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A dream, ambition and willingness to work hard boosts his career


Matthew Hynes, photographer

By Anne-Marie Schneider
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Matthew Hynes came a long way to achieve his dream. He started off with no experience but meeting the right people led him to his career as a photographer.

It all started when he moved from Virginia to New York City when he was 24.

“All I had was a dream, an abundance of ambition and the willingness to work hard,” he said.

“During my first month in New York City, as luck would have it, I met a producer of music videos and commercials at a small East Village bar while playing pool.”

Hynes was hired as a production assistant to work on a music video. That job led to a position as a stage manager at Mother’s, one of the oldest sound stages in New York City.

After about two years there he took a job at MTV in the on-air promotion department. He learned how to set lights, make sets and back-drops, produce projects and cast roles for films.

“I was living the dream.”

Then one night he was hit by a taxi cab while he was standing on the sidewalk. He woke up a day later in intensive care.

“My time in New York City had run out. After mending my body at my parents’ house in Virginia, I decided it was time for a change so I decided to move to Hollywood, California.”

In Hollywood, once again he met the right people. Unfortunately, he had to start over and prove himself to the production managers because he was still recovering from his injuries. He was more determined than ever.

“I was able to learn directing, lighting, storytelling and film production from some of the most talented professionals in Hollywood,” he said.

He worked on projects for Madonna, No Doubt, The Black Crowes, Babyface, LL cool J, David van Halen, Smashing Pumpkins, Microsoft, Nike, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Semisonic, Meatloaf and many more.

His favorite job was when he was offered to work with the Techno-crane operator. It gave him the chance to work closely with the director and director of photography. He worked there for a couple of years before moving on to start his own projects.

Eventually he began taking pictures of the work of some Los Angeles-based architects. “With my hard work and skills,” he said, “I was lucky enough to get published in Architectural Digest in 2010.”

Hynes has some experience with editing. He has mainly edited his own photos for publishing. In his words, editing is, “challenging and frustrating.” He enjoys it though. “The finished product is mine to relish in (or not).”

He didn’t spend much time editing though, and he continues to do freelance work and photographing local sports in the Los Angeles and Hollywood area. His dream is to make the cover of “Sports Illustrated” or “National Geographic.”

If he was going to give someone advice he said, “find a local paper or blog to work for and befriend the editor. Never let an assignment pass you by. If you think and want to do a job then go for it.”

Check out Hynes’ work by clicking here and here.


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