Resource Magazine is always on the lookout for emerging talent in the photo industry Instagram has become a great source of new talent just waiting to be unearthed. This is where we first saw the work of Sean Matthew Leary. A photographer whose brand of infrared photography totally blew us away. Check out our Q&A with @seanmatthew below and stay tuned for next week’s story.

 sean-matthew-leary, instagram, insta-view, instagramer, photography, mobile, arts, interview, inspiration

Where did you study photography? and when did you transitioned specifically to infrared photography?

I went to school in Massachusetts for a Fine Arts Education, where I studied all sorts of fine art techniques from welding to figure drawing to graphic design, painting and dark room photography. However, most of what I learned and know now I’ve taught myself or picked up from my older brother Michael. I shoot Nikon because my brother shoots Nikon. That way when I got stuck, I could call big brother and he could have an answer for me. Those were the days before iPhones and mobile Internet.

Once I started shooting digital photography I realized my photos were lacking compositionally. I became click happy, not taking the breather to frame the shot right, not jotting the notes into a shot list book. So, to challenge myself to be better I took my digital camera and converted it to only shoot infrared. Through this I couldn’t really shoot so casually any more–you can’t shoot in auto mode, you can’t really see the final photo until you’ve “developed” it on the computer by flipping the channels around a bit. This slowed me down, gave me that peace I missed from film.

What are your favorite photo subjects? And why?
As far as subjects go, for the infrared works I shoot landscapes and cityscapes devoid of human presence. The surreal nature of the infrared paired with the lack of human subjects takes mood of the pieces to a peaceful or eerie place depending on the viewer. I always love to show a photo of Houston in 100 heat and show it to someone in Texas. They inevitably say, “What a lovely winter scene, where is this?” I tell them, “Houston in August.” It blows their minds.

Who are your influences in the field of photography?
I consume a lot of photograph images and pull from that concepts and paths. I don’t focus on one source but instead many. Mainly my photography community I’ve created over time and travels acts as my influence. Having lived around the country I have met some pretty amazing people and I’ve loved to discover their photographic eye. They inspire me daily to be better.

Once I started shooting digital photography I realized my photos were lacking compositionally. I became click happy, not taking the breather to frame the shot right, not jotting the notes into a shot list book. So, to challenge myself to be better I took my digital camera and converted it to only shoot infrared. Through this I couldn’t really shoot so casually any more–you can’t shoot in auto mode, you can’t really see the final photo until you’ve “developed” it on the computer by flipping the channels around a bit. This slowed me down, gave me that peace I missed from film.

What camera and equipment do you use?
For gear I shoot with the Nikon D70 that I converted to infrared as well as a Nikon D90 for standard color variety. The larger percentage of my photos is shot with my iPhone 5s as it goes everywhere with me. I’ve got a little bag of iPhone camera gear. It’s fantastic and fun to explore this new landscape of photography. The D70 will always have a soft spot in my heart for those infrared photos though. I’ve got to look at upgrading to a newer body as the D70 isn’t giving me the quality that I want to have at the end of the day any longer.
Can you describe to us your brand of photography?
As for me and my brand, it’s still an growing concept. The main body of my work has always been my illustrated portraits. It’s the space where I can give focus on the human form and catch those small subtle emotions and feelings and share them. The infrared showing the peaceful calm of nature that we often ignore.

Follow Sean Matthew Leary on Instagram

All photos © Sean Matthew Leary and used with permission.