“When I picked up my camera for the first time it was the start of a whole lifestyle change which has resulted in developing my career and travelling all over the world as a photographer.”
Name: Matt Power
Occupation: Photographer / Videographer
Hometown: Portsmouth, UK
Current Location: Bali
What do you do? Why do you do it?
I am a photographer who focuses mainly on capturing the art of the ocean and surfing. The ocean has been my passion since I was young, and to combine this passion with photography has resulted in me finding my purpose.
Did you study anywhere or self taught?
I stumbled into photography by chance, and had no previous experience. I started by purchasing a simple and cheap setup and started to practice whilst studying some online courses. This is how I developed my skills and knowledge. I am still learning more and more everyday.
What’s your favourite camera and/or equipment to work with?
My go to camera is the Sony A7RIII combined with my 24-70 2.8 for shooting on land. In the ocean I like to use my 50mm, fisheye and also 70-200 f4. The 70-200 has produced some really great results.
Who are your favourite photographers?
As a surf photographer I have always looked up to Chris Burkard, Ben Thuoard and Ray Collins. They inspire me to push my photography further and further.
Who or what else inspires you?
I find great inspiration from just being in the Ocean and surrounded by the elements. It helps to calm my mind and provide clarity which in turn results in me being inspired to capture certain moments. My parents are also a huge inspiration to me, as they helped develop my love for the Ocean, and are always interested and supportive in my work and art.
How did you manage during Covid times? Did you create or reflect?
I think like many others, Covid was a strange time. It provided a time of pause where some difficult things came up in my personal life but also the opportunity to take a step back and assess what is important to me in life. In the past two years I have learnt to slow down a bit and go more with the flow instead of always chasing new destinations. I am feeling very at home here in Bali which is something I think I’ve been craving for over the years travelling. I have also had plenty of time to focus on creating art that is personal to me.
How have you evolved over the years?
My life changed dramatically when I started to pursue my photography. Before I was bouncing between random jobs with little direction. When I picked up my camera for the first time it was the start of a whole lifestyle change which has resulted in developing my career and travelling all over the world as a photographer. I have always kept the Ocean as the main subject of my work, whilst trying to evolve my skills and creativity over the years.
What are you listening to atm?
My Spotify ‘liked’ songs are always changing blending between genres. I often steer towards listening to more atmospheric music / soundscapes whilst editing photos as it puts me into a creative state. My all time favourite band is probably Local Natives and as a guitar player I have always loved listening to the ever evolving music of Ben Howard.
What websites do you frequent?
Netflix of course haha. Also Youtube a fair bit to look at camera gear reviews.
What tools or apps help you get your work done?
As a surf photographer I rely heavily on Apps like MagicSeaWeed and Windy to check and track swells.
Are you reading or watching anything right now?
I just finished ‘Think like a Monk’ by Jay Shetty, which I highly recommend. I also just finished the recent season of Ozark which was great.
Where are you travelling to next?
I would like to concentrate on travelling around more hidden corners of Indonesia. I love to spend time in quite areas surrounded by nature and waves. Sometimes Bali can feel like the complete opposite! I would also like to get to Japan at some point as the culture really intrigues me.
What is your greatest achievement?
For me my greatest achievement has been being able to make a living from my photography. It isn’t an easy career path and it takes a lot of determination and hard work to make it a full time living. Recently I also made it to the Finals of the Red Bull Illume photo contest, which is the World’s biggest action sports photo contest. I was honoured to do so well in it.
One thing you would like to achieve this year?
I aim to spend more time in the Ocean creating personal artwork even more so than previous years.
What advice would you share to others wanting to get into your profession?
I would say that make sure Photography is your passion and that you are doing it for the love of photography instead of thinking of the money. The passion must be there and then the opportunities will follow. Spend as much time as you can out in your field of photography shooting and developing your real world skills. It isn’t about having the best gear, it’s about putting in the time to develop your skills as a photographer. My best award winning photo was taken on the cheapest lens I own (a cheap Samyang maual focus fisheye) , and it was my determination to get the shot that made it happen, not the camera gear. Finally, don’t give up and don’t get too influenced by Social Media etc, it can be quite a negative influence if you start to compare yourself to others. Keep shooting what resonates with you and make sure you are always having fun with it.