Mood Portraiture

March 24, 2020
Matt Jacob Mood Portraiture

My photography style is Mood Portraiture. After many years of experimenting and finding my style, there was something about mood portraiture that drew me towards it, and to this day remains to be my signature style.

As my exposure to the photography world increased, along with access to information and professional photographers, my mind gravitated to the deeper understand of what an image can evoke. Obviously it depends entirely on the subject, object, creator and viewer, and many people are either not interested in ‘art’ as a whole, nor want any type of public aesthetic to mean anything more than ‘looking pretty’, but this theme of image creation was just not an instinctive attraction for me – I wanted to go deeper, more dramatic and sometimes darker, because that is often my own reflection of human nature and society as a whole.

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But, I take any photo that I can! I just love taking photos, but I will always lean to this certain style if the moment and situation allows.


Matt Jacob Mood Portraiture Streets


After a few workshops and meeting other photographers when I first started learning photography, I experienced first hand exactly what professionals would respect as a ‘good photo’, and the common factor was (and still seems to be) whether an image told a ‘story’. While I believe this is absolutely fundamental and essential to developing respected and long last images, I do feel that sometimes a story might not be able to be told, but often it is more just a ‘moment’ that needs to be captured…

Mood Portraiture also plays into my logistical ability to capture meaningful images. My passion is the challenge of capturing complex mood through a lens, and it’s the challenge that excites me and gets me out there, because when it works it is truly satisfying. A lot of time the result of my photos is the default sum of where I travel to with my job, how much time I have and who/what I end up coming across. So because most of my time on locations with a camera has been limited in time, geography and available tools due to the decisions and itineraries of my schedule, Mood Portraiture became a suitable and efficient method for me to communicate my experiences of human nature that I experience through the lens


Matt Jacob Mood Portraiture Girl


If I was to choose a specific time my outlook on life and human nature changed it was when I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in my first year of University. The whole thing now seems so clichéd – average guy gets ill and takes on a whole new outlook on life – but it didn’t really transpire like that. For a long time I didn’t really process it, just shrugged at the illness and wanted to get on with things – I was young and wanted to have fun, but had a specific goal I was always, everyday, working towards, and that was being a pilot. I was an immature 20 year old, and it wasn’t until I got into the ‘real world’ after my education – where I worked multiple jobs at the same time for years just so I could get closer to that dream of being a pilot – that I widened my scope on what was important to me, and what I felt should be important in life if one is to live long and to the fullest. It’s about watching, understanding and creating moments for yourself (and others) that will last a lifetime and imprint an evocative stamp in your brain for eternity.


Matt Jacob Mood Portraiture Man On A Train


So how I perceive and depict a moment in time, life, location or a subject’s state of mind is absolutely vital to me – it means that I have connected the inside world with the outside one.

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