We had the good fortune of connecting with Annette Matthews and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Annette, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I am generally a thrill seeker in life. Having my camera in hand to be able to film or document life’s moment or events that will make history is an honor as a photographer. I do not hesitate to “run into the fire”. Recently I assisted my friend in filming a documentary surrounding the homeless epidemic. We covered 5 cities in 6 weeks. During this time, the risk was going out at night and in underground tunnels with camera gear, into the dwellings of many homeless men and women. Expectations were nonexistent. The project showed me the type of photographer and person I am in my heart. Telling a story of someone’s journey is important to me, so having the opportunity to document their stories was enlightening. In addition, over the last few weeks I was fortunate enough to be on the front line and able to document the Black Lives Matter movements and protests here in Phoenix.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a portrait and brand photographer out of Phoenix. The most accomplishment was getting out of my comfort zone and photographing people and events that I would normally shy away from. It was not easy but I knew it was something that I needed to do in order to move forward and higher in my business accomplishments. I love to photograph individuals in the moment, unposed. I especially love to photograph another person and their own craft which led me to want to photograph small business owners and their events and/or lifestyle. What is important to me is bringing out the best in their business to help show their customers who they really are by bringing out confidence and style. I like to throw on some music and have fun during my photo sessions. Music seems to bring out the joy in people and help them loosen up. I always say music is the key to happy feelings and I want my clients to feel free and happy at their sessions as I know some clients can be a bit camera shy.
Recently I’ve focused heavily on Boudoir photography. It’s always been there but recently I’ve began to get more inquires. It’s another passion I have in photography is empowering women and yes even men, to love themselves more. It is important to make time for a little self care. What better way to do this other than express a little body positivity. All bodies are beautiful. It doesn’t matter about size, I make sure to encourage my boudoir clients to be free in their expressing this joy. My favorite expression is Love Yourself, Love Your Naked!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When my best friend comes to visit me, the first place we are going to eat is The Larder & the Delta which is this GREAT southern cuisine restaurant in the heart of Phoenix Rosevelt Row Arts district. Their entire menu is delicious and it changes often to keep things interesting. I love going there especially when the menu changes to check out the new food items and hand crafted drinks. After we stuff our faces there and throw back a few drinks, we will then take a walk down down to Poetic Soul which is held every Wednesday where there are local artists expressing their talents by either singing, reciting poetry or telling a story of their own. It is a great vibe of black men and women. If it is the first of the month, we’d go down to First Fridays and shop local artist booths and enjoy the delicious foods off of the food trucks. I absolutely love eating food from food trucks. Also on First Fridays, there is a hot spot to go hang out and dance, meet people at The Legion in Phoenix. We’d most likely hike one of the many mountains here. My favorite is Camelback where we would get to the top and overlook the entire city and have a toast to the good life. Over the weekend we would hop in the car and drive up north stopping at wineries along the way with a final stop in Sedona and hang out there for a couple of days. On days we are not on the move, we would hang out pool side and be refreshed by the cool water because let me tell you, it is hot here. Surprisingly, despite as much as I am out and about to my favorite spots, I am really a home body, but no one believe me lol.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a few people who have encouraged and supported my craft whether it be a few phone calls, Zoom calls, or lunch meetings, I’ve always had someone in the background holding me accountable and helping to keep my creative juices flowing. I’d like to shout out my sister Theresa Thackston for always having my back, listening to my ideas and giving her feedback from a consumer’s point of view. She always show me love, encouragement and support.
Annette Matthews Photography, LLC
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