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15 Minutes With Local Underwater and Landscape Photographer Matt Shepard, Aquaseen Photography Gold Coast

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I came across some of Matt’s pictures online and as a surfer and scuba diver myself was instantly drawn to Aquaseen’s imagery. The pictures are unique and have a quality that really draws you in, almost as though you’re sharing in the moment yourself. I have seen a lot of surf, beach and ocean photography and couldn’t quite put my finger on it, what is so different about Matt’s shots that grabbed my attention?

I posed this question to Matt when we caught up.

“Thanks Chris. I haven’t really thought about that, and it’s not as though I set out to achieve that specifically. I was born here and I’ve always been really passionate about the surf, I grew up in it. My focus is really on the water, if there are people in the shot they're almost incidental, even if I’m really there to shoot them. Maybe that’s it, I’m capturing the moment not necessarily the person or the object”.

So the obvious question Matt, how did you get into photography?

“As I said before I’ve always been really passionate about the beach and the natural environment itself. I do love water and it’s rare for you to see a shot of mine without water even when I'm miles from the coast. I started diving about 5 years ago and was amazed at the crazy beauty down there and that is really the moment that I thought, I’ve got to show people this, it’s amazing. I went for a dive trip to Papua New Guinea, got a camera and it took off from there. So my photography really started under the water and then progressed on to marine landscapes and landscapes in general, almost always with an element of water”.

How did you develop your skills?

“I’m pretty much self-taught, I think most photographers start off that way. Information and forums online have provided me with a lot of information and interacting with other photographers online has also helped me a lot. It’s been a lot of trial and error really, just getting out there as often as possible and shooting a lot is the key”.

At some point it’s turned from a hobby to a business, tell us about that.

“Photography is still very much my passion, unfortunately photographic gear is expensive and to get the opportunity to go where you want and shoot what you want takes money. Ideally I will get to the point where I can support myself through my photography and be able to get more regular opportunities to travel on shoots.

I was getting to a point where my photography was being recognised and winning a few awards, and I felt I was ready to offer my works for sale. It’s still very much early days but I have been fortunate to have people interested in my work. I have also been commissioned for several shoots now, including a snowboarding shoot in Japan and a surf holiday resort shoot on a remote Micronesian island called Kosrae, which I am very thankful for”.


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Max C Joined: May 2011     Blog Posts: 58
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