We had the good fortune of connecting with Matthew Alexander and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matthew, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
When I started converting this hobby into a business, I wanted to make sure that I don’t do it strictly for money. Since this is a “side gig”, I wanted to make sure that I made time to help those in need. I don’t do much, and I certainly try to do more, but right now, I donate to a charity that plants trees to help restabilize the environment in places affected by heavy logging and deforestation. I started offering discounts for families with low income, people living with disabilities, vegans, families with adopted children, and single parents. I think that a lot of people end up not hiring photographers because it’s considered a luxury good, so I made sure to price in according to what can be affordable. To help keep prices low, I often buy used goods and rely on trades/favors to get gear. A lot of my gear is repurposed from thrift stores or bought on eBay. I think the most helpful thing I can do with my business goals is be accessible to people.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I became a photographer by accident. I was on tour with a band as a tour manager and they gave me a camera to play with. I fell in love with it. I started networking and shooting concerts, then band promotional work, then portrait, then eventually got into event and wedding photography. Now I do a little bit of all of it. It’s been challenging – the way our capitalist society works nowadays is that you have to be really good at one thing and do, say, and learn that thing only. That didn’t work for me – so it’s been hard. I love being able to be versatile and do many things, which inherently makes being a good businessman hard. But it’s made me a really well-versed photographer, and I’ve been able to change lives with my work, and I feel good about that.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Atlanta has an incredible amount of nature hidden in the city. I’m also a big fan of the local music scene, and always have a good time socializing and working with the people here. Any visitor would likely go hiking with me, take some pictures outdoors with me, hit up one of the local vegan food places (like Plant Based Pizza, which is SO GOOD!) and then clean up, and go to a show. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Garret Rapp, who taught me that above all, every bad thing that happens to you can help you be the light that inspires others to be better tomorrow.