Member Monday Featuring Matthew Wright

What initially caught our eye about this photo is the way the pink pops off the page! But the story of how it came to be is just as interesting as the image itself. How many times have you tried to set up a shot just can’t get it to look like the image in your head! That’s where a little CGI magic and compositing comes into play. We’re inspired by Matt’s perseverance and candidness to share (and learn from!) his failures.

About the Photo

This image is actually a personal project created after shooting a similar appearing image for a cycling and triathlon clothing company. The original goal of the project was to color match a room with the cycling clothing (pink room/pink clothing, white room/white clothing, etc.).

After failing spectacularly at finding a colored room I could use to compose a final image, and essentially running out of skill trying to colorize a room (the whole process was a grand experiment in stupidity and wasting time), the decision was made to create a CGI room and build it from scratch. A photographer friend of mine, Weston Fuller, did the final composite and helped with the planning and we hired Mehmet Turan to build the room. 

The take-home story for this project was that 1) calling in experts helps and 2) building a CGI room from scratch was surprisingly affordable.

Pink Room, Pink Flamingos Image by Matt Wright

Gear and Software

This image was shot on a Sony A7riii with a Sony G-master 24-70 lens. 4 Profoto B1’s were used to light the model. I don’t remember specifics about the lighting diagram but there was an overhead umbrella, a large umbrella at camera right and behind the model to simulate the window, a strip box on camera left and a large umbrella behind the camera for fill.

Photography Preferences

Anything with a person. That could be fashion, portraiture, travel, street, etc. If I can light it and create the look and feel I want – even better.   I can’t ever seem to generate interest in looking at a picture unless there is at least one eyeball in it. People who know me will probably find that interesting—as I don’t have a very large social group and I am not all that outgoing when it comes to people. 

Landscape photography is pretty fun to do and gives me an excuse to get up or stay out late but I am always like “meh – looks like a sunset or a tree” and then I feel dumb for getting up early and staying out late and lugging around a bunch of expensive photo equipment. I guess you don’t get to choose what you like.

Photography Inspiration

I am 100% self-taught. Way back before anyone knew what a “YouTuber” was. During the dark ages, we would go to a bookstore to find Photoshop User Magazine, and Scott Kelby was putting out video tutorials.

I don’t remember it being called KelbyOne back then but Scott and Joe McNally (there might have been others but those are the only two I remember) were teaching lighting online. Largely, that was all there was and it was awesome. Those videos and Scott’s books (the digital series and Light It, Shoot It, Retouch it) got me started. I studied those, did all the light setups in the LISIRI book, and I was off to the races.

Favorite KelbyOne Class

Oof. That is impossible to answer. I don’t have a favorite single class but any of the lighting classes taught by Scott Kelby are killer. He has a way of distilling things down to the essentials and making complicated topics seem simple.

Recommendation: if you want to learn more, play everything on 1.5 – 2x speed and slow things down to normal when you feel like you should be taking notes.

You can check out Matt’s work and full portfolio on his website. Thanks for joining us for this week’s Member Monday! Want to see our full lineup of past featured members? Read more here.