MATTHEW HUSSEY - TAKE A PICTURE, GRAB A SMILE

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Matt Hussey There once was a man named Matt, who took a picture of a flaming Wombat. But then, one day, to Matt's dismay, he developed it and it turned into a rat. Or in other words, please check out the following interview I did with my photographic mate, Matt Hussey, who's really good at taking pictures.





1) What are your own origins, Matthew?   I was born in north London and have moved quite a lot before deciding on calling east London my home. I've also been a journalist for 10 years, writing for newspapers, magazines, websites, and everything in between. But that's not all. Interspersed among my journalistic career I've trained and practiced being a chef, a carpenter, and more recently, a therapist.

While those career choices have all felt a bit random at times, they all play into the type of photography I do today.

Matt Hussey Photo2) What inspired you to become a photographer?   My grandfather was a photographer, which I only found out in my 20s. That initially kick-started my interest in it as a hobby. What really drove that idea forward, however, was understanding that I seem to respond more to visual cues than written or aural ones.

I felt I could feel or experience a lot more looking at a photo than necessarily reading something. From there I learned to love the act of documenting experiences, events, friends, and family, as it became rewarding, paired with positive feedback that came from the people I captured with a camera. To be the documenter of something carried its own rewards, and became something I could own. 

3) Are you working on any projects at the moment?   I'm working with a dementia charity on a project called 'I'm Still Here'. It's all about celebrating the lives of people with the condition, rather than focusing on or being defined by dementia. I'm also exploring projects with the fire brigade and an LGBT charity, but they are still in the very early stages right now. 

Matt Hussey PhotoAdditionally I have a longstanding project in which I capture portraits of people from all walks of life. My aim is to capture 365 and I'm currently on 151. You can see more of my work here, on my tumblr page, and if you'd like to be a part of it, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

4) What song would you say best represents your style of photography and why?   As I've taken more and more pictures, I've been drawn more to people than anything else, plus their experiences, of course. I think it probably started from an idea of what it means to 'see' someone and be 'seen'. I mean that not in a, 'oh, I recognize you, you're X' way. It's something more intangible. When you feel recognized or acknowledged by someone, it can be a comforting and life affirming experience. So, in summary... 




Annie Leibovitz
5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   Celebrity? Wow! That's a really tough one. I enjoy a lot of different styles of photography, and I'm inspired by everything from fashion, to celebrity, and documentary photography. I'd probably say if there was one person shouting my praises it'd be Annie Leibovitz. I've been consistently impressed by her ability to cast her subjects in different settings and lights in ways that seem so intimately 'them'. 

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour?   More than I thought possible, just by pressing a shutter on a camera every now and again. I've learned how to sit with people, hear about difficult stories or experiences, connect with strangers, and deal with my own awkwardness or uncertainty when working with individuals I don't know. I'd also say I learned how to think I'm good at doing something by going out into the world and practicing it... and sometimes getting paid to do it too. 

Matt Hussey Photo
On a professional level, I'd say I've learned a ton of things about composition, color, and all the technical aspects like leading lines, infinity points and the like.

7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   When I get told by people I've never met that I've really captured the essence of someone, as it's a deeply rewarding experience. 

8) If you had a personal motto, what would it be?   In order to be a good photographer you have to be able to listen first, see second, and then listen again.


And on that note, I'd like to thank Matthew for telling us about his life as a photographer, before directing you towards his website, facebook, twitter, and instagram pages. 

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