Top 10 Interview with a Photographer Series #1: Matthew Sherwood

6

For the last installment of our Top 10 Interview with a Photographer series, we bantered with Matthew Sherwood, a photojournalist based in Canada. He shared with us stories of shooting as a news stringer and photography in general.

What got you interested in photography and photojournalism in the first place?

Photography was really just a hobby while I was completing my undergraduate degree in psychology and art history. When I was in my final year I didn’t know what I wanted to do, then it just kind of clicked. I had thought about a career in photojournalism before, but it didn’t seriously think it was possible until I was at a crossroads where I had to make a decision. I made the right one. I am interested in the human condition, people’s lives and circumstances, and that is what I enjoy about photojournalism. It is all about people.

As a photojournalist do you think that your approach to photography and your subject is influenced by the story, or would you say that the story is lead in a cretin direction by the images you take?

While working at a newspaper, the story is usually in the works before the photo. You want to tell as much about the story as you can in a single photo. You have to use your own judgment on assignments though. Things change, stories evolve. You should always bring back options to the newsroom.

Does your experience behind the camera or method change whether you are on assignment or shooting for your personal collection?

I always try to make the best picture I can. When I work on personal projects I am just as focused as when I am working for a client. When I am shooting my own life, my friends, family, though, I tend to take a more relaxed approach though. Obviously not have a deadline or a client to please takes the pressure off, but it is that pressure that I like about the job too. It also depends on what kind of publication you are shooting for. You have to know your client. What would run in a glossy magazine is not the same as a newspaper with a pretty full page and spacial restrictions. When I shoot for myself, I do not have to worry about what is “publishable” and can shoot exactly how I want.

What is the most memorable experience you have had as a photojournalist either at work or on a project?

There is no single moment. There are long term projects that I have done for myself and for the Telegraph-Journal that have impacted me. We did a series profiling all of the Native reserves in the province (New Brunswick). Visiting different people and seeing many of the different social problems and social successes was interesting. Similarily, work that I have done in Toronto with transgendered prostitutes (unpublished) was also very meaningful. Day to day assignments can have just as much impact.

For your work I imagine you shoot work mostly with digital. What is the draw for you then to shoot analogue as well and do the occasions you use film have something in common?

For work I shoot only digital. I like shooting analogue because the results are unexpected with the cameras I use and you can’t look at the back of the camera as soon as you’re done and decide if you like it. Film has permanence to it that digital photography often does not. Most digitial photographs will never make it to a print medium, they just sit on a computer or hard drive. I usually use my father’s old Canon AE-1, which is old and damaged and therefore leaks light. The results are great in colour and b/w. The photos also look aged, like they could have been taken twenty years ago. I really like the timeless feel to them.

What analogue equipment do you use (camera and film)?

My father’s old Canon AE-1 with black and white and colour film. I also use a Diana and saturated 120 film.

Other than your camera, what is the most important element to your work and the ability to be a good journalist?

Be able to deal with people and listen to people. Be able to control a situation when you need to and be able to become invisible and let it unfold when you have to. Ask questions. Be accurate. Don’t assume. Never pass up a photo you see.

Where do you find the inspiration for the stories you cover? Are the issues that attract you most globally relevant issues or more community based?

I get inspiration from looking at other photographers work. I am also inspired by the people in my life and some of the people that I meet while working as a photojournalist.
.
What is your dream assignment?

I have no single dream assignment. I just want to shoot as much as I can for as long as I can. I want to keep meeting people, keep traveling, keep learning, and keep growing as a photographer.

What projects are you working on at the moment that we should keep an eye out for?

A very long term project called “When I Grow Up”, that’s all I can say about it right now.

Visit Matthew's website

written by matthew_sherwood on 2010-07-28 in #lifestyle #interviews #matthew-sherwood #photojournalism #news #pj #photographer

6 Comments

  1. eatcpcks
    eatcpcks ·

    One really cool interview again!

  2. emilios
    emilios ·

    Fantastic pictures. Great interview

  3. kdstevens
    kdstevens ·

    Dig that sticky shutter!

  4. myloveletter
    myloveletter ·

    I love the style! Amazing!

  5. oleman
    oleman ·

    Really cool light leak in the pictures, fantastic atmosphere....
    Interesting story.

  6. openideas
    openideas ·

    Great Interview - hope there are more to come!

More Interesting Articles

  • Petzval Video: Original Tai O in Hong Kong by YCY

    written by sanamiii on 2014-12-12 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Video: Original Tai O in Hong Kong by YCY

    Tai O is one of the most popular locations for a day trip in Hong Kong. Talented young photographer YCY shows us peaceful Tai O without tourists with an unusual Petzval Video. He also shares tips for shooting with the Petzval Lens. Check out the exclusive interview after the jump.

  • Petzval Artist: James Nader

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-07-16 in #people #lomoamigos

    James Nader is a UK-based Fashion and Editorial photographer. He started his career in photography shooting with film, processing and developing his work by hand. He now works on high end fashion shoots and has photographed the likes of Dita Von Teese and Richard Branson. James still has a passion for film photography and uses it regularly. We lent him a Petzval lens to shoot with and he has kindly given us a full, in depth review of this beautiful portrait lens. Say hello to James Nader.

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Singapore's Raymond Phang

    written by edwinchau on 2014-11-24 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Singapore's Raymond Phang

    Raymond Phang is a professional wedding and commercial photographer based in Singapore. He shot with the New Petzval Lens recently and produced quite a few memorable couple photos. In this exclusive interview, he shares tidbits from his Petzval experience.

  • Shop News

    Sit, Stash & Fold

    Sit, Stash & Fold

    Get both appealing LomoDices for your home! These cardboard cubes can be used for different things – they make great, stylish seats but you can also stash small items inside and fold them for storing!

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Dale McCready

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-02-18 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Dale McCready

    Dale McCready is a cinematographer working in the film/ TV industry and has worked on programmes such as Doctor Who and Merlin. He was one of our supporters for the Petzval Kickstarter campaign and recently used the lens to film for a new BBC drama, which is due out in March. Dale kindly shared some of his Petzval photographs with us and talked about his love for this lens. Read on for the full interview.

  • Incredible Works on the Petzval Lens by Emily Soto

    written by givesmehell on 2015-03-24 in #people #lomoamigos
    Incredible Works on the Petzval Lens by Emily Soto

    Emily Soto is an accomplished fashion photographer based in New York City. Soto is known for her unique style and professional aptitude and she is one of the top names requested by fashion editors. Soto shot a series of photographs with the Petzval Lens. Let’s find out more through this exclusive interview and view her beautiful series!

    10
  • The Lomo LC-A 120 and C.S. Muncy

    written by givesmehell on 2015-03-17 in #people #lomoamigos
    The Lomo LC-A 120 and C.S. Muncy

    C.S. Muncy is a freelance photojournalist based in New York City. He has done some incredible work for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Newsday, among others. In this short interview, we will find out about his experience shooting with the Lomo LC-A 120!

    3
  • Shop News

    Lomo Instant Boston

    Lomo Instant Boston

    Here is another way to enjoy analogue experience and capture great memories in an instant! This package includes the best creative lenses for your LomoInstant camera!

  • Lomo'instant LomoAmigo: Martin Smith

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-02-17 in #people #news #lifestyle #locations #lomoamigos
    Lomo'instant LomoAmigo: Martin Smith

    Martin Smith is a London based film photography fan who was one of the first people to receive the Lomo'instant from the Kickstarter Campaign. Since then he's been avidly shooting around town. Martin chatted to us about his love for instant photography and showed us some of his excellent shots. Read on for the full interview.

    1
  • An Interview with Christopher Lange

    written by chooolss on 2014-05-07 in #lifestyle
    An Interview with Christopher Lange

    Following our introduction about him and his work in black and white last week, we now bring to you Lomography's exclusive interview with New York-based photographer Christopher Lange, in which he discusses all things photography as well as his equally interesting non-photographic pursuits. Oh, and he graciously shares his very own recipe for roast chicken, too!

  • Petzval Artist: Professional Photographer Derrick Ong from Singapore

    written by edwinchau on 2014-11-15 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Artist: Professional Photographer Derrick Ong from Singapore

    Derrick Ong's portraits give off a feeling of nostalgia and old-world charm. The Singapore-based photographer specializes in pre-nuptial and wedding shoots, and loves to capture moments in vibrant hues as well as in black and white. In this exclusive interview, he tells us about his experience shooting with the New Petzval Lens.

  • Shop News

    Petzval Buddies

    Petzval Buddies

    Petzval lens are designed for a Canon or Nikon SLR mounts and a selection of brass or black for each camera brand is available in our stores. And start shooting with images full of sharpness, crispness and bokeh effects!

  • Maaikel and his Weapon of Choice: Lomography Sprocket Rocket

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-08-07 in #lifestyle
    Maaikel and his Weapon of Choice: Lomography Sprocket Rocket

    The Lomography Sprocket Rocket might be a bit challenging to use but it didn't hinder maaikel from traveling and shooting various film rolls with it. In this week's installment of Weapon of Choice, he graciously shared his Sprocket Rocket story plus some amazing tips on using it.

    6
  • Lomo'Instant LomoAmigo: S.F. Said

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-02-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    Lomo'Instant LomoAmigo: S.F. Said

    London-based children's writer and photographer S.F. Said is also an avid fan of instant photography. He talks about his work, as well as his experience with the Lomo'Instant, in this exclusive interview.

    2
  • Petzval Artist: Portraits by Koh Sze Kiat

    written by edwinchau on 2014-11-17 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Artist: Portraits by Koh Sze Kiat

    Koh Sze Kiat is a part of Oddinary Studios, a Singapore-based photographers' collective that specializes in commercial, advertising, editorial and wedding assignments. He shot with the New Petzval Lens recently, and shares his favorite photos and insight in this exclusive interview.

    1