I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Mattera, an influential travel and photography on social networks with more than 1 M Instagram followers:
What inspires you?
I am continually chasing what I felt the first time I left New York and head over to Europe. The excitement, being slightly nervous, and eager to capture what I can with my camera. Being immersed in different cultures from around the world inspires me to portray my experiences through my photography.
Some photographers say that they see the world differently and that they have a different perspective on life. What is your view on the planet and life?
The places I visit and the people I meet are all special and unique in their ways. However, you also realize how similar we all are, how we all share the same hopes and aspirations. Life is short, and we only get one go at it. So it’s incredibly important that we live our best life, whatever that means for each of us.
How does one go from Studying Music in College to being a professional photographer?
The power of the internet and social media have changed the rules and lowered barriers. After graduating, I did some traveling while also teaching myself photography on YouTube. After posting a few pictures, I realized that if I committed to it, I could pursue something that I enjoy.
You have worked with some huge brands throughout your career; what has been your favorite and why?
That’s a tough question because I have enjoyed each experience. If I had to choose one, I would say Bvlgari because I had the opportunity to visit Bali, Dubai, and Milan in eight days. The Bulgari team was fantastic and hosted incredible events at each destination.
What are some favorite things about being a photographer? What are some challenges you’ve encountered?
I love meeting people and have made so many friends from all over the world. I value these friendships and try to spend time with them whenever I can. I also love seeing the unique beauty in each place that I visit. Traveling to and from destinations is always the biggest challenge. Things don’t always go as planned, and you have to learn to go with the flow. Whether its missed layover flights confiscated drones, or lost luggage. But everything always ends up working out in the end.
What would be some tips you would give to a beginning photographer?
Bring your camera everywhere and shoot as much as you can. Experiment with different styles. Seek feedback but listen most to your inner voice.
Do you find yourself always looking at the world, wondering how it would look like a photograph?
I do. When I look through photos to post, I try to find those that genuinely capture
what I saw as well as what I felt in the moment.
How did you build such a loyal, strong fan base?
My followers and I share the same passion for traveling and photography, and I love to engage with them to learn from them and about them. Engaging in critical to creating a strong following but also to learning and improving your
How does it feel to do what you love for a living?
A quote from Steve Jobs stayed with me. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” I get the chance to live my life, so while I work hard at it, it never really feels like work.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I am always looking to try new things, so look for me to produce unique content from different perspectives. I recently visited Iceland and am looking forward to seeing other unusual places.