Matt Barnes is definitely one of my most favorite photographers. He's a legend in Toronto.
When Fresh used to style with the Bossy Girls on set, he used to always have me come by to shoot behind the scenes if I wasnt already hired to do so. Fresh had worked with Matt a few times and insisted I come this time.
This whole shoot was shot at the YMCA by Scarborough Town Center probably 4 or 5 years ago. They had the gym to themselves to do as they pleased. It was pretty crazy and awesome to see Matt work. He just looks like he enjoys the shoot so much. He's never stressed and just relaxed, which also in turn keeps the models and crew more comfortable. The photographer is always the ring leader. If he's tense, everyone is and the pictures reflect that.
Me on the other hand, Im always stressed on shoots. Im always dissatisfied. Im always worried and trying my best to be relaxed for the sake of everyone on set. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that Im not a technical photographer. I know how to use a camera, but I dont know how to create the images in my imagination. Its a lot more than hitting a shutter button and doing some scrolling on your camera. My inability to recreate my creativity in real life in turns limits the type of shots I take. Although I admire Matt's style, I was never inclined or really motivated to learn.
Matt is also really good at directing and leading his subjects. I was like...damn. He made that happen so easy. But trust is given when you have confidence in yourself. He's cracking jokes, jumping in the pool, kicking soccer balls. It was honestly super inspiring to watch him work.
As much as I always wished I could shoot like him, I realized I much prefer documentation as opposed to shoots. Ill stick to what I do best and drive in my own lane. We cant be great at everything right?
To Matt, thank you for being so dope. You're an inspiration to me and Im sure to many others as well.
Shouts to my brother Fresh as always and of course to Caitlin and Vili.