Matt thinks landscape photography is an isolated activity requiring great patience and a lot of work; travel portraits, on the other hand, are the best images, as they require the photographer to know the subjects on a personal level and share a moment together. It is highly rewarding for him to interact with the locals from the different places he has encountered.
The most rewarding experience, however, can also lie outside photography itself. During the past year, Matt visited the Solukhumbu Everest region of Nepal, where an earthquake occurred only a year before. Other than documenting the happenings around him, Matt volunteered to help local carpenters set up the framing for new tea houses in villages such as Shivalaya, one of the places that was hit hardest by the earthquake. He also donated to local hospitals and taught at schools in Kathmandu. “After 3 months in Nepal, I left feeling both fortunate and touched beyond words.”
With the good, sometimes comes the daunting. Having experienced being woken up at gunpoint rather hastily on a minivan crossing the Gaza Strip, scrambling back from a cliff edge, chased by giant waves, or caught in a frightful encounter with a giant grizzly bear in Yoho National Park, Canada, they are among the most memorable moments in his mind.
It is photography that allows Matt to share with others about what he has seen in his enriching experiences, which not only empowers him, but also in turn comforts him. Photography allows him to better appreciate the world around because it always requires him to slow down his pace.