona. I have only shot there a couple of times but the quality of light is incredible. It’s somewhere I intend to shoot a lot more. I have been learning Spanish for a while now so I need an excuse to put that into practice.
Has anything every gone terribly wrong on a shoot?
Fingers crossed nothing so far during my shooting career! A photographer I worked for as an assistant used to say ‘Remember the 5Ps… Perfect planning prevents poor performances’. It’s cheesy I know but when you work on commercial shoots it's important that as much as possible is planned for to try and prevent anything going ‘terribly wrong’.
Hope I haven’t just jinxed myself!
Who is your favourite model?
Ha ha what a question! I can’t answer that! I will be offending lots of people if I did! Every model is different and there is something great about each and everyone of them! I think that's called ‘sitting on the fence’ right? Oh and of course it always helps if they're with RMG!
What makes a memorable image?
I think that is totally subjective! An image that is memorable for me might be completely forgettable for someone else. A memorable image for me is one that makes me feel something. That’s a bit vague I know but you know it when you see it!
What 3 things do you always have with you?
Errr ‘colouful language’ haha? -this one we can agree with!
I’m not sure what else? I wish I could say some really exciting or witty here but sadly I think it's mundane things like house keys, iPhone and wallet. What 3 things do you always have with you haha??
Give us one piece of advice for people wanting to get into the industry
For anyone looking to get into the photography industry, I would say shoot as much as you can and make sure that you stay passionate about creating.
For models looking to get into the industry I would say think about your portfolio carefully. Shoot with photographers that are going to create you a strong portfolio. The strongest portfolios are the ones that show a models range of looks. The best models are often the ones who can play a role and express a whole range of emotions. You never know what you might be asked to do on a shoot!