Since I enjoy photography on a casual basis, I was interested to get an opportunity recently to interview photographer Matthew David Parker.
Let’s learn more about Matthew and his work:
Girls in White Dresses: There are so many photographers out there, what sets you apart?
I like to think that each photographer has something that sets them apart in their own way. There is something unique about the way that every artist takes their photographs. For me, what sets me apart is my “on the fly” style of shooting. I don’t like things to be too pre-planned or too “staged”. I like to go to my location and try different styles and angles, letting the scene dictate the shots and provide the inspiration.
Girls in White Dresses: My teenagers are wanting to invest in DSL cameras. Is there a “starter model” you’d recommend to people wanting to take better photos than with a standard digital camera or phone?
Sure. My first camera was a Canon, which is the brand I still use today. There are other quality brands you can look at, Nikon for example, but the one that I recommend would be the Canon EOS Rebel T6. Most professional cameras will cost thousands, this one is only in the 500 range. The great thing about this camera is that you can buy separate lens as you need them. Not to mention you can get amazing photos with the lens it already comes with.
Girls in White Dresses: Is photography your sole way of earning a living? If so, did it take a long time to reach that level?
Yes, photography is my career. It has been a long road to get here, but honestly, it has all been worth it. When I graduated college I could only find a few photography jobs here and there, but the more I pursued, the more jobs I got. It took me a good 7 years to get to the point where I was stable, but I learned a lot.
Girls in White Dresses: What is a photography goal you have set for yourself in the next year?
It’s hard to say. I have so many places I want to capture on film. I have been lucky enough to have already traveled to France and Africa, but there are a lot of places that I have not been. Beautiful places like Ireland, Brazil, New Zealand. New Zealand especially. I hear that there isn’t a more beautiful place on this earth. So I guess I would say my goal for this year would be to take photos of a place I have never been to before. Maybe I will make a list of places so I can check them off as I go, a bucket list for photography you could say.
Girls in White Dresses: What’s one thing that the typical person could do to improve the photos they take?
The most important thing is to focus on light, composition, and story. When you take a photo, the lighting should be complementing the focus of the photo. Then, composition. You can balance it by center your focus, or go unbalanced with the subject to the side, both have different impacts. Then, your photos should always tell a story. Whether it is the calm mood of the ocean at night or a happy moment during a family vacation, the story is the most important part of the picture.
Girls in White Dresses: Where do you get ideas to keep your photo compositions fresh?
I let the subject inspire me. I am always trying new and different angles, and sometimes I discover something great. I think every photographer should feel free to experiment and have fun.
Thanks, Matthew! Readers, you can learn more about Matthew and see his work at his website.