Francis Mathew is 33 and he was born in London and raised in Scotland. He has been photographer for around 7 years now. Before he spent five and a half years training to be stuntman. It was real pleasure for us to take an interview with Francis Mathew and we wish you a pleasant reading and viewing of Francis Mathew photography.
AP: Francis, thank you very much for finding the time to give us an interview. It’s a great honor for us. Hope you will enjoy the questions we’ve prepared for you. Could you please tell me what got you started?
Francis: I got into photography after to my stunt career ended due to injury and my back up plans went out the window as well from the same injury. After a lot of deliberating I asked myself what it was that I enjoyed most out of my experiences from training and I realised that travelling was the main thing and that I would love to be an explorer, but how to make a living out of it considering nearly everything has been found, so I decided to try out wild life photography and bought myself a digital and film SLR camera and went to live in the jungle of Cameroon in a mud hut for 70 days to get a portfolio together. I was 26.
AP: Wow you went to the wild jungles of Africa to get a photo portfolio. Very brave step! Do you have any formal education in photography or were you self-taught?
Francis: I never took any classes in photography, I read the manuals of the cameras I had and then experimented with the settings and just took photographs. Completely self-taught.
AP: And what genre are your photos?
Francis: I love nature photography, landscapes etc., and my passion which I have yet to follow properly is in volcanoes, I love nature at its most fierce and would love to capture it in action. I also love people’s faces.
I ended up a fashion photographer for three and a half years in India kind of by accident; I never wanted to go in that direction, but after a trip around the South India with a friend we ended up in Mumbai for the last 2 days of our trip and we were staying with the editor of Vogue India who wanted to see my photo from the trip and offered me a job on the spot to come and work for Vogue and I said no. Then I was pursued over emails for the next few months and in the end I thought to myself why am I saying no, I couldn’t think of one good reason, so I decided to accept and headed out there on the 7th September 2007.
Once there I started freelancing after a couple of months and ended up working in and around the whole entertainment industry, from musician album covers and posters to Bollywood actors and films to model portfolios and various magazines.
AP: Thank you for the story in the details. Francis, how would you describe your works?
Francis: I would describe my works as natural, I love working with natural light rather than studio light and try and do as little as possible to the photographs after keeping the natural feel.
AP: Natural light always makes photographs to look great. What kind of equipment and techniques do you use to take your pictures?
Francis: I use Canon, currently using the 5D Mark II and the lenses that I have are 17-35mm, 24-105mm and a 70-300mm, I mainly use the 24-105mm. I love Adobe Lightroom for post work.
AP: Which artists do you use for references?
Francis: I don’t pay much attention to other photographers work; I always like seeing great pictures, but never pay a huge amount of attention to them or when shot them. I like to do my own thing.
AP: Do you have a dream project? What is it?
Francis: I have a couple of dream projects; one is an underwater fashion shoot and the other would be to shoot a scene with people in and around an erupting volcano.
AP: We wish your dream projects definitely come true! By the way do you have a formula for success in your activity? Do you participate in the contests, projects or exhibitions?
Francis: My formula for success has been mainly luck; I just went for it and never had any doubts that I would make it. I put myself out there and just went with the flow, and you would be surprised at what comes along when you just go for something with no fear. I have had a couple of exhibitions over the years and they are a good way of getting your name around, I am planning on having another one sometime in the next few months.
AP: Is there someone who supports you in your creativity?
Francis: My friends and family have been a great support system. I get my creative ideas from travelling and seeing new things, if you stay in one place for too long you start to be blinded at the beauty in front of you.
AP: Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every photographer?
Francis: Five lessons that are really important to any photographer:
- Don’t be afraid to take risks,
- Read the manual of your camera and learn how it works so you can use it to its full potential,
- Play with light,
- Have patience, whether it is for waiting for an animal you are photographing or a model to get comfortable in front of the camera,
- And last, but not least to have manners, it’s important to be polite to people especially if they are going to be your subject.
Francis, thank you very much for giving us the interview and sharing such amazing fragments of your biography. We wish you continued success and inspiration in all your endeavours.
Walking to your dream with the flow with no fear can lead you somewhere, where you didn’t expect to be. Francis’ creative life can be a great example to those how try to discover their talent and cultivate it. Hope you enjoyed reading the story and will share it with your friends. To learn more about Francis Mathew photography feel free to go his personal website.