Iranian rally Perth

Economic and human rights tensions have boiled over in Iran recently leading to the largest protests in the country for 10 years. These protests have reached far out of Iran and manifested in Perth last week. I was invited down to document the members of the Perth Iranian community take a huge risk and step forward in the face of very real danger from an oppressive government. I can never fully understand the heartache, fear and struggle of those who have lived in and  those that still live in such an environment but I hope my images pass on some insight into a distant event that has left waves on our shore. Peace

Southbound and Laneway

I have had a full on year so far, and we are only a couple months in, even this blog post I'm writing is on 5 hrs sleep :S. Late last year and just last week I got to experience two festivals that I have always wanted to hit up Southbound and Laneway and I got to work alongside the brothers at Floating Lungs Music. For both festivals, I was there to work with Koi Child and once they stepped off the stage, I was free to roam. I have to admit freely roaming a festival is a feeling I have forgotten about, typically I'm charging from stage to stage trying to keep up with slightly overlapping set times and praying I make it before the first three songs are over. So the below is a collection of photos from Southbound and Laneway from my aimless wonders at two great days out. Hope you enjoy the photos and thanks for having a browse. Peace. Matsu  PS Highlights include and not limited to Floating Points, Tame Impala, Thundamentals, AB Original, Dune Rats, Mr Carmack, Tired Lion, Sampha and the wild kids climbing trees!

City to Sea

I was lucky enough to team up with a mad team of creatives under the guidance of Julian Tompkin and Kav Temperley (Eskimo Joe).  The two put together a multi-art show titled 'Songs Of The Suburbs, Songs Of The Sea for the Fremantle Festival and was an ode to all things Perth. The show was part audio and part visual collaboration. Holding down the audio side was an all-star band consisting of Kav, Empty, Lucy Peach and Steve Parkin to name a few. Taking care of the visuals was Brendan Hutchings of VAM media and myself. My role was to put together a collection of images to be displayed on a projector behind that band. The brief was to find or create images that hinted at our windswept, sand underfoot suburban lifestyle and growing inner city life.   

Below is a shortlist of images. Some old, some yet to see the light of day and others I shot for the show. I really did have a great time looking back over my images and rolling with a talented group of artists. I hope you vibe the images as much as I enjoyed taking them.




ODS highlights

With a massive block party ODS lined up for today at The Rosie. I went back through some of my archives to find some of my favourite shots old and new and post up some blog vibes. Hoping to see some familiar faces out today. Come say hi . Peace. Matsu

Fam trip to Bali

I can be guilty of working too much. I get so passionate and heavily involved in what I do it's either working, studying or licking my wounds. Because of this, I can sometimes lead an unbalanced life. I often get into bed at 4-5 am, don't catch up with friends or miss out on family time. 

But thanks to my sister we pulled together the fam to spend some time in Bali for my mother's birthday. The travelling party was, my mum, brother, sister, two nephews and my wife. I personally have never been to Bali, so I was excited to scope the place out. We stayed at a really cool Villa just outside of Kuta called Marwar. It was built alongside a small river. It was beautifully lush, green plants blanketed the browns and whites of the villa and on some mornings a light fog would settle over the valley and river. 

I only took a handful of camera gear with me. A body and a couple lenses. I wanted a bit of a break but I also wanted to document my family. Something I've never really done before and I loved it. I think one of the great gifts with photography is that it can help you appreciate the little things in life. A smile from a loved one, a moment between mother and child or a single look that communicates so much. I can't wait to do it again.

So below are some images of my family and some from around Bali. I never had too much time to explore and take photos personally but I managed to get up early a couple mornings and go meet some locals, I also shot a few while driving from place to place (we were always driving).

My soundtrack for writing this post was to Sten Erland Hermundstad's The Ocean. Give it a listen while viewing the images, it's a stunning piece.



Elli Schoen - Hard Heart

A few months back myself and a small team consisting of Jess Parker and Zac Gordon linked up with Fremantle singer Elli Schoen. The original meeting with Elli was to discuss doing both a press shoot and music video at the same time. By doing both it meant we could tie together the press photography and music video into the same production and keep the visual style the same. Same team, same locations, and quick. 

The idea behind the music video for 'Hard Heart' was to tell the story of a relationship at its end. After the arguments have passed and the dust has settled. We are left disconnected and alone. Some choose to remain trapped, bitter or torn while others look to move forward and grow.  (Actually, the whole idea of how we handle tragedy, hardship, and loss in all areas is something that interests me quite a bit. )

I spent quite a bit of time looking for locations. Originally we locked in a different house but close to the shoot date, Eli managed to land a great spot. The afternoon light hit this house beautifully and other potential locations where a 2 min drive away. 

The shoot itself was a lot of fun. We had 3 days to cover the story content, performance and photo shoot. Because we had such a small team it meant we could move quite fast. We had minimal lighting setups and when we had to light anything we did it on the fly. LED gaffer taped to walls, random white materials from Spotlight for diffusion and a set of small photography gels that barely fitted the lights.

Below is a link to the video and a collection of location scout shots, BTS shots, live shots from the 'Hard Heart' single launch and Press photos with Elli. Hope you vibe.




So one year ago I shot at State of the Art Festival for my first Blog post and personally I love a good celebration of hometown arts/music. So it was nice to revisit SOTA and bring my camera along for a little one year anniversary. I tailed along with my brothers at Koi Child and then linked up with San Cisco to cover their SOTA set. I spent a lot of time just floating around backstage, chatting and grabbing portraits of peeps, it's such a great way to strike up a conversation and get away with some great shots. 100% guaranteed things get fun backstage, splashing around in rainwater, jumping on fences (wind blew it over), my producer Jess going ham in the Jebediah green room and brother Dan Craig getting away with the San Cisco rider. There are shots of Our Man In Berlin, Mosquito Coast, Mathas, Elli Schoen, Koi, Taku, San Cisco and Jebediah.

Hope you enjoy SOTA through my eyes and thanks for checking out any of my blog posts over the last year. Peace. Matsu. 

Big Sky

Late last year in an interesting turn of events coupled with a passion for capturing images of people I published a booked titled 'DUST' through Fremantle Press, I spent two weeks living and photographing workers at DeGrey Station in the Pilbara. It was published nationally and all of a sudden I was doing radio interviews and being featured in the paper, though it was short-lived. I'm not that used to been overly public and my camera is usually my shield to the world. The other side of being a published author (an idea that still feels surreal to me) is presenting at schools, events, and literally festivals. My first such experience was at Mazenod College. A little half-day presentation to high school students. I had no idea what to expect and ended up running over time and getting some advice from a teacher on on my presentation, she said "Maybe make it a little less about yourself" hahaha I died inside but she was right. Her comments got me thinking in a different way. My thinking switched from "I hope they like my presentation?" to "What do I want them to walk away thinking/feeling?". I've always been okay at public speaking but this tiny shift made life a little easier in front of a large crowd. I had direction in what I wanted to say.

Skip forward a few months and Big Sky was on the horizon. I had been sending emails back and forth with the Geraldton Libary for awhile but as it always is with these things, it snuck up on me. It didn't hit until I walked off the short one hour flight to Geraldton, my bags were taken from me and was introduced to some of the other authors. I was the rookie here.

A group of us flew over to spend a night at the Abrolhos Islands, I actually didn't know Geraldton had offshore islands and it was a great surprise. On the flight from Geraldton to the Abrohlos, I eagerly captured what caught my eye. Intricate farmlands on the way out of Geraldton and then the beautiful expanse of the ocean dotted with islands and reefs. We landed on an island named 'Big Rat'. It felt like a slowly vanishing ghost town that hints at a rich fishing culture. Some parts had patches of life and human activity and others felt like someone was erasing little pieces at a time. Half a house here, a toilet standing by itself or a Hills Hoist Clothesline laying bent and broken, perhaps a victim of the vicious winds that pass through. 

At lunch on the Abrolhos all the authors, volunteers and Big Sky staff chatted over sandwiches and coffee. I warned them of my never ending photo taking and that with few people on the island, they will most likely be what I photograph. The authors on the island with me were Poet/Musician Kevin Gillam, Artist Kyle Huges-Odgers and writers Rod Jones, Grantlee Kieza, Susan Midalia and Rosemary Sayer

Big Sky itself was a massive personal challenge. Working and talking alongside talented and dedicated artists who have been refining their crafts for years was daunting. Who am I? Just a guy who picked up a camera a few years ago. I remember being in a panel discussion about "Capturing Fleeting Moments" and all my personal philosophy about "What do I want the audience to walk away with?" vanished. I was out drowning off the Abrolhos somewhere, water filling where my words should be and panic filling my mind. I looked at my co -presenters Steve Bisley (Mad Max, Water Rats) and Susan Midalia (Studied at Cambridge) and I thought to myself ........ "s**t what on earth am I saying". After making what I thought was the mistake of a lifetime I settled into the discussion and had a great time. Defs a lesson in there somewhere and for me its "If your answer is simple...keep it simple" and something about the benefits of failure. 

I could really write on about the experience but my words won't do it justice. Have a vibe through my images and having a little look through my eyes. 

Thanks for taking the time to read all this. I'm trying to find more meaning in my images and I think writing helps add another layer to the story  (Also inspired by the writers I met), as does music. I listened to an artist named Fever Kin while on this trip and wrote this blog to his latest release.  Amazing and emotive music from an awesome clash of classic and modern production. A must listen






Summer of Light & Sound

With Stereosonic on the out and summer well and truly behind us, I thought about looking back at some of my favourite big stage shots. From Tame Impala in Melbourne to Listen Out in September, Wonderland, Stereo, Origin NYE to the last Sets on the Beach I look back at some great moments and epic stages. Artists pictured include Skepta, RL Grime, Major Lazr, Tame Impala, Armin Van Buuren, Alison Wonderland, Joey Bada$$, Broods, Childish Gambino, Jamie XX, Fourtet, Leftfield, Shockone, Sable, John Butler Trio, Fat Freddy's Drop and more. 

I really do love shooting a massive stage. The energy, atmosphere, scale and chaos really speak to me. It's within this chaos that I try and find peace and clarity within my frames. I definitely have a strong love for the silhouette and have an ever changing grade. Big love out to all the artists, managers, labels, promoters, and venues that let me do my thing. Also, shout outs to all my brothers and sisters going in at events and letting me cut in front for that shot.

And lastly love out to all my fellow photographers killing it, having me on board or working collab with me.

Peace. Matsu

PS. This post could have easily ballooned out to 300+ images :S but arm wrestled it down to just over 100. 

Freddie Kiss Kruz & Jack

A minute back Perth taste maker I.C.S.S.C brought the beast Freddie Gibbs out to Jack Rabbits for a sold out show. Originally I planned an early night of editing and Final Fantasy 8 (on 5th play through) but homies Kissinger X Kruz and Aslan where on the support and it had been a long time since I strolled through Jack Rabbits for a Freddie Gibbs is dope!

I went into Jack Rabbits with a couple personal challenges. My wide lens is in repair so I limited myself to shooting just on 50mm prime+flash. I also wanted to take on a more photojournalistic and personal approach to covering music and the community that surrounds it. I wanted to take the 'Social Pic' and turn it back into a portrait.  I wanted to grab those fine details, reach for subtle shades and lift out the beauty in the rough... blah blah...... hahaha really I just wanted my photos to reflect what im interested in and how I currently see the world. So have a browse through and vibe on the images.

I am hoping to do more of this along the ways. Why? Because it is way more exciting and interesting.

Less socials more portraits.

Peace. Matsu