Getting Me Ready For College

Getting Me Ready For College

So as I am left alone with my thoughts I cant help but go back in time when my daughter, Bennett, was a baby.  I think about how much changed in my life in an instant.  Immediately things that seemed important became irrelevant.  My entire thought process changed.  Pam and I no longer though about us as a duo but as a family.  I got to fall in love with my wife again.  Not understanding the emotion, I didn’t know where all of this was coming from but somewhat resented such a disruptive change in the way I was selfishly living my life.  I look back now and realize I was not only growing but growing up.  For true growth some things must be left behind.  I now know this but feeling my little girl is heading off to college I don’t feel at ease.  I find I feel anxious!  Not so much for her but for me.  How will this impact my life and way of life.  How emotionally I will handle all of the changes about to come my way.

As we have done through all of Bennett’s development there has been a plan.  Rarely has anything with her been left to chance.  Yes we have always prayed about her well being and for great things to occur in her life but we have always maintained a strategic road map for the goals set before us.  For this college experience we simply are out of the loupe.  Being a scholarship athlete many of our duty’s have been taken over by the school.  This leaves me feeling like my daughter will find she doesn’t need me anymore.   I assumed this role of control and responsibility 18 years ago and now the world is saying let go of the reigns, “Ive got this”!  Really?  How can I trust everything will be alright?  As our time with her dwindles I cannot help wrestling with the inevitability that my little girl is leaving me.  She is onto her own journey.  I remember leaving for college and out into the big bright world on my own.  Maybe we need to get away from our family and all the cynicism and jadedness  to get a truly fresh take on the world and what it has to offer us and what we have to offer.

At this point, do I feel Bennett needs me to help her circumnavigate the University of Alabama?  Of course not.  However, as her dad for 18 years it is hard not to try to inject myself into everything she will be doing.  Is that my own narcissism?  I don’t think so.  I look at it simply as trying to fend off any problems and any resulting pain that could come her way.  This is what dads do!  It is the habit I created many years ago and continue to foster each and every year.  After all, I have gotten better and better at understanding her problems and how to fend off the small problems before they get to be big ones.  I have gotten better at identification as well.  I believe this is true because she has grown so much as a person we are seeing more and more eye to eye.

These last two weeks have been so much fun.  Little things we have done together, lunch, shopping, ect gives me such insight into this special young lady.  Her candor about certain things, her self assuredness about others.  Her laughter and wittiness all remind me of myself when purity of thought and lack of failure were prevalent in my life.  My prayer for her is to maintain that happiness.  People flock to her now but when she gets to college she doesn’t recognize the fan base she will have, many who will look up to her and gravitate to her since her attitude is so amazing.

So we packed the Pathfinder to the roof with boxes of everything she needed and set out on our journey to Alabama. Driving and talking, listening and advising, I am sure she will be sick of me for a good while.  But as our time together is coming to a close I feel as though I am listening and looking at her more.  Making memories with my mind that I can draw on when I need to, I guess.  I really cannot describe what I am feeling as I have never felt it before.  With my job, I was lucky enough to be able to spend lots of time with Bennett and really get to know her.   Hey, maybe that is what I am feeling.  I have gotten so used to knowing everything about her that when I don’t know what she will be doing it makes me uneasy.  I’ll get over it eventually.

Arriving in Alabama and getting her set up in her dorm I couldn’t help feeling out of place.  Several of her roomates had already arrived.  They engaged in conversation that was instantly unfamiliar to me.  I busied myself with setting up her closets and hooking up TV’s ect just to justify my being there.  As I did it finally hit me.  She is going to be just fine.  She doesn’t need me there doing what I was doing but it made both of us feel better just spending those last minutes together.  I finished up and then asked her if she wanted to go to lunch.  I think she was feeling my uneasiness.  We headed out to Newk’s, a place I’d heard Pam and her talk about all last year.  As I ordered I realized, I am on her turf now.  She knows more about these places than I did and that would be happening more and more.  As we ate she told me many things about her life on campus and what she hoped it would bring.  I found myself somewhat spellbound as I listened and watched my little girl who had become this amazing young woman.  I recognized she was anxious to step up to any responsibility asked of her.  I realized she was going to be alright.  Alright?  Alright has never been enough for her.  Exceptional is more what she is after and she is ready.

I took her back to her dorm and dropped her off.  I asked if she would like to go to a late super since I was heading out first thing in the morning.  She said sure.  Now I could really feel my grip wanting to harden but really knew this was going to harder on me than her.  I picked her up for dinner about three hours after we had eaten lunch.  Obviously this meeting really wasn’t about food.  At the dinner table I said my last prayer with her.  Still asking if she needed anything else, I could feel our time slipping away.  We ran by a store on the way back and got a few more things but honestly I don’t remember what she got.  I just paid for it.  After all, I felt like I was in a movie that was stuck on fast-forward.  My time with her was slipping away.  As I pulled in front of her building the hustle of others moving in was still going on at 10PM.  I got out of the car, walked around it and embraced Bennett longer than I felt I ever had.  It was so long I feared she recognized it.  She let me.  I think if I’d have hugged her longer she would have let me as well.  She knew what I knew.  We would never be the same.  This experience will change us both.  After a quick kiss, I told her I love her.  I got in my car and drove out of sight.

That drive in the morning was the longest trip I felt I had ever driven alone.  I’d driven, several times to Los Angeles, but this trip from Alabama to Orlando was an eternity.  The cavernous inside of my empty Pathfinder was a constant reminder that my little girl has grown up and is on her own way.  Now I must be a distant observer and let her welcome me into her world.  I look forward to that day but for now I will smile and be proud of her; Proud she chooses to do this on her own with confidence and an independence that few kids are ready for.  She has truly become a strong young woman.  She must fly alone on this journey.

When I returned home that night I hugged and kissed my wife, popped the chilled champagne, and toasted “We did it”!

 

Miami Agency Models Stop Wasting Time

Matt Dunn_Page_4Miami Agency Models Stop Wasting Time! That is the most important asset you have and it is your youth.  Time is your enemy in this business and therefore you cannot afford to act as if you have all of the time in the world.  You don’t! There is a shelf life on you and you will get to a point where you cannot model anymore.  So doesn’t it make sense to fast track your self buy getting the best photos done by the best photographers available to get you book in the best shape immediately?

Too many girls and guys come to me wanting me to shoot them after spending a year or two on free photographers only to continually be let down when your agency doesn’t like what was produced.  Another day wasted shooting and this affects not only the look of your book but also your self esteem.  When you continue to shoot pointless and bad images with those free photographers who prowl around sites like One Model Place and Model Mayhem , you start to question your involvement in the industry and ask yourself questions like “can I really model” or “maybe I am just fooling myself.  I see it all the time! I also see the look on their faces when I shoot them and see how “stunned” they appear when I am shooting beautiful and sexy images of them.  They tell me often “I really cant believe that is me”! That is because they are so psychologically beat down after wasting all of that time that I must spend time building them back up.

Kelsey Kloster  from Michele Pommier Models Miami Beach

Kelsey Kloster from Michele Pommier Models Miami Beach

To me this is probably the best thing about digital imagery.  The model can receive immediate feedback and see the results thus bolstering their self-esteem.  I noticed this when I started working digitally out in 2001 in Los Angeles and the celebrities knew about LCD viewing before I really did.  I would shoot an image and they would say “let me see that”. Digital cameras have flooded the market and with many newbies picking up a camera for the first time it may be difficult to tell if you are talking to a photographer or a salesman.  The work ALWAYS tells the story.  Look at their work and style.  Can you see yourself in their images?  If so ask pertinent questions such as agencies they have worked with, published work, website?, and references either from other models or agents and also parents.  I have no problem giving references and anyone else who is legitimate shouldn’t either.  Do your homework or you will get burned.  Remember in this digital age, There are many who will call themselves “photographer” but all they really are is a salesman.

Kelsey Kloster  from Michele Pommier Models Miami Beach

Kelsey Kloster from Michele Pommier Models Miami Beach

 

The really good photographers charge you because they know their results are proven.  They are not experimenting like the “free photographer” or really cheap one who is just hoping the shot will turn out.  A really good photographer has tried and true ways of working, has a team of hair and makeup artists, has his locations he has used many times with outstanding results, and has his lighting down pat.  You are in good hands with them whether you are a seasoned pro or just starting out.  They know what poses look best and light that looks best on face shapes and garments you are shooting.

Mega Model Miami Caroline 2014

Mega Model Miami Caroline 2014

This is why the very best models always have the best photos.  They leave the freebies behind and know they get what they pay for.  Therefore, also, they will sequentially get the best jobs and get paid more money.  And the most important thing they are gaining is time, longer time making a higher rate in the modeling business.

New Work For Radio Disney with Austin Mahone

New Work For Radio Disney with Austin Mahone

Here is a little from my latest work with Radio Disney with Austin Mahone.  To be honest, I had to ask my daughter who Austin Mahone was since I had never heard of him.  She knew right away. although she is a country music fan.  She told me about things he had done as well as he is friends with Justin Bieber.

This shoot took place at a school in Miami called SLAM.  There were 1000+ screaming kids, many of them girls, there to catch a glimpse of the new bubble gum pop star. MDP_4186

Austin Mahone Radio Disney 2014 and the huge crowd

Austin Mahone Radio Disney 2014 and the huge crowd

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Austin Mahone Radio Disney 2014

Austin Mahone Radio Disney 2014

Austin Mahone Radio Disney 2014

Austin Mahone Radio Disney 2014

New Client and New Model from Mega Models Miami

I recently completed a shoot for a new client of mine.  It is a crocheted bikini and swimwear company that does very beautiful hand made swimsuits and coverups.  The makeup was by my close friend Sherilyn Segal and the hair was by a newcomer on my team ,Vanessa Varela.  The model was Caroline from Mega Models Miami.  Thank you for all your help Travis and Javier.  Our shoot was on Miami Beach in South Beach and beach work was done on Virginia Key off of Key Biscayne.  We are looking for a great 2014 with this new company and creating amazing new images for them

Mega Model Caroline 2014

Mega Model Caroline 2014

Mega Model Caroline 2014

Mega Model Caroline 2014

Mega Model Miami Caroline 2014

Mega Model Miami Caroline 2014

Mega Model Miami Caroline 2014

Mega Model Miami Caroline 2014

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Mega Model Miami Caroline 2014

Mega Model Miami Caroline 2014

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Mega Model Miami Caroline 2014

Mega Model Miami Caroline 2014

Mega Model Miami Caroline 2014

Mega Model Miami Caroline 2014

Matt Dunn Modeling Images from 1980’s

By popular demand I am uploading my old model comp.  This goes to prove that I did actually model although it wasn’t my favorite part in the fashion business.

This was my composite in Chicago and I did lots of work for Imagnin, Montgomery Wards, Sears, and Marshall Field’s to name a few.

Matt Dunn Model Composite for Elite Models in the 1980's

Matt Dunn Model Composite for Elite Models in the 1980’s

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Photographer Matt Dunn back in modeling days in the 1980's

Photographer Matt Dunn back in modeling days in the 1980’s

Funny to me how lack of photography sharpness was the norm back then.  Don’t get me wrong, I know them images are ancient and have faded especially since printed on cheap paper but thought it would be funny for those of you who know me but didn’t know this about my past.LOL!!!

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER= PROBLEM SOLVER

To be successful, a fashion photographer must be an exceptional problem solver. As with most professions, to be at the top means one must roll with the punches and become a creative problem solver, overcoming obstacles both seen and unseen. We have learned that this is no longer no mans land and that our clients and team expect this quality from us.
Being a professional means you can consistently create an exceptional result, in any condition – not only when conditions are exceptional. We must shoot, sometimes, when we are feeling less than artistic.
Many times, whether on location or studio, problems must be expected. I know what you are thinking, “what a negative thought process”. I would think that too except I have been a professional photographer for more than two decades and I can tell you, either you are prepared or you are not.

NOUVEAU MAGAZINE 2013

NOUVEAU MAGAZINE 2013

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Many of my clients come to me and ask me about why I brought so much equipment or why we didn’t use a certain piece of equipment. Just like I have many lenses and camera bodies I have modifiers, scrims, reflectors and an entire myriad of stands and configurations. Most of these are not for use in optimal conditions; quite the contrary. In Florida, as well as many places I seem to shoot, inclement weather can pop up at a moment’s notice. Also sun can end up not being where I want it or the intensity not what I need for a certain shot. Theses are the circumstances you must prepare for. As the leader of the team you are expected to solve all of life’s little problems.
Do you have some hairpins, duct tape, 2 sided tape, clamps of all shapes and sizes, Velcro, extra swimsuits, etc.? There really is no telling what can and will happen on a shoot. If you don’t cover it you better make sure someone else will. Much of the well being of the shoot depends on your team and talent feeling great and that you are in control makes everyone feel warm fuzzies. This is one reason I try to find out what everyone likes to drink. Even something that small can make someone really feel like you care and in return they will give you their best.
The other day, I was on a remote location in Key Biscayne and my model had to be up against this banyan tree, which was infested with bull ants. Well I didn’t have any repellent but my makeup artist did! It takes a team, a trusted team, to make things happen and everyone must go beyond their expected duties to be prepared. I call this professionalism and this all goes into the final product of these types of shoots.
The following day, we had another amazing day in Key Biscayne. This day ended up being one of the hottest and most miserable days I have ever been on location. I was sweating so much that I feared changing lenses for the sweat getting into the camera body. My makeup artist and myself, as well as the crew and models had to make adjustments in our normal protocol to successfully negotiate the obstacles at hand. The heat was unbearable, sandspurs and ants, painful, and the tide was exceptionally high but we made it work.
Make certain that your team and you have collaborated before and you all know each other’s propensities, shortcomings, and idiosyncrasies. It makes the shoot go smoothly and gives you the best chances for a magical result.

Beautiful Native American Woman

Beautiful Native American Woman as I shot this image for a calendar for a country night club
called “The Barn” in Sanford Florida. This was back in 2002
Thought this might be relevant now that Victoria’s Secret runway show!!!

Beautiful Native-American Woman

Beautiful Native-American Woman

Beautiful Native-American Woman 2


Thought this might be relevant now that Victoria’s Secret runway show!!!

Top Miami Swimwear Photographer

Matt Dunn is internationally recognized as one of the top fashion, beauty, celebrity, and swimwear photographers. He has been in the forefront of fashion and editorial trends since he started back in 1986. Through more than two decades his work still is both timely and timeless. His fashion and beauty work has been showcased in the top national and international publications as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire,Vanidades, Anna, Gioia. His swimwear work has been done for top companies as Everything But Water, Shoshanna Swimwear,Becca Swimwear,Gottex Swimsuit, and Richies. Hawaiian Tropic as well as Ron Jon Surf Shops have enlisted the thoughtful eye of Matt Dunn to photograph and advertise their lines in catalogs and billboards. Check out his main and official website at www.mattdunn.com
Matt Dunn is available for model development and placement. He also can photography you for your portfolio and agency.

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A Meeting with a Top Model Scout and Photographer

Have a meeting with model scout, Matt Dunn to become his next big discovery! Email a clear polaroid or simple image on a simple solid background along with age and height to matt@mattdunn.com and make the email subject “Model Search Contest”. All polaroids and images will be put into an album on the new Matt Dunn Fashion Model Scout page in 3 weeks for voting, so be sure to spread the word! Feel free to submit yourself or anyone you think has model potential. More details on Twitter: twitter.com/mattdunnphoto
SOME OF MY FINDS I HAVE PLACED WITH CLICK, WILHELMINA, MAJOR, FRONT, MC2,FORD,ELITE,NEXT,COMPANY, WOMEN,AND MANY OTHERS
HERE ARE A FEW IMAGES OF GUYS I STARTED IN THE BUSINESS

RICK DIETZ

RICK DIETZ FOR VALENTINO

MATT DUNN IS UNIQUE TO THE MODEL WORLD. HE NOT ONLY SCOUTS, GROOMS AND PLACES NEW FACES WITH THE BEST AGENCIES IN THE INDUSTRY, HE CONTINUES TO MANAGE AND GUIDE HIS MODELS THROUGHOUT THEIR CAREERS. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT HIM AND SEND YOUR PHOTOS!
-YOU DO NOT NEED PROFESSIONAL PICTURES. IF YOU HAVE THEM WE WILL ACCEPT THEM, BUT GENERALLY WE PREFER POLAROIDS.
-PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR NAME, MEASUREMENTS, (HEIGHT, WEIGHT, BUST, CHEST, HIPS, WAIST), AGE, HAIR COLOR, EYE COLOR, A CONTACT PHONE NUMBER AND AN EMAIL ADDRESS.
-WE ARE UNABLE TO RETURN SUBMISSIONS TO YOU. IF OUR AGENTS ARE INTERESTED, THEY WILL CONTACT YOU. PLEASE DO NOT CALL TO CHECK ON THE STATUS OF YOUR SUBMISSION.
-IF WE ARE NOT INTERESTED PLEASE DO NOT LOSE HOPE! WE ARE LIMITED BY WHAT LOOKS WORK FOR OUR MARKET RIGHT NOW. YOUR LOOK OR TYPE MIGHT NOT WORK FOR OUR AGENCY AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO RESUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS AFTER 12 MONTHS.
MY LATEST FIND I PLACED WITH NEXT

MODEL SPECIFICATIONS:
AGE: 12-22
HEIGHT (FEMALE): 5’8″ OR TALLER
HEIGHT (MALE): 5’11 OR TALLER

PLEASE SEND ALL SUBMISSIONS TO:
matt@mattdunn.com

PLEASE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING UNRETOUCHED PHOTOS:
HEADSHOT
FULL BODY
BATHING SUIT
WAIST UP

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Taking Better Photos of Your Kids at Play

Studios are a fine way to document what your child looks like.  The lighting control a professional has while shooting in a studio is perfect for showing the slight nuances in your child’s face and can show scale in a very stable environment.  However to really show the personality of your child try putting him in a place to show it; the playground.

Playgrounds are an integral part of any childhood. They’re a place to run and jump, make new friends, and try new things. That is why a playground is a fantastic place to make great pictures. But before you grab your little ones and head to the nearest park, here are a few tips you’ll want to know.

Though it is natural for us to take pictures while standing, when photographing kids, you may want to try getting closer to the ground. Shooting on a child’s level will prevent the distortion of bigger heads and little feet you sometimes get when shooting down on little ones from a standing position. Plus, you will see more of your child’s face and less of the top of her head. It can also give your photographs a better feel for how they see the world.

A zoom lens is a perfect lens to use when capturing images of your kids at play. Pros use the expression “fill the frame.” It means move in and compose the photo by including only what is important to your shot. For example, if you are photographing your child blowing bubbles, instead of photographing a full-length image with the playground in the background, zoom into her face as she blows the bubbles, or crop tightly on her hand waving the bubble wand in the air.

At the playground (or anywhere, for that matter) it’s going to be pretty hard to have your kids stand still for a photo. The solution is to capture them in action. Just be sure you set your camera to a fast shutter speed and if the camera you’re using has scene modes, use the sports scene mode. This will ensure that you freeze the action, instead of ending up with a blur running through the image.

Childrens images shot for Walt Disney World

Take photos of your kids on the swings, coming down the slide, climbing on the monkey bars, and any other playground apparatus. Be sure to experiment with different angles. You might be happily surprised with the results. Look for the geometric shapes and bright colors that fill the playground and include them in your compositions for more interesting photographs.

If your kids do slow down enough to let you pose a few photos, try capturing an impromptu portrait. Zoom in close to capture the joyous expressions.

And, remember that playgrounds will often incorporate picnic tables, ball courts, winding paths and more—all possible subjects for great photographs of your kids at play.

A playground is a great place for kids to have fun and can be a great place for a photographer to have fun, too!