Set in a vantage point of publishing royalty, fashion photographer MATT JONES can shoot off of his family’s frame and capture his own light.
There’s something close to being natural in the images of photographer Matt Jones. His subjects tend to be less art directed—flowing and free. “I like it when someone lets their guard down. Having your photo taken is a very intimate experience and often, people keep there guard up and only show you a controlled side of their personality,” says the English photographer, he continues, “it’s like peeling back the layers of an onion.” Currently based in New York, we caught up with him while organizing his next photo shoot for a campaign with Esprit, which is going to be a huge production in the city. Apart from the said brand, Matt’s list of clients consists of Hugo Boss, Moschino, Y3, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Urban Outfitters. “Collaboration with art directors can push you out of your natural comfort zone. When it works well, it can lead to some great images,” says Matt when asked what he appreciates about doing client work.
He has always been around photographers, he says, and sights Juergen Teller, Mark Borthwick, and Wolfgang Tillmans as his influences. “I like the humanity in their work,” explains Matt. Although he has all these equally talented photographers that he looks up to, the fashion photographer considers his father as his mentor since day one. Matt’s parents are Terry and Tricia Jones, known British designers and founders of the lifestyle and fashion magazine i-D. His sister is Kayt Jones, a fashion photographer and based in Los Angeles. Matt shot his first cover for i-D magazine in 2008 and his cover subject was Japanese film actress Rinko Kikuchi, from then on, he has been taking photographs unceasingly may it be for i-D or for other print media like L’uomo Vogue, Italian & French Elle, V Magazine, and New York Times.
“I like the theater of fashion photography. I like the fact that a great dress or costume can transform someone into an entirely different character.”
Matt has a penchant for shooting fashion editorials, and out of curiosity, one must ask whether he’s a fashionista himself. “I wear jeans and a blue shirt almost every day,” admits Matt, who finds the laidback ensemble the most comfortable and very him. Fashion photography is where Matt shines the most. His shots are visibly sensual but not enough to obscure one’s mind to what the series of photos are trying to portray. Nudity at its most refined and a quirkiness that’s charming are mostly present in his images. “I like the theater of fashion photography. I like the fact that a great dress or costume can transform someone into an entirely different character,” he says. There’s no limit to what an ideal subject is for him. “I like all sorts of subjects, from Obama to the person I’d meet at the desert,” as per Matt. He also has his share of photographing celebrities, which includes Ellen Page, Cate Blanchett, David Lynch, Tilda Swinton, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Ethan Hawke, and Lindsay Lohan. “Sometimes actors come with a large entourage which can kill the intimacy that I like though,” Matt says but the photographer clears it out that he still enjoys shooting these big names just the same.
“I like it when someone lets their guard down. Having your photo taken is a very intimate experience and often, people keep there guard up and only show you a controlled side of their personality.”
Surely, we’ll see more of Matt’s vision and photographs everywhere seeing that he never really had the time to stop doing what he loves the most, which is getting images with humanity. But other than looking forward to more chances to capture still lives, this photographer is bound and excited for his much-deserved RnR somewhere along a remote Mediterranean island.