Matt Kloskowski is the Vice President of Photography at onOne and a landscape photographer. He’s the best-selling author of over 20 books on Photography, Lightroom, and Photoshop and teaches at seminars and conferences around the world. He’s a Sony Artisan of Imagery and included in The Photoshop Hall of Fame – 2013.
Excerpt from an interaction with Matt.
How did your art career start, where you focused on photography from the start?
Matt: My career started by selling construction equipment back in the mid-90’s. The advertising department got too busy to create brochures for the salespeople to hand out, so I got a copy of Photoshop and started to make my own. From there, I went for web designing and development, and eventually became an educator in all things – around Photoshop and Lightroom. I got my first DSLR camera when my first son was born in the early 2000’s, and that’s where I started putting together my knowledge of Photoshop with digital photography.
Were your parents supportive about you wanting to become a photographer?
Matt: My parents were always very supportive, but honestly, I don’t think they ever knew what I was really doing for work. I was never a photographer by profession. I went to college for marketing and it was about 10 years later that I got into the educational space teaching about Photoshop and photography. So yes, I guess they were supportive, but it was easy for them because they weren’t supporting my family and me 😉
And I really wasn’t a photographer, but more of an educator, so I didn’t necessarily have to worry about paying the bills with the next photo shoot.
What was the first camera that you received?
Matt: Well, when I was a kid I had a Polaroid camera. You know, the kind that prints the photo right there and you wave it around in the air thinking it’ll develop faster 🙂
From there, when I went to college my parents got me a Minolta something or other 35mm film camera. I honestly just wanted it to take photos of my college days, and rarely did anything more serious with it. But I think that’s where I first developed my love for photography.
What motivates you to continue taking pictures?
Matt: I love capturing great moments in nature. Light, colour, clouds, water… there’s so much beauty and I love the challenge of seeing it differently and trying to bring a great photo from a scene. It’s a lot like golf for me. There are many bad shots during the game, but it’s the good ones that keep me coming back.
How important is Photoshop in your final images?
Matt: Photoshop (and more importantly, Lightroom) is a part of EVERY image I process. It’s an integral part. Mainly, because I shoot in the outdoor. We all know our cameras don’t see the range of tones that our eyes see. To me, Lightroom and Photoshop are a part of me bringing back my vision to everyone else out there.
A photographer is a most creative person. If you could live anywhere on this awesome planet, where would you build your dream home?
Matt: Hawaii. I love the beach. I love mountains. I love rocky coastlines and I love warm weather!
What advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue photography?
Matt: If you just want to pursue photography for personal purposes, then I’d suggest getting out there and shooting. Great photos are what got you into this in the first place, so the first thing you need to do is find some great things to shoot in your genre of photography near your home. It’s very rewarding, and it keeps you motivated. If you’re a photographer who wants to get in this as a full time business, I’d suggest getting really good at running a business or hiring someone who is. Great photography won’t make your business succeed. Just look online – there are literally tens of thousands of great photographers these days. But great business skills are harder to come by. Your ability to market yourself uniquely, and run a profitable business will 100% be what makes your breaks you as a pro in this industry.
What’s your favourite meal?
Cats or dogs?
Matt: Dogs and cats
What does love sound like?
Matt: My wife and kids
What’s your favourite song?
Matt: My favorite song changes every day.
If you could time warp yourself to any point in history.
Matt: I don’t like history.
What is the most precious thing in your wardrobe?
Matt: My flip flops!
What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?
Matt: Too many embarrassing moments to count.