Name: Matthew Storer
I grew up in Port Pirie, a tiny city located 3 hours north of Adelaide, South Australia's capital. It is a friendly community where everybody knows everyone and it is here in this remote town that I discovered my love of photography. Port Pirie is lucky to be located right next to the very famous Flinders Ranges. Never heard of it? Shame on you!
The Flinders Ranges seemingly has it all, everything from gorges, rivers and waterfalls in the winter to the out of control bush fires, snakes and wildlife in the summer. The Flinders Ranges spans over 430km (265mi) starting from my home town of Port Pirie and then heading north towards Lake Callabonna.
Now, don't get me wrong, not everybody would jump out of their skin to go and explore the Flinders Ranges, but this is my home, where my sense of adventure first began! Why do I love the Flinders Ranges? Landscapes, mountains, gorges, rock formations, lookouts and the history... trust me I can go on and on! It is truly a beautiful place to photograph, so I did.
As you can probably guess, I enjoy the solitary life, but don't get me wrong, I love meeting new people, socializing and listening to new and exciting stories. But some of my most memorable moments to date have been camping, hiking, photographing, location scouting, or just simply exploring. YES! I simply love the outdoors, trees rustling in the wind, waves crashing on the beach, the silence of mountain ranges or chirping birds waking you at the crack of dawn. Sound crazy? Welcome to my life!
Photography has hands down changed my life! I just love, love, love photography and what it has done to me as a person! I am a very self aware and introverted person, photography allows me to escape, unwind and open my world to things I would never normally do. Going for a hike up a mountain, wandering through a gorge, driving for days to scout a location, camping under the night sky - it does sound lonely right?
I purchased my first "real" camera (not point and shoot) at the age of 16 (2006), it was a Sony bridge camera for the main purpose of shooting car photography as I was massively into cars at the time. It soon became an 'everything' camera, shooting anything from landscapes to cars to family events - it lived with me.
Then when I was old enough to drive (2008) my passion grew just that little bit stronger, however my income was getting spent on my cars, this never allowed me to upgrade my equipment. But in late 2012 I pre-ordered the magnificent Canon 70D as my love for photography had grown and I decided to make the leap. Then, FINALLY in the last few years I have gone all out on my camera setup, this can all be found in the "whats in my bag" blog.
As I write this, I remember telling people what I had done on my holidays, long weekends or overnight adventures - getting "that" look in reply. You know, the look you get when people have already judged you for your choices. But now, having my camera allows me to have that sense of escape and purpose, not to be bothered anymore about being judged, it's not for them, it's for me.
Growing up in a small city populated by roughly 13,000 people and within an hours drive of any other small city (welcome to Australia) one could imagine that there was not always something to do! So what did I do?
I am a huge sports fan, I played many sport in my youth, but field hockey was my main choice. Watching sport, live or on TV never disappointed me because the unknown that you get when watching live sport. As I stated above I had an obsession with cars - attending many weekend clubs, races, drifts anything with four wheels basically. Other passions I adore and miss terribly from life on the road are woodwork, fishing and cycling.
My first ever job was at the age of 14, working in a cheap store called "Cheap as Chips" original right? I stacked shelves, served customers and was a store man working late nights after school and on Saturday's & Sunday's. Two years later I started working morning shifts in a supermarket in the fruit and vegetable department, while continuing to work weekends at Cheap as Chips.
After graduating from school I took on another job at a pub, which meant I was working three jobs; morning shifts at the supermarket, day shifts at Cheap as Chips and night shifts at the pub. This only lasted 9 months before my body crashed and burnt out. Shortly after at the age of 19 I landed a full time job at a family run electrical store, I was so excited, it was right up my alley. I worked at the electrical store for two full years before leaving to manage a rainwater tank company and to chase better money. Manual labor in 60-70 degree heat for an average of 45-50 hours a week by myself caused me to seek new employment after 18 months.
It was at this time I was offered a position for a successful panel beater, fixing, restoring and servicing cars which I knew I would enjoy, I soon realized that cars were my passion, not my career. After 2.5 years away from the electrical business I went back, but this time it was easier, knowing I only had 12-18 months of work before leaving on my world adventures.
My life in summary is: I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was younger, to this day some would say I still don’t. The one piece of advice I can offer is “Don’t be scared, just follow your heart because it knows best.” I have my own successful business today doing photography and videography (which I am happy I love it every day) but some people just have no idea. All my life choices I made when I was younger lead me to this moment because I worked hard, ground every day and smiled. Today I continue to work hard but for myself and my passion which will continue to get me out of bed, smile and pursue what I love to do - make content.