by Malcolm Mathieson Published 01/05/2003
FOR over twenty-five years this Australian Photographer has been involved in portraying his society and clients. He has built a successful business and made his living from photography, in the main throughout rural Australia. Malcolm has a passion for his craft and believes in the power of imagery to do much more than record every-day events and lives.
It has seen him elected as President of the World Council of Professional Photographers and enabled him to lecture in many parts of Europe, the USA, Canada, Asia, Australia and the United Kingdom. He is a Master Photographer of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography, and also one of the few non-New Zealanders to be an Associate of the New Zealand Institute.
After leaving school in the 70's, Malcolm trained as a Cinematographer, working in television News and Current affairs. There he gained skills in storytelling and, now that reportage style is in vogue, it has seen him much in demand for weddings. He holds the opinion that photographers need to "see and record" and that this is of equal importance to the skills of lighting and posing.
Malcolm has at various points in his career run a successful high street studio with a staff of five, as well as a custom picture framing business and a professional black and white laboratory. He has worked from a home only accessible to four-wheel drive vehicles, doing thirty five to forty weddings a year at an average sale of over £6000 per wedding. Malcolm has photographed thousands of aerial images, tens of thousands of school kids and, over a ten-year, period more than two thousand family portraits. In recent times he has worked as a consultant to Australia's largest professional photographic laboratory and one of the world's leading album makers. He still maintains his passion for photography, shooting everything from Russian Orphans to starving babies in the Philippines, as well as his commissioned wedding and portrait work.
He has held many exhibitions ranging from 101 portraits of the people of his home town to an exhibition titled "Chrome and Leather" (images of Harley bikers). His exhibitions generate much of his commissioned work and give him a creative outlet to explore imagery without any commercial constraints placed by clients. He has raised thousands of pounds for charity and recently clothed 186 Russian Orphans through the sale of his images of Semyonovka.
Malcolm has a keen interest in Business and Marketing and in his talks and workshops he outlines the philosophy of marketing and then details the systems he has designed to give him higher average orders, an almost unbelievable referral business and lots of repeat customers. His advice is sought by many photographers world wide and he writes a regular column in an Australian publication on photographic trends, business and marketing.
Malcolm scorns "equipment collecting" and chooses his own with care, always asking the two questions, "will it make me more money?" and "how will it differentiate me in the market?"
He was one of the first users of panoramic cameras for wedding photography, a lover of Leica Rangefinder cameras (his chosen tool for all his personal and much of his wedding photography). Like many others he is currently exploring the digital world. His main passion however remains recording reality, seeing the world and providing his clients, the community, profession and the wider general public his unique visual style.
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