Almost 4 years ago I was sitting in my high school photo class about to watch Matt Eich’s Love in the First Person multimedia piece. My high school photo teacher had met former Ohio University professor, Bob Sacha, a few years earlier and Bob had sent along Matt’s piece. That evening I emailed Matt and was surprised by how willing he was to help me figure out where to take my photography. Four years later after countless emails and phone calls, I have just finished up a summer long internship working with Matt in Norfolk, VA. Everything seems to have come full circle.
This summer mostly felt like a blur. I was in the office working most days of the week and it seemed to zip by. I really had no clue how a freelance photographer ran their business successfully and smoothly until I walked into Matt’s office. What I learned most throughout the summer was how to be a better photographer. Matt pushed me to go out and make pictures of new things. I realized that being a better photographer means being a more outgoing person and understanding that everyone has a story no matter if it is on the surface or deep within them. Just talking to people and learning their stories before you start making pictures is sometimes more effective then letting things unfold along the way.
I was fortunate enough to get to experience a plethora of different aspects of being a freelance photographer. I got the opportunity to help organize and put together a gallery show with Matt, traveled to Greenwood, Mississippi with Matt while he worked on his project “Sin and Salvation in Baptist Town”, learned an incredible amount about running a business as a photographer, how to promote myself better, learned a lot about how to edit work well and even learned how to effectively write a grant proposal. (Still need a lot of work on that last one) The entire Eich family was there throughout the summer and made sure I was alive and well and I can’t thank them enough. I had Matt sign my copy of his book “Carry Me Ohio” before I left and he wrote, “If I have learned anything, life & photography require patience. Take your time.”
Those two sentences encompass what I really learned this summer. Be patient and take your time. As my mother always told my impatient self, “Good things come to those who wait.” It has been a great summer and for once in a long time I feel confident in my future as a photographer.
I would also like to thank Amanda Lucier for being such a wonderful person and always being there to help out, Rich Facun for kicking my ass, Ross Taylor for always giving great advice, Leo Kim for not killing me with the most effective choke hold ever and Melissa Eich for opening her home to me and keeping me alive.
Here are some images of Matt throughout the summer. Thank you Matt for making this possible. (Sorry, Matt)