Welcome to Matt Forgione Photography!
I started practising photography all the way back in 2018, shooting wildlife, landscapes and architecture photos religiously, I loved the process. I’d come to realize quickly that this had become a real passion for me and I wanted to do much more with it, and get good enough to where I could expect great results every time I set out with my camera.
I love portraiture and photojournalism. After a embarking on a few amateur media projects that featured people in my community, I began to learn just how important these kinds of images are and I started developing my studio chops. I noticed that I was improving much faster when I focused on using light to make an image great with the camera first, and not just in the editing room.
As far as my technical education goes, I have no formal training in photography – I’m a machinist by trade – but over the years I’ve taught myself design applications and honed my ability to interact with anything digital. Whether it be a video file, audio recording, photographic image or graphic, I’ve always had my hands on one virtual medium or another and have developed my own kind of expertise in the field of content creation and print media. I have my own style that I developed by picking up techniques here and there from other photographers and online learning resources.
So if you’re a business owner who needs quality photos of your product or if you have a birthday party that you’re planning and just have to immortalize it in a photo album, I can do that for you. I’m here to make it happen, and I promise you’ll love the results.
How does a typical shoot with me go?
There are five parts.
1. Pre-Shoot Consult
Before we go ahead and bring in the photo gear, I like to talk with you and decide on the photography for your needs. Are you looking for photos for your business, website or social media? A framed graduation photo of a loved one? Sometimes you don’t have to hire a photographer and some stock photos will do just fine for your website – I’ll be honest and up front with you. For images of products or individuals in your organization however, photos just can’t be beat if you want people to see who is behind the facebook page.
Together we decide on props, backgrounds, and lighting techniques so your idea comes to life. It’s important to have a clear plan before we arrive on location, that way we can get the most out of our time together and so you can have a lot of images to choose from.
We also decide on the day and location. The location can be anywhere, and if it is in a public space, sometimes I need to acquire the proper permissions to be able to bring in the studio. It could be your favourite park, your home, your place of business, or even an event that is being hosted.
Note that I do take a 33% booking fee that is refundable up to two days before the shoot. That way I have the option to book another client to make up the time if life happens and you can’t make it. Beyond two days beforehand however, only extraneous circumstances will entitle you to the refund.
2. The Shoot
I arrive about fifteen minutes early to our location to assemble the set. That way, when you arrive, you can step in and get photographed. If you have hired me for an hour, we can set up like this multiple times.
Then… we take the photos. Just know that my job is to make sure you look natural and that you feel great while you get your photo taken and trust me it’s easier than it sounds! I believe that everyone can look confident and let their best self show.
All photos taken during the shoot will be edited in post processing software after we are finished (Photoshop/Lightroom). This of course is at no extra charge and is included in all packages. I do not charge an editing fee for individual photos, instead I give you an “expected number of photographs” depending on the time, subject matter, and set changes.
4. Gallery Delivery
After the editing, I deliver the photos to you through a link to a password protected online gallery, here you can download the full resolution images for your own use or at a lower resolution for your social media. We’ll discuss the privacy settings for your gallery at the Pre-Shoot, such as if you would like to allow friends to download the files or if only family members are allowed. This way you have the option to share your gallery to your feed and have friends check out your new photos at their beautiful full resolution, or for just you to simply have a place to go back to and have a peek every once in a while.
Just note that a year after the gallery has been posted it will be removed as a cost saving measure to make space for further client galleries. You can pay a small fee to keep it up for another year if you’d like to though!
Check out a sample gallery here!
5. Post-Shoot Consult
This is where we talk about the bells and whistles. If you ordered one of my rates packages with no prints, this is where we can discuss framing and printing options. I am currently working with a few different suppliers and will bring price lists to help us turn your favourite photos into display pieces.
If you ordered one of my family packages, this is where we would select the photo or photos to go with that particular option or discuss alternatives that are within the price range of that specific product.
My intention here isn’t to make you spend your life savings on items but to make sure that your experience with Matt Forgione Photography has been amazing. Prints are definitely the cherry on top and I’m sure we’ll find that perfect home decor solution that works for you so it becomes that perfect interior design choice for your space.
I’m not afraid of bringing measuring tape! If you need exact specifications and mock ups done for you, I will go that extra inch to make sure you get that perfect print!
Tools of the trade
I used to look at my camera bag like just a camera bag – the place I kept my camera, lenses, and the odds in ends. it wasn’t until recently that I had begun to look at it more like a mechanics toolbox, where every piece is used for it’s specific task and purpose. I’d like to share some of that here so you can get an understanding of what I can do for you.
Colour Accuracy Checker
For tasks such as print production for artists, or commercial photography for product shoots, I use a colour checker on set to make sure the colour is calibrated once I get to the editing phase back at the computer. That way your product or art piece looks as colour accurate digitally as it does looking at it with your own eye.
I used to overlook these for my photo shoots because I couldn’t justify spending that extra for a metering solution. When I realized it took much longer to light up a shoot without it, I finally sprung for one. This makes it so I can rapidly set up, and reset my flashes quickly – less time setting up means more time that the shutter is rolling and you’re getting photos.
Electronic Through the Lens Flash (ETTL)
I used to think flash was that thing that made photographs look awful, with the whole red eye and blinding look that they made. The truth is, these things are miracle workers when you’re in a low light situation like a banquet and you need to stop the action or give a bright look to your scene.
On site studio
It is a big deal for me starting out to have a set that can go with me anywhere, giving me a ton of flexibility in terms of location and backgrounds. It means cost savings for you as a client, and the ability for me to work anywhere.
Own a restaurant? It only takes a few seconds to set up head shots for your staff members or photograph your signature entrée. Furniture maker? Having some quality product photos can go a long way to getting orders online or spark interest with your flyer.
It makes the most sense in portraiture though. What is you and your significant others favourite hiking spot? Or where you first met? Try out my on location studio, I think it’s the best part of the whole experience.
Adobe Suite of Design Software
I supposed these don’t quite fit the bill of “my toolbox”, but I suppose I’m one of those guys who, if I did this in the age of film, would certainly have a dark room of some kind. Even if it was just my bathroom with the lights turned off, I’d be in there dodging and burning, just like I do at the comfort of my office computer.
Editing is something I’m really proud of doing, I’ve read countless articles and seen tons of videos all over about how little you need the above two options if you want to be a photographer and it’s true. In Adobe Lightroom, all you need is a preset and a dream and you can start making photography right now, it’s one of the most beautiful parts of this craft. If you’re a business owner like me who needs graphic design and high end image editing tools for your content outside of that though… the above apps take the cake in regards to cool things you can do with pictures, I’d probably stop breathing without them.
Some photographs just need that extra oomph. For example, in fashion photography. Even the most talented and beautiful models have their skin retouched in their photos (usually by an expensive digital artist) before the pictures get anywhere near a Vogue magazine cover.
For a lowly freelancer such as I, things are a bit different – but not much. Sometimes I shoot an otherwise great photo, but something keeps it from being excellent, like a loose piece of fabric or an object that is overly exposed, things that takes your attention away from the subject. That kind of stuff needs to be addressed, but not overly so. I try to keep my photographs as close to the original concept and while keeping textures and colours intact. None of that skin filter look, classy yet polished.
Illustrator is another story. A ton of graphic designers use Photoshop for all of their logo and branding designs, but as soon as I tried Illustrator and its vector design capabilities, I was hooked. My t-shirt was done in that software and I don’t think I’ll be going back to anything else for my graphics. If you’re a business owner who would like to buy some design for an entry level rate I’d be glad to give you a quote.
I think I covered everything so far, but I feel like there is still so much I can still add here. Luckily this is just version one of the about me page! Check out the blog for news about all things Matt Forgione Photography.
Book a free consultation today.