A Q&A with Local Photographer, Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby is a lifestyle, music and portrait photographer who lives in Boston. We love his work, and caught up with him to find out a few things that we were dying to know…
You spent the first half your childhood in Boston and the second half in Maine. What aspects of your personality do you feel reflect those geographical differences?
I was lucky enough to grow up with lots of family close by in Boston. My one cousin, Jerry, he’d watch MTV around the clock and blast Guns N’ Roses. I was scared out of my mind but I loved it. That shapes a person. I wanted to emulate everything he did. I wore Air Jordans and a starter jacket, blasting NWA from my walkman. It’s nice having a little guidance when you’re growing up of what’s cool and what’s not. When I moved to Maine, I was on my own. I showed up to sixth grade wearing all my clothes backwards, pretending I was in Kris Kross. I was picked on a lot and I had to adapt. I learned to have thick skin and let things roll right off my back. You hear no a lot in this business, and your work gets ridiculed — you have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off.
You’ve been a professional photographer for quite a while now. Are there any memories that stand out?
Last summer I found myself invited to Carly Simon’s compound on Martha’s Vineyard for coffee and to take pictures of her and her children. Carly was one of the easiest, non-stressful people I’ve ever photographed. We walked along her property and you could tell just how happy she was to be with her two children. It was almost like my camera and I weren’t there and that’s how I like it. Being a fly on the wall, an observer — that’s the sweet spot..
If you could photograph one person or group, from any time period, who would it be?
I would love to travel with Jimi Hendrix and document one of his tours. He was a true pioneer. He had style, he had swagger, and he was one of the most influential guitar players to grace the instrument.
Which photographers inspire you?
I am inspired by a lot of the early color photographers: Joel Sternfeld, Stephen Shore, Joel Meyerwitz, and William Eggleston. When I look at their images I can’t take my eyes away. They feel timeless and at the same time familiar to me.
What is your favorite day trip?
Driving along the coast from southern Maine to downeast Maine is really wonderful. The drive from Portland to Jackman is unbelievable. If you find yourself with some free time, I recommend making a playlist of Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger, and Lynyrd Skynyrd and doing this drive in the summertime with your windows down.
What are you grateful for?
I am so grateful that I still have both of my parents around and even now today, they’re more supportive of me and all of my crazy endeavors than ever. I am grateful that everyday I get to do what I want with my time. Being a musician or a photographer, you work so hard on something you almost get tunnel vision, and then once it’s finished you have time to think about things. Life things. I remember when I was working my desk job, I never really had time to think or reflect. I like that I can do that now. Everyday I am thankful that people like my work enough to hire me.
Want to see more of Matt’s images? Visit him here.