Brian Matiash began taking photos during his Freshman year at Syracuse University, where he went on to earn a Bachelors Degree and a Masters Degree in Project Management and Information Resource Management. With the likes of David Nightingale and Ben Willmore as some of his greatest photo influences, he has since become the Global Photo Evangelist for Google. As one of the judges for our 2014 EDU Photo Contest, Brian spoke with Resource about his career and his views on photography education.

brian-matiash, google-plus, photography, education, arts, contest, edu2014

As the Global Photo Evangelist for Google + and Nik, can you sum up what you do for our audience?

A big part of what I do is make sure that the products and services we offer are understood and known by all of our users. I also work very closely with our partners and influencers so photographers can understand what it means to be a photographer in the social sphere. We will work with them, receive feedback and also let them know what were up to. So, it’s really cool because I get to work with our product managers and our engineers to build the products, but then I also get to work with our users to make sure everything is understood, and can report back any questions or feedback directly to our product management and engineers.

So what products have you worked on?

Pretty much everything that has to do with Google+ photos, the Nik Collection and Snapseed.

brian-matiash, google-plus, photography, education, arts, contest, edu2014

© Brian Matiash

And you’re a published photographer yourself. Can you tell me about that?

I first started the photography journey my freshmen year of college in 1996 and I’ve been shooting ever since. I’ve definitely been fortunate, as my work’s been published in various newspapers and magazines like the Improper Bostonian and the Boston Globe. Those were really my first two publications where I was thought ‘oh man, my works actually gone to print.’ It was a pretty cool feeling, but since then I’ve been featured in Photoshop User Magazine and I write a monthly column for them, along with Photoshop Essentials Magazine. It’s been fun.

Speaking of Photoshop, what do you think of the new Adobe software releases?

I think the new Creative Cloud updates are great, especially for anyone who has had some sort of worry about spending several hundred dollars up front for Photoshop and Lightroom. To pay ten bucks a month for two of the most powerful desktop applications for photography is amazing, especially when you put it into contrast. Like, if you go to Starbucks you’re spending an upwards of six dollars for a Latte.

brian-matiash, google-plus, photography, education, arts, contest, edu2014

© Brian Matiash

So have you tried out any of the new Adobe tablet imaging apps yet?

I haven’t yet because I have an android tablet, so until they release an Android binary I have to kind of watch from the sidelines.

I’ve seen your photo education features on a number of sites like Kelby TV and The Grid. Can you tell me about that?

When I first started my blog there was an interesting transition from just sharing my photos to actually helping people, and I was able to do that just by going into more detail about how I created the image or the inspiration behind it. That kind of snowballed into getting more notoriety for my site, which eventually led to being hired by onOne software who makes photo editing plugins for Lightroom and Photoshop. I was hired specifically as the Curriculum and Education Manager so all of that culminated into being able to take my passion for photography and share it with others, helping them learn everything from techniques in the field to sitting in front of your computer.

What are your general views on photography education? Do you believe in photo school or real life experience?

Well, if you want to approach photography from a more academic sense where you want to learn about the fine art concepts or if you want to dabble in photojournalism, I think the experience and education you get from a photography or fine arts program is incredibly useful. It gives you more of a rich background for photography, and of course, there’s also classes you can take on how to develop film if that interests you. But if you’re looking at photography simply as a practice for taking a better portrait or creating a particular type of landscape, there’s no substitute in getting our there with your camera and getting to the location. And for a lot of that, I think the best real world advice would be to travel. You have to go to the places, and when you step out of your comfort zone when you’re traveling with your camera there’s no better education in terms of growing yourself as a photographer.

brian-matiash, google-plus, photography, education, arts, contest, edu2014

© Brian Matiash

O Our EDU 2014 photo contest presented by Resource, Sigma and Viewbug is upon us, and the submissions are coming in. But with a different set of judges each year, we have decided to give you the chance to get to know them a bit better.

While this year’s panel includes the likes of Brian Matiash of Google+ and NIk Software, Vice President of Content at Shuttershock Scott Braut, Principal Product Manager for Photoshop Digital Imaging Bryan O’Neil Hughes, renowned portrait photographer Peter Hurley and Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Vincent Laforet, we’ll be individually speaking with each judge about their accomplishments in the imaging industry and their views on photography education.Here are the rest of this year’s sponsors: Epson and Focal Press as the Bronze Sponsors; Mpix, Spinlight 360, Smart Albums and Phase One as the product sponsors; along with BridgeWater College and Montserrat College of Art as the School Sponsors. Stay tuned!