We had the good fortune of connecting with Brenden Matthews and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brenden, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
If I’m being honest, there wasn’t much thought Behind my business at first. All I knew is that I wanted to build it from the ground up, and that I wasn’t going to let money take away from y passion for the art. I was 17, a Senior at Cherokee Trail High School, and I had a lot of options. Track Athlete, Potential Engineer or Professional photographer were the paths I’d carved out through high school. My Photo Teacher, Michael Chimento, asked me if this was something I wanted to do for a long time and It was the first time I’d really looked at photography as a career. Both my parents are engineers, and seeing how they worked desk jobs and I had no interest in that, I realized that photography was one of the only things that gave me the freedom to literally shoot what I want or who I want, while also maintaining some sort of steady income. I didn’t have any clue what I was doing at 17, never even worked for someone more than a summer. But I knew that I wanted to work for myself, and do things my own way.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
This is tough, I never really saw myself as a photographer with a particular style. I just like to shoot. I guess what sets me apart from others is my Sets. I love building sets. I’m not a huge photoshop person, so I really like to stretch my abilities to shoot what I want in camera. This definitely comes from my love for film Photography. being able to build a set and put a creative filter on a lens, play with light and color and glass, it’s just SO MUCH FUN. I like to draw inspiration from other creators around me, not so much photographers, but designers, Makeup artists, cosplayers and digital artists. It definitely brings a great sense of pride when another creator and I come together to make something amazing. I love working in teams. Getting to where I am today was NOT an easy. Lots of practice, lots of trade work, lots of free work, tons of rejections, odd jobs, etc. It’s been a roller coaster to say the least. But I like to think those things made me a better and more well-rounded photographer in the long run. Each challenge has its own solution, as with any professional venture. I think that when we hit road blocks out first instinct is to try and pick it apart to see how we get past it. I’ve found that most challenges can be faced by stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. sometimes a road block is simply that, a block, and there is normally a way around it. finding loopholes is just another creative tool. If there’s one thing I want people to know about me it’s that I’ll never lose my passion for art, in any form. because without it life would be dull. And if you’ve ever met me “Dull” is not a word that comes to mind. Nor will it ever be,
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh man, week long trip eh?? Well, Assuming the land in the afternoon, I’d say our first stop would be their hotel or Air bnb, I’d suggest the Holiday Chalet hotel, it’s beautiful, vintage and right next to Voodoo Doughnuts which would be our next stop. after a little Tour of downtown and 16th street mall we would head to RiNo and peep the murals, obviously taking photos in front of our favorites. We would go visit my friends at the Be A Good Person Store before going to dinner at Hopdoddy Burger Bar.
Next day we would get up early and go to the Colorado Springs and visit Garden of the Gods and Manitou, stay the night down there then go to the sand Dunes the next day and camp there overnight. We’d make the drive to boulder and visit Boulder Falls and Wonder Wonder for some more pics!
Day 4 we Would go to Strawberry Hot springs and relax all day before camping on Buffalo Pass, one of my favorite places to see the stars.
Day 5 would be a day of hiking and exploring some of the mining towns in the mountains.
Day 6, Hiking in RMNP and day seven we would watch the sunrise from Red Rocks before going to Snooze Eatery for breakfast. Denver has such an eclectic art culture and a diverse landscape with no shortage of things to do. any of those activities could be replaced with anything from art gallery walks to skydiving to Rock climbing. Being Colorado Native, I can honestly say that if you’re “Bored” and you live in Colorado, you need to broaden your horizons big chief.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I definitely want to dedicate my shout out to teachers everywhere, especially art teachers! I can tell you I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for the passionate, caring teachers I had. Mrs. Kahn, my elementary school Art teacher that showed me early on that art is in everything, and helped me fuel my imagination, Mr. Chimento, the man that inspired me to pick up a camera and lay in puddles with it, climb fire escapes with it, meet new people with it, Frank Varney who kept telling me that I had so much more to offer the world than JUST photography. Educators are so often disrespected, torn down by entitled parents on top of the burden of everyday life. We trust them with the lives and minds and imaginations of our children and I think they deserve FAR MORE recognition than they receive. So Thank you, Teachers everywhere.
All photos by Brenden Matthews Models: Lauren Brandt (@95percentlauren) Tamara Keeler (@extrainktattoo) Meghan lee (@simplymeaghan) Jamie Rice (@Jamisarose) Erika Rae (@hentainurserei) Mauryell Smith (@vesselspringwater) Dominica (@miss_dom5280) Christina Rose (@christinarosemodel) Floral Accessory by Kerry Laing (@victorandvines)