How Photography Saved My Life.

with Matt Jacob

In this episode I had the pleasure of speaking with Matt Jacob, a passionate traveling portrait photographer. Matt has an intriguing background, initially dreaming of becoming a pilot, which he pursued, allowing him the privilege of traveling the world. His journeys fueled a growing curiosity about diverse cultures and sparked his interest in photography as a means to capture the beauty and uniqueness he encountered.

Matt's photography journey began with a simple fascination for gadgets, evolving into a deeper engagement with the art form after attending a workshop that profoundly impacted his understanding of light and composition. Throughout the interview, Matt emphasized the importance of respect and empathy in photography, particularly when interacting with different cultures and environments.


A few key takeaways from our discussion:

Matt Jacob
Matt Jacob
  • Matt's approach to immersing himself in new cultures and building trust with his subjects before photographing them is admirable. He emphasizes the importance of empathy and patience when working in unfamiliar environments.
  • Matt's preference for using a single prime lens, often a medium format camera, and minimal lighting gear reflects his intentional and deliberate photographic style. He values the creative constraints of working with a limited setup.
  • The planning and research Matt does before embarking on a new photography project is extensive. From creating detailed mood boards to coordinating with local fixers, he leaves nothing to chance when telling a visual story.
  • Matt's podcast, “The Mood Podcast,” serves as an outlet for him to connect with and learn from other photographers. He sees it as a selfish endeavor, but one that also benefits his audience by providing unique insights into the creative process.
  • Matt's openness to experimenting with new technologies, like generative AI, while maintaining a traditional approach to his core photography work, demonstrates his adaptability and forward-thinking mindset.

This interview provided a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a thoughtful and intentional photographer who is driven by a deep respect for the cultures and people he documents through his lens.

About Matt Jacob, in his own words…

As a photographic artist I specialize in capturing the evocative, dynamic, and complex lives of specific subjects. With a focus on authentically encapsulating a moment from all metaphorical angles within a photograph, and a story over a collection, I have dedicated my passion and skills to truly understanding the essence of different perspectives, as well as the ‘why’ behind different forms of human nature.

My journey began as a boy with a disposable camera and a dream to become a pilot, and these two things would eventually culminate into reality. My outlook on life changed when I was diagnosed with cancer at a young age, and it was during this time in my life that I understood what it meant to be truly alive – it was about just a series of moments; watching, understanding and creating snapshots that will stand the test of time.

Naturally, my love for photography was cemented.

Matt Jacob

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