In the twenty forth edition of our special features celebrating our favourite south coast based Instagram users we catch up with Christine Matchett (@christinematchett).
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I’m originally from the north west of England, but my family moved just outside Birmingham when I was 7 years old. I moved down south in my early twenties, and I’ve been here ever since.
Can you tell me more about your photographic experience; is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby that you’ve developed?
When I was 16 years old I did a week’s work experience at a commercial photographer’s. I remember sitting in on a session where the objective was to take a photo for the front of some packaging for a cake, it looked unbelievably stressful and seemed to demand far more patience than I could ever have, and despite the perk of eating lots of cake that afternoon, I was really put off. Since then I have dabbled in photography, but it wasn’t until around three years ago I really fell in love with it as a hobby. Since that time, I’ve undertaken a couple of beginner’s photography courses which have really helped me understand the basics better. I’ve also attended some of your excellent walkshops where I’ve always learnt something new from Paul.
Apart from that, I am generally self-taught, and one of the things I enjoy about photography is that there’s always something to learn, in my case plenty, but I can’t really imagine there ever comes a point when you can say you’ve learnt it all.
Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?
I bought a Nikon D3200 three years ago, which was a great camera to start off on. I upgraded to a Fuji xpro 2 about two years ago, and whilst I really wish it had a flip-out screen, I do love it and hope one day to learn how to use all the functions on it!
Exploring the theme of local, the south coast has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph?
I tend to take photographs of the things that I find beautiful and that make me happy, and that often seems to involve flowers and grasses, which has taken me by surprise really – I always feel myself drawn to them, not really sure why. I would like to learn to take better photos of the sea. I particularly love Hill Head, and having grown up in the Midlands I still feel pretty thrilled to be living by the coast and would like to be able to translate this better into my photographs.
I particularly love Hill Head, and having grown up in the Midlands I still feel pretty thrilled to be living by the coast and would like to be able to translate this better into my photographs.
For you what makes the good picture stand out from the average?
That’s a really tricky one to answer, it’s one of those where I just know it when I see it… for me it tends to be when I picture evokes a memory or emotion, or simply when I think damn, I wish I’d taken that!
Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?
Definitely more for myself. I find that photography helps take my mind off other things that might be going on, and it just generally boosts my energy levels. I’ve also made new friends through photography which has been an unexpected joy and also helps to spur me on if I’m going through a bit of an ‘off’ patch.
Are there any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to also check out?
There are far too many wonderful local photographers to mention here, let alone those in the wider world. I think that the photographers who have inspired me the most are those I know and who have helped me personally. Andrew Malbon (@fivearchitects) with his immense skill and eye for detail has been a huge influence on me, especially when I was a complete novice, he always had time to give me plenty of generous encouragement and much-needed advice. Similarly, Aaron Bennett (@aaron_bennett) has influenced me a great deal through all the advice he gave me in the days when I really didn’t have the first clue. He is so talented and his seascape photography is especially beautiful.
Finally, in recent months I’ve become part of a fantastic women’s photography group formed and led by Sarah Marston (@sarahmarston13), I would encourage people to check out her work and that of the others in the group, Sue Woodbridge (@sue_woodbridge_photography), Lisa M (@l1sam), Sarah Maria (@sarah_maria_photography), Petula M (@milk_onesugar), Anna Chalk (@_annachalk), Lizzie Barrett (@lizzie_l_barrett), Jenni (@_j_e_n_n_i_ew).