#staytruflask

Michael Matti Wants to Take You on a Trip

Tru Flask-Michael-Matti

These days, with the ascent of visually driven platforms like Instagram, as well as the improvement of smartphone technology, almost anyone can take a “nice” photograph.  Let’s be honest, since Instagram took off, we all know at least one “professional photographer.” With a plethora of affordable DSLR cameras available and a seemingly endless number of online editing tools to choose from, it’s safe to say we’re experiencing a sort of visual renaissance or overload, depending on how you choose to look at it. As overwhelming and envy-inducing as this so-called “renaissance” may be at times, it does have its positives. Namely, the creation of a platform that introduces us to some of the world’s most talented up and coming content creators. Photographers like Michael Matti, who are mastering the conundrum of creating meaningful visual art in consumer-driven spaces. Born in Ujung Pandang, Indonesia, and now residing in Seattle, Washington, Matti is an adventurer at heart. His photography aims to take viewers along for the ride, and much like travel, it is best described through experience…

You’re mindlessly scrolling through Instagram; suddenly you’re stopped dead in your tracks by an image. Not just any picture, but a distinct visual that stands out against the many you’ve already aimlessly scrolled past. You’re jolted out of a trance and instantaneously transported to another place. You stop, stare, and think, “Wow, it would be nice to go there.” Maybe you click to find out more, more about this magical place, more about the person who took a picture of the magical place and of course you probably “like” the image. Who knows, maybe you’re motivated to get out and do the thing you’ve always wanted to, perhaps you get off Instagram for a bit… and you know, live. This is what it’s like to view Michael Matti’s photography, and since we can’t physically join him, let’s get to know the guy behind the lens.

Q: You have one of the best IG photography feeds that we’ve seen, we love your work. Can you describe your style and approach as a photographer and how you convey that via social media?

My approach is to try to photograph a scene so that people are transported to that place and moment in time. I want people to imagine themselves there, experiencing it all. With that, my style is very vibrant and dynamic. The images I share are often colorful and of grand views or interesting places.

Q: With that in mind, when someone who doesn’t know you comes across your social media/images, what if anything, do you want to convey to them? What would you like them to know?

I want people who come across my feed to realize how big the world they live in is. I want people to gain a new perspective on life… that the day to day problems of life maybe aren’t as big as we let them be sometimes. I also want people to feel small, but in a good way, in a way that makes people appreciate this planet and this life we get to live.

Q: How did you get started with photography? Is it something you’ve always done?

Like a lot of people, I had a basic point and shoot throughout high school and into college, but it was really just for taking pictures to share with friends on Facebook. Then halfway through college, I dropped that little camera on a beach and it stopped working. I started looking online for a replacement camera and stumbled upon DSLR cameras in the process. I was intrigued by them and decided to upgrade to the cheapest DSLR at the time, a Canon Rebel XS. I instantly fell in love with it and with the world of photographic possibilities it opened up. I decided to change my major to photography and ended up graduating with a degree in photography. I started my photography career right after college. Sometimes, the negative things in life actually do end up being good for us. I’m not sure I would be doing what I’m doing today if I hadn’t dropped that camera at the beach.

My approach is to try to photograph a scene so that people are transported to that place and moment in time. I want people to imagine themselves there, experiencing it all. With that, my style is very vibrant and dynamic. The images I share are often colorful and of grand views or interesting places.

Q: We’ve found that a lot of photographers seem to have a special connection to the places they call home, so much so, that it comes through in their work, it doesn’t matter if it’s the desert, tropics, beaches, or forests. Would you say that’s an accurate assessment and if so, what does the city of Seattle and the PNW, in general, mean to you? How does it shape your work?

I’ve only been in Seattle for 5 years but I definitely feel a connection to this place. It’s a place I find myself excited to return to, even when I’m traveling in beautiful places around the world. The landscapes here, from the lush forests, to the rugged coastline, to the jagged mountain peaks, serve as a constant source of inspiration for me. I see beauty in the world and I’m inspired to capture it, to share it with others.

Q: A lot of your images are vast landscapes and enchanting stills that almost look like secluded or uncharted locations. What is it about vastness that draws you in and why is it such a big part of your online gallery?

I love the experience of standing among a vast landscape; even if I wasn’t doing photography I would still seek out these places. That feeling you get when standing on top of a mountain at sunrise, away from the busy modern world, is my favorite. I try my best to share this with my audience, to give them a moment they can connect with and hopefully imagine themselves in that space, and even if just for a second, slow down and feel at peace.

Q: Obviously, you’ve been fortunate enough to travel, what’s the most memorable place you’ve been to and why?

Patagonia. It was a place I had dreamed of going to for years and finally got to visit last year. It was a personal trip, just a friend and I backpacking around for three weeks. The mountains down there are truly something else. Tru Flask-Michael-Matti

Q: On most days, you can be found________?

Either staring at my computer screen or running up a mountain for sunset. My life is comprised of two opposites: I’m either off on an adventure somewhere, chasing light and having memorable experiences, or I’m right here in my apartment staring at my computer. The truth with freelance photography is that you spend a lot more time than you might think doing all the things that make doing the fun stuff possible.

Q: What advice would you give to someone aspiring to become a content creator on social media?

I would encourage them to first and foremost become a creator. To photograph the things that they are most passionate about, develop their own style and voice, and then put that out into the world. The career will come naturally after that.

Q: What does it mean to you to “stay tru” and how do you “stay tru” on a daily/weekly basis?

To me, staying tru means remembering the why, and not getting carried away with the how or what. I try to remember why it is that I do what I do. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hows and whats, in the busyness of life, but those are meaningless without a why, or purpose. I keep myself focused on purpose, through reading, conversations with friends, and quiet moments alone each day.

Q: Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Surround yourself with the right people. It is so important. We are influenced by the people in our lives more than we would probably like to admit. Having people around you that support you, and challenge you is so important, in your career and in life.

Q: You can only choose one place to photograph anywhere in the world; where would it be and why?

Home. There is just so much to shoot here in Washington. The forest, mountains, waterfalls, and coastline provide such a diversity of landscapes.

I’ve only been in Seattle for 5 years but I definitely feel a connection to this place. It’s a place I find myself excited to return to, even when I’m traveling in beautiful places around the world. The landscapes here, from the lush forests, to the rugged coastline, to the jagged mountain peaks, serve as a constant source of inspiration for me. I see beauty in the world and I’m inspired to capture it, to share it with others.

Q: The perfect photo should_____________?

Make people pause. And not just for a second while people are scrolling through their IG feeds. But really stop, and take it all in.

TF TEAM

 

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