Read this to take better pictures!

Wow! After such an amazing international response to last week's photography success webinar, we are doing it again.This time at start times for Asia and Europe.

3 Essential Skills Required To Become A Successful Photographer


Tokyo: 10:00 a.m. (Tuesday, September 13th)
Los Angeles 6:00 p.m. PST (Monday, September 12th)
New York: 9:00 p.m. EST (Monday, September 12th)


Tokyo: 17:00 (Tuesday, September 13th)
Paris: 10:00 a.m. (Tuesday, September 13th)
London: 9:00 a.m (Tuesday, September 13th)
South Africa: 10:00 a.m. (Tuesday, September 13th)
India: 1:30 p.m. (September 13th)

FREE photography training today!

You've probably heard the phrase, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life," but today really could be a turning point in your photography.

Today is the first day of a FREE training series designed to help photographer learn more about different aspects of photography. The series consists of three training sessions that will be released over the next ten days.

To join the FREE TRAINING SERIES you must sign up by clicking HERE. Once you sign up you get INSTANT ACCESS to the first training session. There are three training sessions total with the other sessions being released between now and next Tuesday. 

I hope you like the training and if you do please spread the word.

Always dream big!

Valentines, Pretty in Pink and "The data sheet"

One of my assistants was over a while back and I started talking about how I miss having data sheets when he said, "what's a data sheet?"

In the days before digital, we had to record everything on a data sheet. It was a way to keep track of each roll of film and all the exposure data on that job. I love the data sheet because it's much more than just the info on the job, it's a memory of everything about the job along with original polaroids from the day. 

This is the data sheet from the photo shoot with Vanessa Wiliams that became her L'Oreal image. I know call this image, Pretty in Pink, and people ask about this image all the time and how it was made. Funny, what I remember most about this day is playing pool in the studio with Vanessa during our lunch break.


Oh, by the way, if you haven't heard this week's podcast of Master Your Lens, check it out! Episode 24 is very interesting. Happy Valentines weekend.


Always dream big!

How did he light this picture?

This January I'm devoting much of my time to teaching photographers the art of photographic lighting.


If you'd like to learn how this advertising image for Wells Fargo was created and much more, sign up now at and you'll be added to our list and be among the first to learn how to use photographic lighting to make incredible images.

Happy New Year!

Always dream big

Testing before shooting

I have an idea for a new photo shoot, but the concept is only in my mind. To make sure the idea will work in reality, I need to test it. Testing has always been a major part of my photo life and it still is. Everytime I test an idea it leads to creating something amazing. Hopefully that pattern ocntinues with my upcoming images

This past week a good friend came to town and helped me work out the kinks in my ideas and helped to make them better. These two images are shot back-to-back but one requires a lot more patience.

14 stop filter-4721.jpg

Photographed with the Nikon 810 camera using the Nikon 35mm 1.4 mm lens.

I'll share more on these image over the holidays but for now. always dream big.



An incredible lens

My good friend Peter came to town yesterday and we spent the day talking photography and meeting up with another photographer friend of mine to eat sushi. After lunch Peter helped me by posing as my subject on a project I'm working on that will help photographers around the world learn lighting techniques.

At the end of the day we went to the beach and did a little experimenting with filters and different lenses and I feel in love with a lens that he owes, the Nikkor 14-24mm lens. Photographer, Joe McNally swears by this lens and now I know why. It's now on my MUST HAVE list and I can't wait to add it to my arsenal. 

Here's one of my first images with it.





Happy holidays and always dream big.

How to select the right light

This week on the Master Your Lens podcast I spoke about the story of creating this image. Often times we see picturess but don't know the story behind them. 

As photographers, we have to visualize how we'd like our final image to look. Deciding which light to use is  just as important as deciding on the lens. Listen to this weeks podcast to learn why I decided to use HMI lights to create this image for HBO.

Always dream big.

Master Your Lens Class & LA Fashion Workshop

Today is the fifth class for the Master Your Lens course. The course is  a six-week photography master class created to teach students how to stand out from the crowd and truly master their photography. 

Earlier in the week I asked a question on social media and received a huge response on Facebook. The question was, what are you struggling with in photography? I was very surprised to learn that most of the areas people are struggling with are taught in the Master Your Lens course. People struggle with creativity, posing, lighting, marketing and fighting to enjoy the business and remember why they got into photography. Today in class I will share the comments with my students so they can see how far they have come in five weeks, and show them the advantage they have now because of the course. If you are interested in taking the next course subscribe to our mailing list for updates on the next course.

We will also announce dates very soon or our Fashion and Beauty workshop  taking place in Los Angeles, California. Stay tuned for more information


Always dream big!

How do you master the art of photography?

I can't really explain how incredible it feels, but there is nothing quite like it when you see a student start to grow right in front of your eyes and begin the process of mastering the art of photography.

Last week was a ground-breaking week for all of my students and I'm excited to see how they will perform in this week's class. Almost all of them have emailed me with questions and I love to see them start to come alive and grow. I never knew it before, but I love teaching others the art of photography.


I am currently in my fourth week of teaching an online photography class, and all of my students are really starting to take off. The class was only offered for five days initially, and there has been a lot of interest since registration ended, but I won't be able to teach the class in this manner again for a while.

Because of the interest and email from those who missed signing up for the Master Your Lens Course I have decided to offer the class digitally starting today. The class is a six-week course devoted to helping students master the art of photography. A different lesson is taught each week and there are assignments that must be completed. Offering the class digitally will give people the chance to tackle the assignments at their own pace and without the pressure of making sure they are free for  the class based on my schedule.

The first lesson is the foundation for the entire class, and it is a very intense lesson to start the course, but it is necessary. Each student is required to keep a journal so they can see their growth week by week. The course is a step by step approach and I'm their every step of the way to guide my students through the process.

If you'd like to begin the journey with me, downloads of the first lesson are available starting today and closes at midnight on August 31st, 2015 at midnight PST. Each lesson is priced at $197.00 per lesson but, you are under no obligation to continue if you feel the entire class is not right for you. However, I believe after the first class you will want to continue as this class is like no other photography class that I have ever seen, but don't take my word for it. Try out the first class today by downloading lesson one, of the Master Your Lens Course.

Benefits include: anytime email access to me to guide you along your journey and a monthly Google hangout for Q&A with all the students taking the course.

Master Your Lens Course: Lesson One - ENROLL TODAY


Always dream big.

The Secret Program That Turns $1 Into $50

In the early 90's I worked as a photo assistant to a big fashion photographer. His studio was in New York City directly across the street from Central Park on 57th street. One day, he informed me that he'd be out for the week taking a photography workshop. I was shocked because this photographer was at the top of his game and shooting for big advertising clients, amazing fashion magazines, and powerful private clients. I asked him why he was taking a course, and I'll never forget what he told me, he said, "Matthew, you should never stop learning. The moment you think you know it all you are done!"

Years later I was interviewing Gregory Hines, the famous tap dancer, and he told me while making the movie White Knights with Mikhail Baryshnikov, that Mikhail would take classes every day to keep sharp and improve your craft. Gregory said, if one of the top dancers in the world is doing this, then I should too, and he started doing the same. 

Today is the last day to take advantage of an incredible photography coaching program, Master Your Lens Course. Registration for this six-week online course ends at midnight tonight and is priced for only $497.00.  After tonight, the master course won't be offered at this price again so take advantage of this incredible deal while you still can.

The six-week course starts tomorrow online at 4:00 pm PST and will help you turn 1 dollar into 50 by learning these photography secrets that will skyrocket your success. ! I look forward to seeing you in class to help you Master Your Lens. To learn more click here.

To register


Always dream big!


Big Giveaway This Monday

This Monday I will give away a FREE video on photographic lighting. Whenever I speak or give a workshop, it seems the majority of questions asked are related to lighting, so I've decided to share as much information as possible to help others become better photographers.

Starting Monday, I will share a FREE video that shows tens ways to use one light source. To receive the video just sign in with your email and you'll receive the video.

Have a great weekend!


Always dream big!

The Perfect Beach

Today was a scout day in Miami  for the perfect beach location. The right set is part 1 of the creating magical images. The other elements are my Nikon camera gear, Profoto B1 lighting,  and great music. The biggest part however is the person behind the camera and bringing all of my energy to the set to inspire my subjects. 

Here's to a great shoot!

Always Dream Big

Photographing Sofia Vergara

One of my favorite TV shows is the popular ABC sitcom, Modern Family. Every time I watch it I find myself laughing constantly throughout the episode. One of the stars of the show is the very beautiful  Sofia Vergara, and every time I watch the show I think back to my first time photographing her. 




Every photo shoot has a story, and sometimes a lesson as well. I am starting a podcast in the next few weeks where you will be able to hear photographic stories, lessons, tips and more to help you grow in your life journey. Stay tuned for more information as we lead up to launch day, until then, have a great weekend.

Always Dream Big

What's Music Got To Do With It

It’s funny how a great song can change our mood and even give us new-found energy.

I have a very good friend named Dushyanthi who now works at the United Nations. When she lived in Los Angeles she worked for me and helped me put music together before jobs. The right music can set the tone for the day and even save a difficult photo session.

During the morning hours when my subjects are having hair and makeup done, the music is played low and it’s softer. When the actual shooting starts the music is more upbeat and energetic.

On one assignment for Olay, I was hired to photograph another good friend, Angela Bassett. The day before the shoot, Angela was shooting a movie and worked late into the evening. When she arrived at the studio the next morning I could tell she was tired. As we began to shoot my clients noticed that Angela’s energy was less than what we’d hoped for, so I spoke to Angela and we tried shooting again, still it wasn’t quite right. My production assistant, Dushyanthi, came to me and whispered, “I know the perfect song to play.”  She switched the music and as soon as Angela heard this song she was the Angela I’ve come to know.  The song was Tina Turner’s, Proud Mary, and it saved the day.

Angela played Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It, and the entire studio came to life when the song started to play. It was a magical moment when having the right song made all the difference.

Always Dream Big……….and play great music.

Inspire The World Through Your Photograhy

Before I published my first book, Sepia Dreams, in 2001, I was met with many stumbling blocks and hurdles. There were times when I wanted to give up on my first book project and call it a day, but something deep inside me kept pushing me along. After a while the hurdles became something I expected and each time I jumped over one, I became stronger.

Sepia Dreams, my first book published in 2001

Sepia Dreams, my first book published in 2001

Many of us have big dreams but when a difficult moment comes along, or our friends say things that discourage us, we give up on our dreams.  Today, I am here to push you forward and tell you that you, and you alone, have the power to bring any dream to life. The only thing standing in your way is you.

In Sepia Dreams I photographed and interviewed 50 African-American celebrities about the struggle to make their dreams come true. Each one told me there were times when they either quit or wanted to quit. Even with my photography I gave up on it early in my career, but then learned that a bad day as a photographer was better than a good day doing anything else. Remember, when you have hard times, it is only the universe testing you to see how badly you want something. NEVER GIVE UP!

Hold fast to your dreams and do something every day towards them. Today I would like for you to pick up your pen and paper, and take 10 minutes to write down your personal goal or dream. Put the date at the end and sign your name. Each day I would like for you to write what you did towards your goal. Day by day you will gain more confidence towards bringing your dream to life, and before you know it you will be working on your goal every day until it become a reality. Don't worry about how long it takes. Time is only an illusion and it will pass by anyway. Be fearless and always dream big!



Forbidden Japan

Last April I traveled to China for an exhibit at the Temple of Heaven. It was an incredible experience that climaxed with an award ceremony and receiving the Power of Image award. This April I am in Japan looking for representation in Asia and looking to show my fine art work as well. 

While in Japan I have taken time to see some incredible temples, shrines and sites. One place that truly blew me away gave me a glimpse of all the amazing places in the world and reminded me how important it is to travel. If you have ever been to China, it is a good chance you have been to Forbidden City, or maybe you have watched "The Last Emperor" which is filled in Forbidden City. 

Forbidden Japan

You could never guess by this image, but it was taken in Japan, not in China. This image is a miniature version of the real Forbidden City and it is done perfectly. To photograph this image I used a Nikon D4S and a 35mm 1.4 lens. This week I will share more from this incredible location along with stories from my trip to Japan.

We enhance our lives and grow in three ways: The people we meet, (you always meet people when traveling), the places you go, (like Japan in this case), and the books we read. Very soon I will share information on how you can make my newest book, Future American President special in enhance your families life for decades to come.

Always Dream Big