After studying a degree in humanities, majoring in film, Matt Reed ventured off to Hollywood to work on film sets before returning to Byron Bay, Australia, to shoot for surf magazines such as Waverider & Tracks.
Reed then moved to Sydney to hone in on his craft, studying at the ACP and assisting fashion and editorial photographers such as Tony Notta.
He was then offered a position as fulltime photographer for New’s Limited, shooting for The Daily and Sunday Telegraph.
During this period, Reed also set up his own studio and began building a portfolio of fashion and portraiture work.
His fashion clients now include brands such as Ksubi, Levi’s and Lee and his editorial work is branching out to include clients such as Vogue, Dumbo feather, Dazed & Confused, Black, Ksubi and GQ.
Shooting Lilly Allen for GQ was a highlight for Reed, who admits that he loves to shoot candidly rather than in a studio set up environment.
"I wanted to shoot her (Allen) in a natural environment because I suspected she was a fun personality so I used natural light to tell her story as it happened," he explains.
"I guess my style is a combination of my background -- I love film and storytelling."
Reed’s unique style is also born out of his passion for street photography, fashion portraiture, and his experience working in a newsroom environment.
"Originating from the UK, I grew up with the idea that fashion happens from the ground up. I feel that advertising would be more interesting and relevant if it featured real people's lives, who actually embody the brand's values rather than models just posing."
Social realism has also been important in the development of Reed's portrait style. He admires the work of photographer Cartier Bresson and the idea of substance over style; where the viewer can get an insight into the subject’s character, rather than just viewing a pretty picture.
Reed has been documenting the counter cultures of surfing, skating, boxing and street art for the past 15 years. His most recent personal work includes a series titled ‘Hollywood Skaters’. Here, he followed young skaters throughout their daily routine, in order to capture a fresh and honest approach to this culture, which he hopes to pitch to Gen Y fashion brands and the like.
In addition, Reed held a solo exhibition called ‘Ordinary Things’ of his street photography, which was exhibited at Ksubi. He is currently working on a photo essay for the 2009 annual issue of AdNews, Yaffa Publishing, at the time of print.
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