::Be Inspired:: An Interview with Matt Kennedy

Today has been a bit surreal, to say the least.  :)  Yesterday I was approached by Kevin, one of the amazing guys from Showit, asking if I wanted to be a guest on their live show today.  My response was an immediate and completely stunned, “Um, yes!!”  As many of know, I have been a Showit user for years now and I absolutely LOVE their products, as well as all of the amazing things they’ve done for the photography industry.  Jeff and I tune in to their live shows often, so to be asked to be on there came as a huge surprise.  The kind all wrapped up in pretty paper and big silver bow.  :)  I will post the video in tomorrow’s post, for those of you who weren’t able to watch it.  To Kevin & the Showit Crew, thank you so much for having me on your show today, it was an absolute honor and I cannot begin to thank you enough!!  :)

Jeff and I recently went up to Seattle to attend the launch of the PASS Tour with Showit (you can read all about our experience here).  While there, we met fellow Showiteer, Matt Kennedy, who made the drive all the way down from Vancouver, B.C.  Aside from being an amazing photographer, I can’t say enough great things about how genuinely nice and happy Matt really is, even in the short amount of time we were able to spend with him, it was undeniable.  We are so excited he agreed to do an interview, as we know it will surely leave you inspired.  Happy Tuesday everybody!!  Enjoy!

My name is Matt Kennedy and I am a Wedding photographer in Beautiful Vancouver, BC (Yes that’s Canada! and no I do not live in an igloo)

What are 3 things we should know about you?
1. I will sing louder than you in the car…try me :)
2. I buy way too many gadgets
3. My wife, Carissa, wrote #2 as that is completely impossible

Define your style in 5 words:
Fun. Daring. Spontaneous. Romantic. Natural.

What is your specialty?
My Specialty is connecting with my brides and grooms on a personal level more so than a business level….I like to think that I have a back stage pass to this event that most people are just spectators at. For some reason my brides and grooms trust me to capture them at their best (and hopefully quirkiest) so they can remember how fun, romantic, spontaneous, and truly memorable their wedding day really was. Afterall, with all of these couples choosing to use a family friend to do their photography and then being dissatisfied with the photos…why not become their family friend…AND photographer!

What inspires your work?
As far as photography goes, I like to keep my eyes open to what is going on in the wedding photography world so I can be inspired to try new things, but honestly when it comes to the day of the wedding I don’t even think about anything else except the Bride and Groom and their friends and family and just capturing what’s happening. I hate telling people to go stand in a certain place and look in a certain direction, I like to capture them standing in whatever place they are and looking in whatever direction they are looking! I would rather climb up a tree to take a cool photo than have them climb up a tree to take a cool photo :D

Where is your dream location to do a shoot or wedding?
ITALY!!! Or at the same place I was married, I tend to relive my wedding day when I shoot so it would be cool to really attach myself to the raw emotion that I experienced in that same place! Other than that just somewhere I haven’t shot before…I love shooting in new locations….maybe in the Experience Music Project in Seattle?!?!

Divulge one of your dreams for your business:
I want to spend more and more time with my family every year that I am in business. so, I’m not really sure what that means for my business…but atleast I know I have my priorities straight. I was a highschool teacher for 4 years before stepping into photography full time and I still have a passion for teaching others. I love what David Jay’s dad told him that he lives by to this day…if you truly make your business about helping people, you will always have work. I want to help in any way I can.

What do you love most about being a photographer?
I love building relationships with people and I love putting a smile on their face. As a business, I love that I don’t have to put on a front and try to act all “business-like”…I can just be real and connect with people.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I can see myself waking up at 5am to take Zach to hockey practice, coming home to get Katie, Zach and #3 (Yes Carissa’s pregnant right now!!! sshhhh, only our family knows so far, so you’re in on it now too!!!) to school about 5 minutes late (usually happens, I don’t see that changing :D ) then heading to the studio…watching Showitlive at 10:08 am, networking, meeting up with Carissa for lunch, back to work, home for dinner and then off to Katie’s dance class, then home for Season 47 of survivor with Carissa and off to bed. soooo…I pretty much love my life right now…why change it?!?!?

The main thing I see changing is that I see myself behind a computer LESS, and with people I love MORE!!!

As a fellow Showiteer, what do you love about Showit?
#1 – I LOVE the attitude and sincerity behind everything involved with showit. The people running the show and the people using the profuct, Showiteers are truly one of a kind and are the people I want to be networking with on a business and personal level! #2 – I love the program itself and the freedom that it gives.

Ok, time for a quick story…I was shooting an engagement session at a beach in North Vancouver and the couple really wanted a shot on the swings…I obliged, but I didn’t just want to take the standard swing photo, so I climbed up on top of the swing set and shot them from above. The funny part is that I brought my wife and kids to the beach to play while I went and shot the couple and they were near by watching me climb the swing set (I’m sure thoughts of health insurance were running through Carissa’s mind). Also near by was another photographer with a wedding party and my wife overheard them talking about me saying “That guy’s crazy, I would never do that just for a shot!”.

well, in the words of Gnarls Barkely…”does that make me crazaay?, does that make me craazaaay?, does that make me craaaazaaayyy?, possibly!!”

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be & why?
I would want to meet Steve Jobs so I could give him a new shirt…Turtle Neck’s gotta go.

What advice do you have for new photographers?
Be all about people, not photography!! As Zach & Jody often Quote, “I’m not in the photo business serving people, I’m in the people business serving photos”. If you’re getting into wedding photography, don’t take for granted the importance of what you do and don’t just try to give them to coolest image you can come up with. Give them the images that are going to show the true emotion coming out of the people that they love most on the most important day of their lives. Get to know them and their families so you know who and what to look for on the wedding day.

Be sure to follow Matt:
Website: http://www.mattkennedyphotos.com
Blog: http://www.mattkennedyphotos.com/blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mattkennedyphoto

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  • LauraJune 14, 2011 - 7:28 pm

    Such great advice, and that swing set story is seriously awesome! Not to mention, those photos are gorgeous. :)

    Also, saw you on the live show this morning! You were so genuine and great, it was so nice to get a glimpse into your experience and business mind. Thanks for being awesome!

  • Matt KennedyJune 16, 2011 - 9:22 am

    Thanks so much for asking me to do this holli! I’m inspired by what you do and how you do it! Looking forward to spending some more time with you soon :D

  • AngieJune 20, 2011 - 7:13 pm

    I am so glad to have gotten to meet both Matt and Carissa at a Showit meeting. They are both fantastic and I wish them the best in every part of their lives…thanks for sharing Matt!!

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