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

Hi Matthew, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve always been an image maker in one way or another, and I didn’t realize how much I truly loved photography until a handful of years ago. My undergrad degree was in Graphic Design, and I’ve been in the industry now for over 20 years. Currently I’m working full time in Marcom design for a really amazing global toy company by day, and shooting as much as possible on the weekends.  I’ve used camera’s my whole life to make reference images for helping with design and illustration. It was until I worked in the Toy industry that I became fascinated with studio photography, and how lighting worked.  A few visits to Comic Con events really solidified my passion for people photography.  My father was also a people photographer and did a lot of school kid photography, but back then I didn’t care about it like I do now.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My studio is called Locomotive Emotion. The name comes from my own experience from viewing photos that made me look twice. When you see a photo in a magazine, billboard a bus or on the web that captivates you, it is your emotions that take control of you with the weight of a locomotive. You are unable to stop the experience as you yield to how that photo makes you feel. I specialize in taking photos that tell a story with people performing a job or an action with the goal of moving the viewer to take an action like engaging in a product experience or service. I just recently invested in a medium format camera system, and really excited to see where it takes me professionally. I love the look of medium format, and feel like it gets closer to the truth of image than a smaller format system. Medium format makes for a higher visual fidelity when enlarging an image for print or large format video screen vs. a smaller format system.  I am still building my client base. Right now I am shooting almost exclusively on the weekends until I build the business to the point of pursuing it full time. I love photographing influential people, and am comfortable around anyone from Hollywood talent, to an Olympic athlete, or Senior VP Executive.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I really enjoy exploring and finding new places. I don’t consider myself a foodie, but I do like good food, and I love music of all kinds. I think I would split the week in two. I love the art museums that LA has to offer, I’d start out by spending a day at the LACMA and a day at the Broad. I enjoy modern art, but also love the French impressionist period. A drive up to Griffith observatory to take in the views of downtown and the Hollywood sign is a must see. Hanging out at the beach in Malibu for an afternoon taking in the surf, then eating dinner at Malibu Farm Cafe would be an easy choice. The last half of the week, I would either take a drive up the coast and spend a few evenings in San Louis Obispo wine country, or head northeast and explore the other worldly hikes of Sequoia National Forest to see the giant trees, and walk with the Ents.

 

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are several people along the way that have truly inspired me to push into the professional photo effort. From the photo studios at Mattel Toys where I worked as an art director for seven years: Teri Weber, Jeff O’brien, Randel Urbaurer, Willy Lew, Jeremy Lloyd, Rick Szczechowski, Dennis Dilaura. The amazing professors at Santa Monica College where I learned my foundation in studio lighting: Craig Mohr, and Steve Anderson.  I had the best time in my career as a packaging designer when I was around all of these photographers in the photo studios on Maple Ave. I would have never gone back to school to learn the basics of lighting unless I had been there. To watch the frenetic scramble to set up the studio early in the morning after a quick briefing, to tuning the lights, and dealing with kid talent. It was always amazing to see a well versed team pull off a successful photo shoot. I enjoyed every minute of that energetic creative process.

Website: www.locoemo.com

Instagram: locomotive_emotion

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattdeere/

Image Credits
Cristina Gomez, Elissa Huang, Nova Gallegos, Melissa Martyn, Libria Dze, Camille Hyde, Salon Industrie, Carolina Sosa, Genevieve Bennett, Celeste Lear

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