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How Being Grounded by His Mom Kickstarted Matthew Clark’s Career

Author: Nikita Singh

Meet Matthew Clark, a fine art ocean photographer based in New York. Known for his stunning shots of massive, dynamic waves, Matthew’s work is available in exclusive, archival limited editions. His journey from a high school surfer to a renowned fine art photographer is as captivating as his photos.

It Started With a Grounding…

Matthew’s love for the ocean started early, with a surfboard and a disposable camera. “In high school, I was so into surfing that I started neglecting school,” Matthew recalls. “My mom grounded me and took away my surfboard. So, I grabbed disposable cameras from the local drugstore, went swimming, and took photos of my friends surfing.”

What began as a hobby turned into a passion and a career. Matthew started traveling the world, capturing action shots of surfers. However, he soon realized his true fascination was with the waves themselves. “I found myself more captivated by the waves than the surfers,” he says. “I started focusing on the shapes, colors, and light of the waves, especially during dramatic storm fronts in New York.”

Matthew Clark in action.

Matthew’s eye for detail and his ability to capture the ocean’s beauty led to his work being published in surfing magazines. This recognition marked a turning point in his career. “Seeing my photos in glossy magazines was amazing. It confirmed my ability to capture and control a scene,” he shares.

Matthew Clark, in Print

As his career progressed, Matthew transitioned to creating fine art prints. His unique approach to photography, much like a painter’s approach to their canvas, involves meticulous choices about lenses, frames per second, shutter speed, and aperture. “Every decision I make when taking a photo is deliberate, just like a painter’s brushstrokes,” Matthew explains.

Matthew’s prints are one-of-a-kind, with each piece representing a single, unique wave. “Each wave is unique, and I want that to be reflected in my prints,” he says. “By creating one-of-one editions, I offer collectors something incredibly special and personal.”

Matthew Clark’s custom albums by Printique.

“When I take a photograph of a wave, that wave is completely unique, and I feel as if that should be represented on paper when it’s printed. And as an artist, I’m trying to give the collector something that is incredibly special and personal to me. They’re interested in collecting a piece of artwork, but they’re also interested in collecting the art made by the artist. With the Hahnemuhle paper, I like to put the seal on the back, it’s an edition of 1, completely special, and it represents a wave that broke on the beach of Long Island that is completely unique and special as well.”

— Matthew Clark

So next time you’re grounded (or find yourself somewhere you didn’t plan to be) remember Matthew’s story – you might just find your passion and turn it into a career! Follow Matthew on Instagram and view his work on his website. Create your own prints like Matthew with our Giclee Fine Art Prints.