It is a new year, which means new art! Our New Year’s Res is to keep supporting local businesses and artists, and of course to drink some Damn Good Coffee. Meet Matt Demke, our local artist for the month of January.
How did you start photography? What inspired you?
I started photography about 7 and a half years ago now. My family was on vacation, and my dad, who’s also a photographer, lent me his camera for the week and I was hooked ever since.
Tell us about the photos that are displayed at First Ave. What was your goal/intention? Are they all shot at the same place?
The images on display at 1st Ave Coffee are a collection of photos from my outdoor adventures. All the images on display are from three locations in Washington State including Olympic National Forest, Mt. Adams, and Wenatchee National Forest. Under each photo is a small description about the images, and a short story behind how the image was captured.
Do you specialize in specific photography, such as portrait, landscape or product?
I would classify my photography as outdoor landscapes and lifestyle. I enjoy telling people stories in wild places and the different way they interact with the environment around them.
How has your photography changed over time?
My start in photography was second shooting local events here in town with my dad, such as ValleyFest. Later, I would branch away from my dad to shoot family portraits, senior portraits, and weddings. I went to high school at Ferris and was apart of the yearbook team, which gave me insight into journalism. Junior and senior year of high school, I was in Running Start at Spokane Falls Community College, where I expanded my photography skills by taking many film, documentary, and studio classes. But my love for photography lives in the outdoors.
What is integral to your work?
Something that I’ve learned through the years is how vital the people you surround yourself with really are. The early learning years with my dad taught me to push myself, and get the shot even when it may feel awkward. To always get the full story and capture “Happy smiling people”. The simple words he engraved into my hippocampus. The very vital team building skill I gained from yearbook and college classes are important for what I do now when working with new clients. But most importantly to me, is the friends and family that continue to encourage me to keep capturing.
What equipment do you use?
I’m currently a Canon shooter. Rocking the 5d III with a Tamron 24-70 2.8 and 70-210 f4. But I’ve shot everything from Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic, and old Pentax and Roliflex film cameras.
What is your favorite thing to shoot?
I grew up in Boy Scouts, and every summer around mid-August our troop would go on a trip, also known as a “High Adventure”. This week-long trip varied from year to year. Hiking mountains, biking in Montana, Canoeing, Biking in the Olympics, white water rafting in Glacier National Park, etc. Every year I brought my camera, to capture camp life, the cuts and bruises, and early sunrises. And since then I haven’t found any other outlet of photography that brings me as much excitement as I do when I’m capturing people outside.
You can find Matt and his photography on his Instagram @mattdemke_