Portfolio Review: interview with…Matthew Kanbergs


Photos by Matthew Kanbergs

Matthew Kanbergs is a photographer based out of Brooklyn, New York. He travels often, capturing what interests him using a variety of film cameras. These photographs are part of a forthcoming exhibition titled “Wintered Coasts,” which juxtaposes the winter months in California and New York.

When did you start to think about photography?
Photography has long been an interest of mine. I’ve always taken pictures, but a big turning point was when I switched to film and acquired more cameras, that’s when I started pursuing photography seriously.

What does photography mean to you? and which kind of photography do you like more?
Photography is a way to capture a moment, documenting something that will never occur again in the same way – allowing the opportunity to revisit the moment and infer new meanings and reactions.
I prefer photography that is natural, photographs that are a reflection of the photographer in the moment.

When you take a portrait, what is important for you?
It’s important that I capture whatever makes the subject and situation unique. I prefer not to stage photographs if I can help it, instead capturing what is naturally occurring, presenting a portrait that is relevant to the time and place.

Do you think it’s important to follow a school to learn how to shoot?
I don’t think school is necessary to shoot. I went to school for Modern Literary studies, I haven’t taken a single photography course. There are technical aspects, developing, etc, that I wish I was more proficient in, but when I have the time and opportunity I will take courses in what I really feel I need to learn. I think always having a camera with you is the best way to learn to shoot, making it a part of who you are and not something you’re doing for a grade.

What’s the photo you want to take and you never did?
There’s at least one photo for every time I’ve left the house without a camera.

What’s your photo-mission?
I want to travel the world with an endless supply of film. I’m currently looking for monetary backers and am pursuing print and gallery exhibitions.

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