Photographer of the Day: Matt Eich

ADC Member chronicles the "American condition"

August is Photography Month here on the ADC blog. Among other stories and articles, we will be featuring a different photographer every weekday of the month. Some are seasoned professionals, some are young up and comers, and some are just amateur shutterbugs taking snapshots on the side. One thing they have in common: they are all ADC Members, part of our globe-spanning creative community. We hope that you enjoy their work as much as they love creating it!

2012-03-19 14.34.16MATT EICH
Norfolk, VA, USA

How old were you when you took an interest in photography?

I was 10 years old when my grandfather took me on a road trip and handed me a camera. At the time my grandmother was dying of Alzheimer’s, and photography seemed like a means of stabilizing memory. It became an obsession of mine through high school, and I began studying photojournalism at Ohio University in 2004 when I was 18.

What do you love most about photography as an artform?

Photography is an increasingly democratic art form that contains many possibilities for people to engage with it as a medium. It is how I feel most capable of expressing myself.

What is your favorite thing to shoot?

I am interested in all kinds of photography, though I am mostly drawn to creating photographic essays about the American condition. This pursuit allows me to gradually come to a better understanding of the complexities of the nation that I call home.

“This pursuit allows me to gradually come to a better understanding of the complexities of the nation that I call home.”

What is your favorite piece of equipment?

I try to think of a camera as a tool and I will frequently switch modes of shooting between cameras like a Canon 5D Mark III, my iPhone, a Mamiya 7 or a Hasselblad X-Pan. Recently I’ve enjoyed using a Sony RX-1 for a lot of work, ranging from documentary to family to portraiture to street.

Which person most inspires your photographic passion? Which professional photographers do you look up to?

If I had to name one person, it would probably be Eugene Richards, though I am also influenced by a number of other photographic artists ranging from Eggleston and Frank to more contemporary artists like Alec Soth, Christopher Anderson, Taryn Simon, Todd Hido, Jason Eskenazi and many others.