Mood Board

I'm Matt, and I shoot street photography in Austin, TX. I use film exclusively because I can't afford an Xpro or an M9, and because I'd probably still just shoot film if I could. The simplicity of the analog process engages me in a way that I haven't experienced with digital yet, but who knows. I've only recently started shooting portraiture, but these are some of my favorite portraits and the photographers who shot them.

Mick Jagger, by Annie Liebovitz

I love most of Annie Liebovitz' work, but this one in particular has always struck me. The heavy contrast and soft focus on Jagger's face perfectly represent the foggy perspective of mornings and nights in terrycloth robes, and the simple geometry of the elevator's lines and the lights in the background are just icing on the cake. Impromptu, rough, impactful...this one is brilliant. (The cover photo of this post is a shot of Merce Cunningham, also taken by Liebovitz.)

Unknown, presumably by Scott Schuman

The work of Scott Schuman, proprietor of The Sartorialist (a great street portrait/fashion blog if you didn't already know), has played a big part in helping me develop my "eye" for what makes a person interesting. If there's anything I've learned from his work, it's that you can take a great portrait of almost anyone.

Identical Twins, by Diane Arbus

One of my main goals for my street work is to develop and maintain a consistent aesthetic. Diane Arbus absolutely mastered her particular niche in black and white photography, and her ability to pull drama and tension out of the stark realism of the human condition is something I aspire to.

Bruce Gilden

Last but not least is Bruce Gilden, everyone's favorite asshole with a off-camera flash. To me, Bruce's work represents the pinnacle of raw candid photography. In interviews he has described the precise moment between when people realize they're being photographed and the moment they begin to respond to that idea, and how it's often his goal to capture that "blank" moment between candidness and reaction. Also, his mastery of off-camera handheld flash technique is unbelievable.

Not sure if this is the appropriate place or I should create a separate post, but I figured I'd include the few portraits and candid shots of people I've taken as well. These were all shot on film, and the subjects are all people I met within an hour or so of taking their picture. I've got thick skin and I want to hear what you have to say, so please don't hesitate to criticize.  I know what works in the shots because I know why I took them, but it's much more difficult to see what doesnt work when you're so close to the images, so tear into them as much as you want. Also, please excuse any poor scans...I develop and scan my film at home, and these are all unedited.

I don't often title my photos, but I can't help thinking of the word "ghost" when I look at this one. Even though the girl was obviously live and well, this shot reminds me of old 19th and early 20th centurury posthumous photography of children.


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