For today’s Cameo we’re having 38 year-old American photographer Mathew Scott sharing his ongoing series The Concrete River, a subjective reportage that mixes street portraits and landscape photography. See here for all the photographers who previously made a cameo in FotoRoom.
Ciao Mathew, how are you?
I’m good, thank you!
What is photography for you?
Photography is how I express myself. It’s how I make sense of what is going on around me. My personal work is primarily based on the observational day-to-day things I encounter or I will also pick a location that I find interesting and then slowly pick it apart one image at a time, trying to dig deeper and discover what attracted me to that place to begin with.
I’m not a very outgoing person, I don’t do well in large groups of people and I don’t like being the center of attention but this all seems to change when I have my camera in my hand. Photography allows me to become this other person who has no problem approaching a stranger on the street, starting up a conversation and giving them direction to get the perfect portrait. I feel as though my camera gives me this whole other persona that I would normally never have.
What is The Concrete River about?
This is my second attempt at living in Los Angeles. The first time I was here, I was living in Venice Beach and it only lasted for about two years before I moved back to San Francisco. Now I’m living on the east side of LA and I have a nice workspace in Elysian Valley, also known as Frogtown. It sits right by the river and that’s how the river initially sparked my interest. Before I moved to Frogtown, I was only familiar with the Los Angeles River from seeing it on TV or in movies but that is usually only one small part of the roughly 51 miles of river. I quickly discovered there is so much more to the river and there are so many communities it winds through, all who use it for various purposes, be it recreational or survival. I was immediately drawn to it and started exploring it more and researching its history. That’s when I decided to start shooting and see where it goes. I liked what I was getting and I started meeting some really interesting people so I just kept going. It is still a work in progress and I couldn’t tell you how it’s all going to unfold or what I plan on doing with it once I am finished. For now I’m still just enjoying the exploring side of it and making the images as I go along.