My beginnings as a photographer were as a child using disposable cameras taking pictures of squirrels.
When I started college in 2004, my first class was photography, but it was at 8:00 am, it was for seniors, and it had extra costs for materials that I didn’t have (like a camera). I had to drop the class. Besides, my oldest brother decided to take a 1-year course photography degree from Hallmark and there’s no need for two brothers to study the same thing.
In 2007, before graduating from college, I started helping my brother hunt celebrities in Los Angeles under the agency Bauer-Griffin, a job he had been doing for a year. BG impressed with my work, gave me a camera to take back to college for my senior year and to polish my skills.
After graduating in 2008, the economy was in shambles and none of my friends had jobs. I went back to Los Angeles to start as a full-time paparazzo photographer despite graduating with a BA in Music and Peace Studies. In 2010 I switched agencies to National Photo Group (NPG). By mid-2011 I was burnt out, hated photography, quit my job, and started traveling without purpose. But during that stint, I learned from some of the best photographers in the world. Most have quit and continued incredible photography journeys.
Five years later (around 2016), my passion for photography came back thanks to a dude named Andy. He sold me a Canon 7D for cheap and included a lens for free. With the freedom to shoot what I wanted instead of chasing celebrities, I went back full circle, and now I take pictures of squirrels:
I’m kidding… I can do it all.
For my latest work, follow me on Instagram: @Matingas_
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