We had the good fortune of connecting with Matthew Specht and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matthew, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
There are two habits that stand out to me on my success, the first is -quality. You may think that quality isn’t a habit; however, I disagree. Regardless of what I do in my business, wether it’s answering the phone, taking photos, or interacting with my clients, I make sure to present the best version of myself every time. I want my clients to see the quality in my products, in my attitude, and my professionalism. This helps me stand out from those looking to make a quick buck, and also helps my work stand on its own. This leads into my second habit -preparation. You can’t wait until the last minute if you expect to provide quality service for your clients. You may get lucky here or there, but you will not be consistent in your work. Preparation is the key to providing consistent and quality work, each and every time. You need to prepare for your client visits, phone calls, or whatever service you provide to your clients if you expect to provide quality products or services. When I started making sure to prepare and provide quality service, it elevated my business and my clients could see a difference. It can be difficult to do this consistently; however, if you make a habit out of it, it just begins to be a part of your process.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It has been increasingly difficult to stand-out as a photographer in this social media driven culture, but one thing that helps me be different is my creativity. I’ve put a lot of effort into my style and I am always trying to refine what that style is and how to improve upon it. I really think if you look at my work, you will see there is a lot of depth and emotion in my work. I try to push my creativity to a point that captures peoples attention, but still gives me flexibility to use those ideas in a practical way. The journey to get where I am has not been easy, as a matter of fact, there have been many times where I just thought to myself “why I am doing this? I am never going to be as good as those people, etc.” This is where you have to really put in the work. I’ve heard a quote before of someone saying “You don’t have to be as good as other people, you just have to be better than you were yesterday”. This really resonated with me, if I can just improve myself even a little from the way I was yesterday, eventually I will look back and see how much I’ve progressed. The key for me though, was to make sure I was always pushing to be a better version of myself. I am still pushing myself to be just a little bit better each day. An important thing I’ve learned about myself and my work is that it is ok to play. It is ok to experiment and try new things, even if they don’t work, that is part of the experience of growing as a photographer. You will never know what you are capable of if you don’t try new things. The thing that excites me the most about my photography is when I have a concept that just comes together. The process of planning the shoot, figuring out how to do things differently, and when you finally see the end result it exceeds your expectations. From beginning to end, the entire process is just fun and exciting.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Houstonians are very passionate about their “favorite” places, so this could get interesting. The easiest thing to start off with (for me) is the best pizza place, hands down would have to be Center Court Pizza & Brew. The Pearland location is the original location and is just great pizza! To keep on the food locations, I would have to add Killen’s BBQ & Papa’s BBQ on the list, both are just great BBQ, and we all know BBQ is a must while you are visiting. Another personal favorite of mine is James Coney Island, I just love their chili-cheese coney’s. It also impossible to visit Houston (Texas in general) without stopping at Whataburger as well. I could keep going on the food places because there are so many great places to eat. We have to add the “tourist” locations to this list, places like Johnson Space Center, Moody Gardens, Galleria Mall, Galveston Island, Pleasure Pier, The Strand, Kemah Boardwalk, Downtown Houston, Houston Zoo, the Museum district, Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center, The Astrodome, and Reliant Stadium. If you’ve never been to Houston, you have to at least visit these places once, and if you travel during the right time, you have to add the Rodeo on the top of the list as well. There are a few places that I highly recommend visiting if your looking for something different. The Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern is just a really cool place to check out. It is hidden little gem they give tours of and totally worth the trip. Even though this next one is outside of Houston, you should definitely check out the Texas Renaissance Festival, this is just a great time for everyone. I am sure there were some important places I’ve left off this list, but there are just so many great places all over the city to visit!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There is no denying that I would not be where I am today without my support group. There are so many people that have inspired me, that it would be impossible to name them all. However, there are some people that have been there during the ups and downs. My wife, Christen, is the biggest driving force in my success as a photographer, without her support, I would not be where I am today. She may not understand everything I do with my photography, but she is willing to help in anyway possible. Another big influence in my passion for photography has been my friend Brad. This is the person who I can throw ideas off of, ask for input, and we are regularly going out and doing photoshoots together. There have been many occasions where Brad has either driven me to improve (sometimes against my will), or given me an idea that I can create something out of. Lastly, the countless people in my industry that have really given me inspiration to create. There are people like Peter McKinnon. Rocco Ancora, and Lindsay Adler who I adore their work, and James Musslewhite who has given me incredible feedback on how to reach the next level. I think it is extremely important to have a support group of people to help you along your journey, but you have to be willing to be open to all the valuable input they have.