The brand MRL Photography was founded in November 2009 by photographer Matt Lee. Since its creation, MRL Photography has gone on to produce many works of art in the various fields of the photographic market. The business’s owner and lead photographer, Matt Lee, is a double-qualified photographer who believes in producing work that is nothing less than exceptional. MRL Photography’s mission is: “to produce outstanding quality photographs for all our client’s needs. Our highly qualified and experienced staff use innovative ideas, and state of the art equipment, to help produce the best possible results.”
Below is a short autobiography of MRL Photography’s owner, Matt Lee:
I was born and bred in the small town of Ladsymith in Kwa Zulu Natal.
I’ve always had an interest in photography. Throughout high school, I took part in various photographic activities. I was the student school photographer in 2007 and 2008, and at my own matric farewell, I was asked to take the photos in the photo booth. The combination of the matric farewell, and receiving my second DSLR camera, made me realize that I no longer wanted to have photography as a hobby, but instead wanted to pursue it as a profession. I applied to study photography at the Tshwane University of Technology, and said that if I didn’t get accepted, I wasn’t meant to be a photographer.
I was accepted into TUT in 2009. That year I decided to change my primary camera brand to Nikon, which I have used ever since. I originally went to TUT with the desire of becoming a professional wildlife photographer, however in my second year, after a discussion with one of my lecturers, I decided to focus my field of interest on fashion photography. As part of my third year curriculum I was required to assist professional photographers who worked in the industry. While working with these photographers, I developed an interest in the commercial advertising industry.
I completed my National Diploma in Photography in 2011, and in 2012 chose to further my studies, in order to obtain my BTech Degree in Photography. As part of the degree, one is required to write an extended essay, or mini thesis. The final topic that I chose for my thesis, and accordingly for my Btech portfolio, was Fragrance Advertising – as I wished to specialize in something that possessed elements from both the advertising and fashion industries. I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Photography at the end of 2013.
My individual style has varied over the years, as my photographic knowledge, experience and skills have expanded and increased. However, one thing that has remained consistent over the years is my precision with lighting – I am a perfectionist. I’m also very old-school, and believe in getting everything right on camera, instead of trying to fix things in post-production – I don’t believe in over-editing photos. Over the years I’ve mastered the use of both off-camera speed lights and Elinchrom Quadra Rangers for my on-location photography – where I make use of a mixture of ambient and flash lighting. In the studio, I’m probably even more pedantic with my lighting than when working on location. With location photography, the ambient light tends to give you a certain amount of leeway, however in the studio, you control every element of the lighting for the set. I won’t start capturing images seriously until I’m 100% satisfied with my lighting set up! If there is one thing that I would like to be remembered for, it’s brilliant lighting…
One of the rewarding parts of photography for me is looking at your image, and realizing that the final product came out even better than you had originally imagined it in your mind. The most exceptional moments for me in my photography, is the satisfaction, after looking through the lens and releasing the shutter, that you just captured a great image, or your best image of the shoot.