While Davies has been involved with photography since his early childhood, he didn't enter the professional field until recently. As a child, he remembers attending a summer camp where he was given a camera with a roll of black-and-white film and sent around the camp to take photos. "I was hooked from the very first roll," he notes. Since then, he has practiced his craft by shooting landscape photography as a hobby.
After nearly 25 years in the graphic arts industry as a graphic designer and print production manager, he opened a photography studio two years ago, specializing in what he calls "fine wall art family portrait photography." Davies has already found success in his newly chosen profession, thanks to both his marketing and unique images.
"I've been building connections in the community for the first time because I have had limited personal exposure here. While it's a difficult process, it's actually a rewarding one," says Davies about marketing himself in an area he recently moved to. "I have taken ideas that have worked for other photographers and added them to my own marketing process. That's helped me tremendously because I can begin with a proven idea...and figure out how to fine-tune it to my particular market."
It certainly doesn't hurt that his clients love his images, either!
Portraiture, to Davies, was the perfect transition from graphic artist to photographer. "My biggest joy in graphic arts was working with clients to get them what they needed. Portraiture was the photographic equivalent of everything I liked in my past career...and none of what I didn't," he explains. And he knew he was on the right track when he projected images for his first client.
"The client gasped and started to get misty-eyed and sniffy. I couldn't ask for a better validation of the work I was performing!"
If you want to create images that will make your own clients misty-eyed, don't miss Davies' "Exposure & Composition: Beyond the Buttons" Super Monday class in Boulder on October 24. Perfect for photographers who have recently turned pro, this class will help you understand when to use certain camera functions as well as how to apply the six components of visual design to photography. The end result? Better images!
"The camera manual can only tell you how to activate a certain function. It doesn't tell you why you should use it or when. Nor does it teach the concept of what makes a good image from a design perspective," Davies adds. And that's why you need to join him on Super Monday!
Get ready to pick up where the camera manual leaves off, and learn how to make each image exposure the best it can be. Learn more about Davies' class and browse more Super Monday classes in more locations at www.ppa.com/education-events/sm_new.php.
Super Monday is an educational program sponsored by PPA every spring and fall. These daylong, interactive workshops are conducted in locations around the country, allowing PPA members to earn merits for sharing their craft and enabling all photographers to learn new skills and develop professional networking contacts.
Read more about Matthew Davies here.
ALL IMAGES Â© MATTHEW DAVIES