Behind the lens with Matthew Alexander
Matthew Alexander is both an experienced artist and adept professional, who uses human compassion as his business foundation as he serves Atlanta and the east coast. Compassionate and excitable, his personality shines in each impeccably finished photo, whether he’s capturing concerts, events, or special moments like graduations, weddings, or engagements. Recognizing that professional photography services can be considered a luxury to most Americans, Matthew offers ethical discounts based on yearly income, budget-friendly rates and other discounts, which perfectly encapsulates his ultimate motto: “everyone deserves to feel like a rockstar”.
Tell us about your gear – everything from your camera and lenses to editing software.
For most of my professional work, I use a Sony A7III with a variety of lenses, mostly prime. 28mm, 50mm, and 85mm. I rely heavily on Lightroom CC. I’m probably one of the few concert photographers that doesn’t use Lightroom Classic. I prefer the cloud-based experience, and I’ll usually edit photos right on my iPhone after taking them to get a head start on editing the sets.
How did you get into photography?
I was invited to join a tour with Never I out of Charlotte as a tour manager and merch guy, and while on the tour, their guitarist, Connor, gave me a Nikon D50 with a 50mm and had me play around with it. I really enjoyed it, and I knew a lot of people on the low totem poles of the music scene all over the US, so I started giving it a shot. My first gigs came a few months later, shooting Iron & Wine, Miss May I, and Volumes.
“Honestly, snag a used crop-sensor DSLR with a 35mm/50mm 1.8 and you can make a lot of great images, especially in low-light.”
What’s the least amount of gear a new starter can manage with?
Honestly, snag a used crop-sensor DSLR with a 35mm/50mm 1.8 and you can make a lot of great images, especially in low-light. If you get lucky on eBay you can get them for under $300 together.
Walk us through the process of taking live photos? From acquiring a photography pass to publishing.
Best thing is to find a small, local zine to “work” for. Most artists have their press contact on Facebook, so you or your editor can send a press request that is clear, concise, and lets the publisher know what they will get, when they will get it, and who to talk to. Be professional, and expect rejections. Shooting local artists for cheap/free is a great way to learn the skills until you’re comfortable pricing your work.
Can you share your favourite piece of work with us? Why do you love it so much?
Shooting Ice Nine Kills was one of the best shows, they had the best scenery and focused so much on their visuals for their set, they were every photographer’s dream.
If you could have dinner with five people who’s either inspired you or who you’d consider a muse, who would it be?
Trevor McGoldrick, Adam Elmakias, Courtney LaPlante, Michael Foucault, Angela Davis. I’m not sure the dinner would make any sense, but those have all been inspiration to me.
Any other tips?
Always be respectful. The day of rockstar attitudes is over. If you tour with a band, ask people who have worked with them before. Any red flags, run. Rockstar attitudes and people who think they’re better than others make for a toxic environment.
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