Matthew is a night club and fashion photographer and generally all-round stylish man about town. He started his career taking pictures in various night clubs around Dublin city and has got the name of being the best in the business. Being someone who inspires me I was keen to find out more about him.
As I sit in the night club waiting for Matthew, I’m surrounded by trendy people all wanting to make a name for themselves. I guess that’s what the photographer is for – to give these people their 15 minute of fame. After I settle in, I start asking him questions I’ve prepared. He never takes his eyes off the crowd, sizing up possible pictures to illustrate his answers.
What would be a typical night taking pictures in a club?
Matthew Kelly- I would do all the normal thing people do before going out, except I pack a bag- camera, charger, flash, batteries plus spares and then I’m off , arrive about 12 midnight… night is then made up of hunting for that perfect picture , that snap shot of the night. Chatting to people who all know your name and have added you on social media sites while trying to remember their name. It’s a great job, 90% of people are lovely and the camera allows them to engage in conversation that normally wouldn’t start.
How did you learn photography?
MK- One night I was in my friend’s apartment and he had a Canon Camera lying around, I picked it up and took some shockingly bad pictures. At this point I decided I wanted to get better. It strangely came natural. I’m 100% self taught. Drifted into club photography as that’s where I feel had the most interesting pictures and it grew from there, I’m always learning though, that’s what makes it so wonderful.
On a typical night what do you look for among club goers?
MK- I wouldn’t say I look for one thing. I try and emerge myself in the night. Taking pictures of friends as I go, with a second eye out for that moment of madness. It’s a waiting game, I wouldn’t be a fan of club goers that give the finger in photo’s, I’m not sure what that’s all about.
What or who is your inspiration in photography?
MK- Nobody to be honest, I just want to be me. I want to take pictures for myself and inspire myself; that’s my goal. To catch that perfect snapshot in time, that one moment of madness; whether it be joy, sadness, rage or one girl spitting a drink in another girls face.
You work both in club photography and fashion, which do you prefer?
MK- I like working in a fashion shoot as it more relaxed and controlled but I would have to choose club photography. It is a lot harder but when you catch that image it’s an unreal feeling. The image is there for a fraction of a second before you have to react and document it. Great images like that only come along every now and then.
Is there anyone past or present that you’d like to capture on camera?
MK- I guess it wouldn’t be a person it would be a place. It would be studio 54. I can only imagine the images that would arise.
What’s important in your life?
MK- All the normal stuff I guess, family, happiness, health, all the lame but important stuff.
I Thank Matthew, leaving him surrounded by beautiful young people. I make my excuse and leave.