Matt is one of our Flavours photography tutors. He has developed our Photography holiday itineraries, and has been supplying many of the photographs for our brochure and website over the years, as well as producing our videos so he knows how to get the best from our locations in Italy.
I caught up with Matt and we chatted about his passion for photography and what guests can expect on our photography holidays to Italy.
When did you catch the photography bug?
I got my first camera at the age of 10 as a birthday present and it just took off from there. It just used to be a hobby, something I loved to do in my spare time but then about 10 years ago, I started to take it more seriously. Just a few years later, I packed in the ‘day-job’ and started my own business.
Where did you learn your photography skills?
I am pretty much self-taught, to be honest. Over the years, I have taken a number of photography courses, for certain specialist things, like lighting, but it is pretty much practice, practice, practice. I am constantly developing and improving my skills and techniques, so the next time I go out to photograph something, I try to make it better than before.
This year, you will be teaching some of our photography courses. What can students expect from your course?
One of my biggest aims will be to have people complete the week with a real sense of achievement. I want to help each student learn, improve and really conquer any technique that they have been unable to nail in the past.
I want to share with people how to take a little more control of the camera, step away from the ‘automatic mode’ and make the camera do what you want, instead of it making all the decisions for you. I’ll also be teaching how to look at things slightly differently and how to ‘see light’ in a new way.
Tuscany is a beautiful location for a photography course. What have been your highlights?
Oh goodness, this is a real tough one! It’s difficult to pick just a few highlights! I love that the guests have the opportunity to capture iconic ‘Tuscan picture-postcard’ landscape shots. We visit the famous ‘Crete Senesi’ area of Tuscany during the trip so it is the perfect location to capture true Tuscany.
One of the days at the villa, we have the opportunity to photograph our chef while they prepare a traditional Tuscan lunch, which is always something very special. Capturing some action shots of the chef while cooking and taking close-ups of the food gives the guests plenty of practice in a relaxed environment.
Photographs are great for capturing memories. What do you want your students to take away from their trip?
I would love for the students to take away a real sense of achievement and new confidence in their ability. I aim to improve their understanding of light and composition, and increase their understanding of their cameras. Photography really isn’t as daunting as many people think. With some coaching in the basic concepts, a bit of direction and fine tuning, every single student should come away from the week with a good portfolio of more than just holiday ‘snaps’.
If you are interested in putting your camera to good use this year, Flavours Holidays offer Photography holidays to Tuscany and Sicily on selected dates from May – September. For more information take a look at our Photography pages.