DEPTH OF FIELD
Viewing industry leaders in a more personal light to see what makes them tick.
This month, onOne Software VP and landscape photographer Matt Kloskowski.
INTERVIEW BY TAMARA LACKEY
Tamara Lackey: You made a pretty big—and
rather public—career transition, from a high-profile personality, photographer, teacher
and director of education for KelbyOne to the
VP of photography at onOne Software. What
are things like a year later?
Matt Kloskowski: I was
at KelbyOne for ten years,
and I’m very thankful for
my time there. It was a very
visible role, and I traveled
a lot. But I started to feel
like I wanted to do something different. I love
shooting, I love editing and I love teaching.
onOne offered me a new opportunity to really
make a difference in their photo-editing apps.
And when it came to shooting and education,
they had a whole new audience that was
super engaged and needed training and
workflow to complete the picture.
As for the transition, it was pretty smooth.
Not traveling and going to an office everyday
was different. But I’ve loved it. I’m also getting
to teach on a whole new level in a very
personal way, which is so satisfying. And I
get to spend a ton of time with my family. My
wife and I have become best friends again
(she works from home, too), and I feel like I’m
really there for my kids in ways I was never
able to be before.
TL: Of everything photography offers the
shooter, what pulls you to it the most?
MK: For me it’s the challenge. When I’m at a
beautiful location, I get to experience the air,
the sun, the light, the clouds, the temperature
and all of the things that add to the feeling
of being someplace. But it’s hard to make
those places look as good in a photo. You
can’t just stand there, hold the camera up at
eye level and take a shot. I love figuring out
what’s really beautiful about a place, what
lens to use, where to stand, what to put in the
foreground and what not to include, making a
photo that brings back the beauty and feeling
of a great location.
TL: What do you believe every person should
try at least once in their life?
MK: It may seem superficial and reckless, but I
say everyone should try skydiving at least once.
It probably sticks out to me because I just
did it a little over a month ago. It was a crazy,
amazing, scary, exhilarating and terrifying
experience. To see the world from that point of
view was absolutely amazing (once you stop
screaming). Way too much fun!
TL: What bad habit are you proudest
MK: I’ve been a highly competitive person
ever since I can remember. And I don’t
think being competitive is all that bad, but I
do think that being competitive and being
insecure come dangerously close to one
another. I practiced and competed as a black
belt in Taekwondo until I was 42. I left my
family and traveled while always chasing that
title. And I’ve been competitive at work. Who
made the most videos and courses? Who
had the most Twitter or Facebook followers,
got the most likes on a photo, had the most
people in their seminar? I’m not sure why, but
that competitive nature was there, and I don’t
think it was healthy at all. Over the last few
years, I think I’ve really broken the competitive
habit. It’s not about being the best or the
most popular. I’ll continue to try to get as
many people as I can to follow me, like my
posts or buy my classes, but that’s because I
really want to try to help as many people as
possible, not to try to beat the other person.
And on a personal level, I’ve definitely kicked
the habit. I still have a fire in me to be good at
things, but I’m okay to try within my means as
much as I can, without going overboard.
Tamara Lackey is a photographer, author,
program host (of Adorama’s reDefine show),
Nikon USA Ambassador and WPPI speaker.
Matt Kloskowski is the vice president of
photography for onOne Software and a
Tampa-based photographer. He is also a
Photoshop guru, teaching at conferences
around the world, and has authored over 20
books on Photoshop, Elements and Illustrator. P H