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Mathews: 'I’m not looking for a handout, just an opportunity'

By Essence Lewis
On September 29, 2020

 During quarantine while many students were laying around with nothing do, Siera Matthews found a passion for photography that she decided to turn into a business.

SM PHOTOGRAPHY stands for Siera Matthews Photography. She currently offers a variety of services including, but not limited to, headshots, brand marketing photos and special events photos. Matthews can shoot and edit videos for events as well.

Four months ago, Matthews received her first camera, a Canon Rebel T6, and fell in love from there. It initially started out as a hobby to keep her busy until she realized how beneficial her services could be to those around her.

COVID gave Matthews the down time she needed in order to practice and perfect her craft.

Matthews edits her work between multiple different apps including “OVER” on iPhone, Lightroom, Final Cut pro and Photoshop. She tries to keep her editing to a minimum but sometimes extra work is needed in order to capture the perfect picture.

“Once the city opened back up, I [she] was well prepared to put myself [herself] out there and gain clients,” she said. “I’m [she is] still learning but so far I’ve [she has] had positive feedback.”

Matthews said while she has a lot of favorite photos so far there is one session that stands out.

“My favorite photoshoot was for my brother’s 18th birthday. It was in April and we were in quarantine,” Matthews said. “It was a really simple celebration and the only decorations he had were 18 balloons. I tried so many different angles to get the right shot. Out of about 30 pictures, I only had one favorite. Even after a few months it still gets so much love on social media.”

Through trial and error, Mathews has come to learn to take a steady approach to growing her business.

“Not everyone is going to like or support your work and I need to be okay with that,” she said. “This business isn’t going to grow overnight. My skills aren’t going to come overnight. Putting my faith in God and working my butt off is what is going to take my business and my name to the next level. I’m not looking for a handout, just an opportunity. With time, I’m going to see my hard work pay off.”

A number of photographers have inspired her along the way.

“I actually have made photographer friends through Instagram since I started taking pictures and they are my #goals,” Mathews said. “They take the flyest pictures to me, I literally can’t wait to reach the level they are on.“
 
Mathews listed the photographers below in particular who have been influences.
 
@knarlydesignz from the Houston/Dallas
@richardpaynestudios from New Orleans
@kapmagazine from Atlanta


 

Photo from a session with Siera Mathews.


 

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