In Conversation With:
Interviewed by Fleur Adderley
Matt Leeves is a London based photographer who creates high fashion photography paired with modest shots of the everyday. I spoke to Matt about his creative process and his experience in the photography industry.
Your works span from filmic still life to fashion editorials. What do you most enjoy shooting?
I’ve found in recent work that the two kind of sides of my creative psyche seem to be meshing, for the past year or so, these areas of my practise have started to inform the other, which has been quite an exciting process personally. Creative freedom is at the heart of my practise and, luckily, I’ve worked some great designers & magazines that have allowed complete freedom and ownership with what I shoot.
What kind of relationship do you like to build with your models?
The stories I like to create generally use a form of internal discovery which really lends itself to allowing myself and the model grow together. Once this relationship has been built it becomes more of a collaborative performance between the two parties, which is the most creative part of working with a team.
Where do you gather your inspiration from?
I still find a lot of inspiration from art and sculpture. I often find myself coming back to the art I know and love, even when considering in the context of fashion. I also find models or a designer I really want to work with, which allows me to build a story from a more material subject, which I’ve always preferred.
I am still discovering new designers and photographers that inspire me to create something new which is the exciting part about this industry being so saturated with incredible people.
How have you made strong creative connections in an industry as competitive as photography?
It’s very tricky, as I’ve said I’ve been lucky to work with some great stylists and magazines which has led to really great opportunities. A really important part is maintaining your own voice; this has led to certain brands reaching out to me since events such as fashion week to work more closely over the coming months. I think the main point is to be open in collaboration but solidified in what you want to achieve.
What do you feel makes the perfect shot?
If I’m honest, the pursuit of perfection often leads people astray. Perfection to me suggests technical or creative limitations which results in parts of the industry churning out the same kind of work. Often photography is deemed as such an outward expression, rather than a representation of the person behind the camera. So I guess for me, the ‘perfect shot’ is something which says something about the person that took it. Mistakes often lead us to the greatest results so embrace them, even if they are seen as technically ‘wrong’.
'I think the main point is to be open in collaboration but solidified in what you want to achieve.'
Where do you hope to see your photography career heading?
It’s quite a tricky time at the moment and I guess this leads onto the next question, I hope to just keep doing what I’m doing for the moment. But I guess the immediate goal is to work closer with an agency over the next year or so and to continue working with people that inspire me.
How do you think these turbulent times will/are impact[ing] on the world of photography?
I hope people have connected with the medium after such a long time away from normal life and found places of inspiration a bit closer to home. So, in essence I don’t see these turbulent times having a negative impact on the medium, if anything it’s shown the world how important these modes of expression really are.
'I don’t see these turbulent times having a negative impact on the medium, if anything it’s shown the world how important these modes of expression really are.'