Contender: Matt Anderson

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Copyright © Matt Anderson

Matt Anderson

What's the story behind this portrait?
This image has always been very special to me because it is one of my earliest portraits and gave me my start in portrait photography. I live and work in Los Angeles and was on vacation visiting my parents in Washington DC. It was my first time working with a full team and I felt pressure to produce usable images for everyone involved. It took me only a few frames to capture this shot of Chelsea Taylore who moved very naturally with great expression. I learned a lot that day and have my team Chelsea Taylore, Lisette Lee, Sean Foley, & Stephanie Winger to thank!

Why do you like to shoot portraits?

I love showing people how I see them in that moment. It could be beautiful and soft or dark and moody. It almost becomes a portrait of both the subject and the photographer because so much of our feeling at the time goes into it. I enjoy the wide range of creativity in portraits and collaborating with other great artists.

What do you think makes a great portrait?
I believe great portraits evoke some feeling in the viewer. They immediately draw you in and give you a sense of what the subject is about, or not about. I think staying true to the moment, taking a step back, and letting the subject give you their interpretation of the concept sets you up for special portraits.
Whose portrait work do you especially admire or feel influenced by? 
I'm definitely a 90's kid, so naturally I always loved Michael Levine's street and band portraits. Steve McCurry's work blows me away and always inspires. I'm also a fan of David Miller's work who was a finalist in last year's contest.

Equipment used: Nikon D700, AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II lens, beauty dish with silver reflector, one continuous light on gray seamless backdrop.


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