In January, I was able to travel out to California for the San Fran Matt Mathews Photographer Workshop. It was an experience I never thought I'd be able to do, but with some dedication & drive I made my goal happen!
So go back to 2017 when I first came across Karla Mason’s photography fee on Instagram, I watched an off as she posted all these gorgeous women and she quickly became one of my photography idols. I remember her posting about one of her best friends and that she did a shoot with him. So of course I click on his profile on Instagram and instantly fell in love with everything that is Matt Mathews!
His character and funny with her of course one of the most famous things that everybody falls in love with first, At least for me that’s what it was. second his art is phenomenal and mine blowing and some of the best boudoir photos I have ever seen! The way he captures the human body in the right light in the right shadows in the most elegant sexy ways was such an inspiration to me. And then followed his work for so many years I saw so many posts about workshops with him and I just dreamed about one day meeting him in person!
I struggled for years in such an unhealthy relationship that left me feeling like I would never be able to achieve one of those kind of experiences. I was in a point my life where it was a struggle to even pay the bills some months but I always had a little bit of hope that maybe one day I’d get lucky enough to actually afford one of these workshops.
At the end of 2019 Matt posted that he had a California workshop coming up and had one spot left! I had just gotten out of my marriage and was starting to rediscover myself as an individual and just so happen to get brave and decided to reach out and message him. He explained that I was able to put a deposit down and then we could work out the rest of the payments down the road closer to the actual workshop time. When I found out that information I didn’t hesitate and I quickly decided that it was gonna be now or never! I deserved this, I needed this for more than just my photography I needed this for my own self!
So, I paid the deposit!
The workshop was being held in San Francisco and just a week before my birthday as well. So I put the mom guilt aside and decided to enjoy this experience! I had never been to the West Coast and I had never been on an airplane before. I was scared out of my mind if I was really gonna be able to pull this off. But I found a friend who was able to travel with me and that put a lot of my nerves at ease.
The plane ride out there was pretty interesting I think I handled it fairly well. When we got to California I was completely overwhelmed by the beauty that is the ocean! I spent some time before going to the actual workshop exploring the area but the whole time the only thing on my mind was that I was about to meet two of the most amazing photographers in my little small town world. And as we drove up to the air bnb my heart started racing!
My friend dropped me off and when I walked inside my whole emotion system went into overdrive! I was greeted by Karla first and she was so welcoming it instantly felt like I was visiting an old friend again! She’s even more darling in person y’all! Then I met some of the girls from all around the country that I had become acquainted with over a Instagram and then the king of boudoir walked into the room! My fan girl self inside me was SCREAMING but I held it together so I didn’t come off like a psychopath.
Karla and Matt spent the next two days teaching the 10 of us photographers everything from posing to marketing. A lot of the information I actually already knew but it was kind of more of an eye-opener for me than it was an actual teaching me about boudoir photography thing. It was one of those I knew all this information and it was kind of a slap in the face of why the hell am I not putting this information into motion in my business.
The previous year and a half was one of the hardest times in my life. I experience so much self-doubt and depression that it tore me down even to a creative level. I knew how to run a profitable business but why the hell was I not implementing the stuff!!!
I can’t even really put into words the feeling after walking out of that door on day two of the workshop after saying goodbye to everyone and getting ready to head back to the airport to head home. I honestly couldn’t even tell you what the flight home was like because I was so lost in thought trying to process everything that had just happened over the last 48 hours. But I was more than ready to get home and get to work!
I still can’t believe I was able to go through this experience and I am forever thankful to Matt for teaching me more than I’m sure he intended to teach me. He is still such a positive influence on me daily even more than just as a photographer. He taught me that it’s OK to have days where I feel like a fuck up it’s OK to not like my job sometimes. But the most important thing I took away from my experience with Matt is that no matter what at the end of the day I am an artist and I will not give up my dream! I am going to fight every single day for as long as I need to to achieve the dream that I have had since middle school to be a professional photographer and to be one of the very best in the business!
I hope one day I’m able to go down and see Matt at his studio in Birmingham Alabama and have my own shoot with him because I don’t think I could trust any other photographer now. Plus I also deserve to be shot by the best and he is by far the best boudoir photographer in my eyes!
Matt if you’re reading this I just want to say thank you! From the bottom of my heart thank you for making me realize that I might be a lazy bitch sometimes but I’m damn good at what I do and ain’t no body gonna bring me down! ain’t no body gonna break my stride in being a bomb ass photographer!
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