Photographer, Creative Director and new(ish) dad! We love Matt’s stunning portraiture but that is not all he does! When he is not behind the lens you can find him working away at Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) as a Worship Pastor.
Get to know him a bit more on this interview and make sure to check out his work by clicking the links throughout this page!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Born in Milton Keynes, raised in Leeds, worked in the North East and now living and working in London! My parents grew up in London and so it’s like a homecoming experience for being down here. I was actually headhunted to work in Media and relationships with Alpha.
How did you become a Photographer and a Worship Pastor? Which came first?
Photography definitely came first. I spent hours learning photography in the dark room at school when I was 16. Learning about the process, appreciating the chemistry of it all and then falling in love with colour and composition as a result. When I discover a love for something I’m that kind of personality that learns as much as possible about it before delving in, reading books, watching video etc. I remember reading manuals of vintage cameras left in the dark room storage before even considering what camera to invest in. I’ve been serving at HTB as the Worship Pastor for just over two years now and so that’s a far more recent life development.
What does a typical working week look like?
I typically work at HTB Sunday through to Thursday with Wednesday being a day focused on creativity and inspiration. So Wednesday is often spent writing and creating, spending time with creative people I respect and admire, developing projects and looking to grow in the artistic disciplines that I’m involved in. Often there’s events to lead at in the evenings and weekends which enables me to have time off elsewhere in the week (which usually gets filled with projects and photography).
Friday has recently just changed to me as it’s now a daddy/ daughter day and so that’s a new adventure for both me and my 9 month old daughter. I’m expecting new stories every week as you can imagine.
What I do is flexible and I find you make time for the things you prioritise and so photography weaves itself throughout the working week (hence why my productivity goes through the roof when daylight hours increase in the summer months).
Favourite thing about being a photographer and one favourite thing about being a worship pastor.
I find myself loving the pursuit. The pursuit of a story, a capture, light, expression, emotion, character, colour, composition. I see every image as the result of a pursuit and I really enjoy that. As for being a pastor, I love people. The more time I get to spend with people sharing experience, wisdom, dreams, hurts the better. It’s such a source of life and a grounding and humbling experience, to invite people into your life and make it a passion to see those people thrive, flourish and do the same.
We love your portrait work, what do you love about portrait photography the most?
More than any other variation of photography, I find portraits simply the most intriguing. I guess because of my interest in people. In humanity. I also just like the fact that the subject talks back to me!
The Gospel is the greatest story ever told and the most powerful inspiration and motivation in all things, especially creative endeavours.
Obviously, faith plays a big part in your role as a worship pastor. Does faith play a role when you’re working on a photography project? How?
I see that faith is embedded in who I am, at the very core of everything I do with purpose. And so I’ve tried to live a disciplined life where I’m consistently true in that and faith isn’t reserved for Sundays or switched on in safe environments and off when I’m being ‘productive’ or working. The Gospel is the greatest story ever told and the most powerful inspiration and motivation in all things, especially creative endeavours. I don’t use photography as a vehicle but it’s simply a creative expression and passion of mine. A gift that I’ve cherished and spent years investing in to become somewhat good at. And so I see it more that I’m the carrier of this message rather than the tools I’ve been given and that also holds a level of accountability and challenge to my character and integrity to remain grounded in faith.
What does success look like for you?
What scares you?
a) Vertigo. I currently have it and balance is an issue hahaha.
b) Ending life with having had potential, and never delivering
What helps you overcome that fear?
b) Proactive pursuit in engaging with the areas of life I feel I’m gifted in. Sure there are times for rest, being still, but there’s a call to action that is universally clear as a believer and also a personal call to action once you reach a certain level of maturity, well once I’ve reached certain levels of maturity at least.
What’s your dream project to work on or simply something you’re looking forward this year?
This year I’m building something that when dreaming of actually seems too big to ever see….so I know it’s bigger than just myself. I’d love to share more and be less cryptic and talk about friends and eventually how it’ll become like family involved in creativity and production. An upscaling of the creative endeavours and availability I’m involved in and have. By the end of the year more will be revealed.
Ok let’s end this with a few lighter subjects:
Describe a perfect day off
Cooking and eating food whilst listening to good music with the people I love the most in the sunshine, by the coast and falling asleep full of content!
One book? One movie? One song?
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Should Have Known Better – Sufjan Stevens