Matt Monath

As a portrait, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and product photographer, Matt shoots for a variety of clients on both editorial and commercial projects. His studio work often involves his signature colorful lighting, while capturing images of some of the most notable faces in culture today. In his lifestyle work, he strives to really catch a quick snap of a moment, telling a story about the people and setting. Some clients include Samsung, Sony Music, Verizon, L’Oréal Paris, Royal Caribbean, iHeartRadio, Aquafina, Western Digital, Shiseido, and more. He calls his native NYC home, but travels often for work and wanderlust.

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 Photographing Generation Z

What websites, blogs and people do you draw inspiration from? Who do you follow on Instagram and/or Pinterest?

I draw inspiration from faces, really. I’ll often see someone I’d like to photograph, and then think about the concept they could be perfect for. I also seek out the work of other photographers that think out of the box. The images that catch my eye are ones that I can really stare at for a few minutes, contemplate the lighting, and think about their inspiration. I mainly follow lots of models on Instagram, as well as photo editors, retouchers, creative directors, and art buyers. I like to look at what the creatives of today are making and seeing.

What’s your approach for casting your models? Do you use an agency, friends, scout?

I often use agencies to cast models if it’s for a higher caliber fashion or beauty editorial. However, for lifestyle shoots, especially within Generation Z, I’ll often use friends or scout, since it’s so largely about personality and vibe. I’ll also often Insta-stalk, and cast from there.

Let’s tap into your styling; what wardrobe, props, locations and post production do you feel help to create that Generation Z feel?

Trends! Bright locations, or just places that people would want to Instagram or share. As for post production, I’ll often play up the filtered look.

When taking photos of Post-Millennials do you think including technology comes hand in hand?

Post millennials are often very on top of today’s trends, and are into a filtered, shared, hashtagged, POV lifestyle. Therefore, technology is really always there. It’s a realistic part of today’s culture.

How would you shoot Post-Millennials without any technology being present? Where are they? What do they do, what do they like?

If I’m doing a lifestyle shoot, I’ll think about the aspects of their life that they naturally relate to. Whether it’s just them hanging with  friends and looking off camera, or snapping them engaging in a hobby, the goal is for it to be natural and genuine.

What hashtags do you use to promote this kind of work, how do you get your images noticed on Instagram? 

Besides my self-promotion hashtags (#mattmonath, #mattmonathphoto, and #mattmonathphotography), I’ll see what hashtags may apply to my work. Often it’s a simple as #lifestylephotography, or could be as specific as #optoutside, etc.


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