COVID-19 has made a huge impact on many people all across the world, and its put many people out of jobs and at some high risks etc. So here at The Vinyl we wanted to celebrate the insanely talented creators in the photography business. We are celebrating the Concert Photographers, the Lifestyle Photographers, the Wedding Photographers, the Wildlife Photographers and every other type of Photographer behind that camera that brings such joy to the eye.


The Vinyl: Please introduce yourself and tell us your primary photo location(s)?
Matt Torres: I’m Matt Torres – I run I primarily shoot shows in DC, MD, and VA area but thankfully have had an opportunity to cover major festivals such as Bonnaroo, Firefly, Lollapalooza, III Points, Roskilde, and others. I also film a monthly cooking series with Candice Henry of Candi Entertains.

TV: How did you know that being a photographer is something you truly wanted to do, and what/who are some inspirations you may have had/have?
MT: Music has always been a major part of my life and I learned photography/editing skills in high school. Throughout undergrad, going to shows and festivals became my preferred activity if I were ever going out or planning time away with friends. Around the same time, Zedd was touring heavily and had an amazing photographer RUKES. I was so inspired by his work and opportunities he was aligning and really wanted to try it out for myself. It just felt like a natural progression. I started Soundazed as a Tumblr page for creative edits of iPhone photos of events I was attending and eventually, it grew into a website and everything else that it is now. Photography is very important to me but only one element of what I’m doing currently. Outside of music, I’m inspired by modern/abstract art and architecture.

TV: What equipment is a must-have for you no matter where you are going to be working? What does your typical photographing setup look like?
MT: I love my 24-70mm lens, it has worked so well in various settings. For festivals, I definitely always need a 70-200mm and also recently have started using glass items for distortions.

TV: What are some of your favorite techniques when it comes to editing styles/ways you present your work? Do you have different aesthetics for different types of work?
MT: Regardless of what I’m working on, whether it’s an interview, photograph or article, I try to draw visceral reactions and emotions from a potential viewer. Something to either wow them or make them feel like they really need to experience the show/event, check out new music or something I’m working on. My style definitely varies depending on my mood and feelings, on the artist, and the photograph I captured. Sometimes I do very simple edits and other times feel way more creative and go for really unique edits.
TV: COVID-19 has completely changed the lifestyle for so many different people, how has it affected you? Whether its work/photo related or just all together? How do you keep yourself busy?
MT: My entire calendar of shows, festivals, and freelance filming/photo/work opportunities have pretty much vanished through at least July. Like many, I’ve taken a financial hit in many respects and a lot of my struggle with the current situation stems from the vast unknown. I am, however, fortunate to work with an amazing team at Soundazed, so we’re pushing forward the best way we can while constantly checking in on each other and making sure we’re all getting through together. It hasn’t been easy but there are people in the world really hurting, so I think of them during this time and just hope others are doing the right thing so we can all move forward from this.

TV: Now that Concerts/Festivals/Events/ Social Gatherings(weddings, reunions, family portraits etc) /Sports etc are being cancelled/postponed all over the world due to COVID-19, how are you finding ways to stay creative?

MT: I have a lot of content that I’ve never posted anywhere, so I’m revisiting a lot of that work and trying to create something new with it. I’ve also continued to work on the page and have been thinking of ways to present our work from different perspectives. It’s hard sometimes because it does feel really frustrating but I’m somewhat thankful because it’s forcing me to take stock of so many things I would’ve otherwise ignored or deprioritized this year. I do guided meditation and hypnotherapy every day and that’s helped me in many ways to stay creative. I’ve also been trying to be more patient with myself, taking my dogs on long walks, and just trying to understand what this all means on a grander scale while understanding my role in it.

TV: Once all this (hopefully) goes away, what are some of your plans to get back to a somewhat “normal” schedule?

MT: The latter half of my year is somewhat booked or reserved in different ways, so I’m hopeful those things will stick and I can jump back into what I was already doing. I think what will be most important is carrying the things I’ve learned from this period and moving forward with those things in mind. It will be a while until we’ve all really healed from this and understanding that and treating people with kindness and patience will be vital.

TV: What are some of your favorite creative pieces/photos/opportunities you have gotten to do in 2020 before all hell broke loose? 

MT: Forever the best at timing, I was actually taking a small sabbatical in January to figure out life. I did a few interviews but in February I photographed Tove Lo’s show and in March I photographed Chelsea Cutler and Tchami. All very different vibes but really amazing times. I also just interviewed rising techno artist Sara Landry and really enjoyed that experience as well. For creative pieces, I have some projects coming out soon that I’m really excited about and can’t wait to share on Soundazed.
Here are a few of Matt’s favorite photos:
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TV: Is there anything you would like to add as we end this interview? 

MT: Thank you to our medical professionals for standing in solidarity on the front lines, at times risking their own health and the health of their families, in order to fight this pandemic. Thank you to all of the restaurant workers, small businesses, delivery drivers, USPS, sanitation workers, farmers, grocery store employees, and people tirelessly working every day to ensure things are still running. If anyone reading is able, please consider donating to Feeding America and WHO I wish everyone health, clarity, and peace of mind. Much love to all and thanks to The Vinyl for the opportunity.


To Keep Up With Matt Torres, Check Out the Links Below: