“Some things can’t be taught, but we can teach people how to get themselves past creative blocks. Whether you’re trying to write music or edit a photograph, there comes a point for all of us when we don’t know what to do. Everyone struggles, so we can teach strategies.
“For instance, in music a simple strategy is not to write your piece from beginning to end. Rather, write some of the sections in the middle and don’t worry about how everything will fit together just yet. And if you really get stuck, then start another piece and come back later. Many students don’t necessarily think this way, yet it’s a strategy that really works.”
Canadian-born Michael Matthews is a musician, composer, professor and photographer. A Google search will reveal he is well known and highly applauded in the world of music, with many works and recordings to his credit. He has devoted a lifetime to his music and now in retirement, he is applying himself with equal intensity to the art of photography.
I knew when I sat down with him we would be discussing more than shutter speeds – and I wasn’t disappointed when we began with the subject of ‘influence’.
Explained Michael, when he was teaching music composition, many of his students said they didn’t want to be influenced, but how was this possible?
“My role, as I saw it, was to teach students how to live as artists and how to think about art and its place in the world. Whether it is music or any of the other art forms, a teacher should teach the various roles that art plays in society, its benefits and challenges. And it’s hard to do this without influences.”
If you're looking for direction with your photography, read more of Michael's practical insights in the current issue of Better Photography magazine! Current subscribers just have to login to read online or download to their device. Not a subscriber? I'd love you to join and help support our small community. For just AUS $29.88 (it's 40% off, but you must use the coupon code BP40) you can subscribe for one year and have access to over 50 back issues as well. Subscribe now - visit our website here - https://www.betterphotographyeducation.com/better-photography-online/about-the-magazine