We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Hinshaw and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Matt, we’d love to hear your perspective on online dating (or interesting anecdotes).
Online dating is tough especially for someone like me. I am in the middle generation. Not quite a millennial and not quite gen-x. I grew up meeting and dating people in the “real” world and had to transition into almost exclusively online dating. I have been online dating for years and it finally stuck! My current girlfriend, who I have been dating for 6 months now, I found online using Facebook’s new dating service. The most frustrating experience I have had with online dating is trying to get a woman to actually reply back to you. I have tried many different approaches from short and sweet, to being funny, to telling them my life story. The one that worked for me is being funny. No matter how you look if you can make someone laugh they will usually at least send you an emoji or a HAHA!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am most proud of the work I did throughout the years working at various newspapers across the southwest but especially my first full time job in Gallup, New Mexico. It was a struggle for me personally and professionally. I had never been to Gallup in my life until the day I moved there. It was a huge culture shock being a 6’ 4” white guy carrying around a bunch of camera gear in the middle of a bunch of Native American reservations. I made lots of great friends and incredible images especially of the Navajo and Zuni tribes. The different ceremonies, dances, etc. are what you see when you pick up a magazine. They are beautiful images but what I really enjoyed was the images of the tribe just being people. I loved the responses I would get from families thanking me for photographing their kids cross country meet or even just the new business on the reservation started by one of their own members. I got where I am today by working my butt off. I rarely ever turned down a job, I am always shooting. I rarely leave my home without a camera. Being a professional photographer who makes 100% of his income photographing you always have to be ready to go and create. I never stop thinking about my next photograph be it for me or for one of my clients. It was not easy to get to where I am today and in the post COVID-19 world it is increasingly harder to be a photographer. When events are not happen and people are not out enjoying life and the outdoors there is not as much to photograph. Don’t get me wrong there is plenty just not what inspires me, people. Some of the lessons I have learned over the past 16 years of being a professional photographer is don’t be afraid to say no and know your worth. I have turned down jobs because they want me to simply work for “exposure,” AKA free! That is all well and good for the clients but I need to pay my mortgage and feed my family too and “exposure” will not do that. Also I can’t emphasize this enough don’t stop shooting. Even if you don’t have a camera on you if you see something inspiring to you it’s ok to break out your smart phone. They are pretty darn good cameras too. What I would like the world to know about me is that I have worked very hard to get to where I am and I will never stop. The world is quickly losing great photographers left and right because of many factors but one is the over saturation of bad photography as being “good enough.” If you see an image you love find out who took it and tell them so. If you can maybe purchase a print or two. The more we support each other the more we can create and continue to create.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There is just so much to see and do in our little state! First stop would be the Grand Canyon. If that is not your first stop or at least in your top 5 then AZ might not be for you. I would then hang out in Flagstaff hitting up downtown especially places like the Orpheum Theater if there is a good band playing and the Beaver Street Brewery. I love going to our local AZ breweries. I would then take them down to my current stomping grounds in Prescott, AZ bar hopping up and down Whiskey Row especially stopping off at the Prescott Brewing Company and The Raven, two of my favorite watering holes. Next we would travel to the Phoenix area hopefully to catch a Diamondbacks game and visit one of my favorite spots for stand-up Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy AZ. I have seen many local and national comics there. That place is just a blast! My tour of the Valley would not be complete without visiting THE waterhole of my college days Four Peaks Brewing Company. To this day my favorite beer in the world is Kilt Lifter. If time permits I would take my friends down south where I grew up in southern Arizona to visit Tombstone and Bisbee. No trip to Arizona is complete without a drink at the Crystal Palace and a tour of the Copper Queen Mine.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people that have stood by my side cutting my teeth as a professional photographer and artist. I know it is a little cheesy but my Mom. She is an artist herself and has gone through a lot of the struggles I have. She studied commercial art back when almost all advertising was done with paintings and drawings. Quickly after she finished schooling and started working her whole industry switched to a different medium and she was out of a job. I have gone through a similar experience with the news industry. Photographers are being let go left and right and I was one of them many times over. I have reinvented myself as a team photographer for the AZ Rattlers in Phoenix and the NAZ Suns in Prescott Valley Arizona along with several other styles of shooting like real estate, weddings, and commercial. Another person who really helped me grow during my college years especially during my internship at the East Valley Tribune was Darryl Webb. He is hands down on of the best sports photographers in the state. Darryl always had time for me when I had questions. He also continually helped me grow with great ideas on how I could have shot a game differently or view a boring press conference as challenge to engage the viewer in your image from the conference.

Website: https://www.hinshawphotography.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hinshawphoto/ Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthinshaw/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/HinshawPhoto/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HinshawPhoto/ Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTM32B4mCMGwOVrzSogsWkA Other: A little podcast I host with my buddy from high school. We review films of all kinds. We put out 1 half hour or so episode a week. Check it out you might enjoy it! https://www.reelfilmnerds.com

Image Credits
NAZ Suns, AZ Rattlers, and Hinshaw Photography