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Check out Priscila Gabriela Matei’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Priscila Gabriela Matei.

Priscila Gabriela, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I began my adventure as a photographer in 2009 when I purchased my first camera for a study abroad trip to Italy. At the time, I was majoring in Psychology and minoring in Studio Art. It was during that trip when I discovered how much I enjoyed digital storytelling. Before that, I used to spend my time drawing portraits, narrating and illustrating stories on paper for my friends, family and art class. After that trip, I couldn’t put my camera down. My friends and family were sure to find me with my camera taking photos, whether it was at an event, party or a hiking trip. Soon after, I began photographing graduation sessions, families and weddings! I later went back to school to get my master’s degree in Counseling and now work full-time as a community mental health counselor while photographing on the weekends. People have asked why I don’t do photography full time. That is something I’ve been trying to figure out myself since I have a passion for both helping people with mental health issues and photographing portraits. Maybe one day, I’ll figure out a way to blend the two together!

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Every photographer’s style is unique. I found myself leaning toward photo-journalistic and dreamy conceptual photography. There is something about photos with deeper contrasts and shadows that isolate emotions for me in a way that light and airy photos cannot. This has become my preference. I also work to create a space for people to feel comfortable, engaged and present during a photo session. I enjoy interacting with my clients and making them feel good during a photo session since I believe those experiences reflect in photographs. It’s important to me that my clients have fun and enjoy the session so that when they look back at their photographs, they will remember how they felt. My hope is that my digital storytelling evokes emotions and leave a lasting impression on the viewers.

Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
Conditions today are hard. It seems as though anyone with a phone camera or editing app can snap a photo, alter an image, post it on social media and call themselves a photographer. During wedding ceremonies, I notice almost two-thirds of guests holding up their smartphones to take photos of the same bride I’ve been hired to photograph. Life has definitely become harder for artists in recent years due to being in constant competition with social media, the pressure to gain social media followers and not to mention Instagram’s algorithms, which has been hurting small businesses and artists. These days, artists are judged on how many “likes” or “followers” they have rather than the quality of their work. What has helped me thrive as an artist is partnering with other photographers and supporting each other’s businesses? Working with other creatives (i.e., models, hair and makeup artists, creative directors, etc.) has increased my knowledge, skills, and confidence as a photographer and entrepreneur. I recommend surrounding yourself with those who value community over competition.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
It is easier to access my work through my Instagram account or blog!

The best way to provide support is to talk to me! I love meeting new people and engaging in the community!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Birdie Fyffe Photography

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Patti

    May 15, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    I know her personally, and she is so sweet! Great work Priscila!

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