I picked up my first camera when I was about eight years old. It was my dad’s. It didn’t have any film in it, but I would go around clicking the shutter pretending I was taking spectacular pictures. That’s where my love of photography began.
Growing up near the Grand Canyon working at Jacob Lake Inn, my family’s business, was wonderful. I used to look through magazines we sell like “Arizona Highways” and imagine what it would be like to take pictures like that. I took many photographs but mine never looked as good. Finally, I met Rodger Newbold, the director of photography at the Salt Lake Art Center. Taking a year of classes from him brought me into the world of quality photography. We formed a great friendship that has lasted over thirty years. Since then it has been trial and error, calling Rodger with questions and reading every book I could get my hands on.
Since I never gave thought to photography becoming a career, I went and earned my B.S. from the University of Utah and a M.S. from the University of Missouri, both in Civil Engineering. After several years working as a civil engineer in the construction industry, I returned to Jacob Lake Inn.
Living so close to so many national parks, I realized how much I missed photography. It remotivated me to explore and photograph the area around me.
At first, I photographed for the love of photography. However, after the encouragement of several family members (especially my niece, Julie, and sister-in-law, Melinda) they convinced me that others would enjoy my pictures as well. I was reluctant at first, but as more and more people complimented and persuaded me, I finally started to show my work publicly.
I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to Teresa and Tonya, owners of Sorella Gallery in Springdale, UT. They have given me a great opportunity and, especially Teresa, have pushed me to take more and better pictures. I really appreciate all they have done for me. I also want to thank my good friend, Ross Glauser, for introducing me to Teresa in the first place. Thanks Ross!
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my wonderful wife Shayne (who has always believed in me) and our five children: Matt Jr., Jayne, Hannah, Thomas and Daniel. We live in St. George, Utah.