Five Questions with Matt Rose
Current Occupation: Photographer/Graduate Student
Workshop: Project New Orleans
Nonprofit Assignment: French Quarter Festival
Instructors: Jamie Rose, Chris Usher, Eva Russo, Tom Smith of Leica
What motivated you to take a Momenta Workshop?
I was in my junior year of undergrad at The Corcoran College of Art+Design working on my BFA in Photojournalism. During FotoWeekDC, Momenta’s two co-Founders, Jamie Rose and Chris Anderson, came to give a presentation as part of a series offered by Women Photojournalists of Washington (WPOW) called,“20 Tips for Photojournalists on International Assignment”. What impressed me was what Jamie and Chris presented and how it was presented. The information provided was practical and based on years of real experience. It’s information I still use to this day. I remember thinking “These two kick ass, I need to find out more about Momenta!” That’s where I found the workshops offered and the ability to partner with a nonprofit while learning from some of the best photojournalists working in the business with real-time feedback. How could I pass up such an awesome learning experience?
What surprised you most about the location you visited or the experience of working with a nonprofit?
I went to the New Orleans workshop, so no real surprise with the location, and I was working with the French Quarter Festival nonprofit (which was awesome, by the way). It was pretty straight forward on what I needed to do to meet the client needs. The staff at Momenta handled everything with the nonprofit for the students as far as setting up time frames and expectations and access. Everything ran smoothly which allowed for maximized learning.
I have worked with many nonprofits after this workshop. The thing that surprises me the most is always how thankful the director and staff are for quality images. The people at nonprofits are always hyper-focused on running the nonprofit. Sometimes, they don’t always see it from the outside. When they see the images, the expression on their face is so fulfilling.
What was the best lesson you took away from your workshop?
This is a tough question because there were so many lessons. That may sound cheesy, but it’s true. My entire approach to shooting and editing was changed along with learning how to properly name files for the most efficient file management and archive. Also, Photo Mechanic is one of the best tools a photographer can have.
What was your favorite photograph from this workshop and why?
The image above is my favorite for a whole host of reasons! To me, this joyful woman exemplifies the spirit of the French Quarter Festival and New Orleans in general. She is *SO* happy and has this welcoming smile that says, “We’re all out here together in this hot humid weather having an awesome time celebrating!” Additionally, I took this photo while on the back of a parade float (while it was moving!) that had a full bar! I had full access credentials for the whole Festival and essentially had a golden ticket to the city! Being in the middle of the parade and center of all the action while documenting it for a nonprofit was just a really fun learning experience.
What would you tell a potential student to help them prepare for their experience with Momenta?
Be open and ready to learn. You’re going to learn so much in such a condensed amount of time, while working long hours, that will help you for your entire career. Oh, and make sure you read and follow all the preparation instructions Momenta sends you before the workshop!
Matt Rose’s Biography:
Matt Rose is an ex-corporate suit, ex-bartender, former United States Marine, Road Warrior, World Traveler, Image Maker, and Storyteller. He believes in changing perspectives by documenting and adding to the human narrative. Matt is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts program at Cal-State Northridge, with a focus on Photography/Photojournalism. Matt has a BFA from The Corcoran College of Art+Design in Photojournalism and is very close to achieving the perfect pie crust.