By Hana Medina
COMMUTING. WAITING AT a crosswalk. Going
on a picnic. To most of us, these everyday situations
may seem like mundane occurrences, but photographer Jordan Matter transforms them into works of
art, using dancers, athletes and circus performers as
his subjects. An interest in any of these professions
is not required for Matter’s work to resonate. His
images are full of lightheartedness and whimsy, and
they have garnered rave reviews all over the world.
Matter, a former baseball player turned actor
turned photographer, decided to transform his
hobby into his profession by making it a New Year’s
resolution in 2000. “I stopped doing everything else
and I only dedicated myself to photography,” says
the Costco member.
His work mainly consisted of portraits and actor
head shots when he started working with a dancer at
the Paul Taylor Dance Company in New York.
During that same period, he enjoyed watching his
son play with a toy bus and admired his joy, enthusiasm and passion for imagination.
“As we get older we lose that imagination, that
ability to see the beauty in the everyday moment,” he
says. “And it made sense for me to use dancers to
show those everyday moments in a more beautiful
way than we’re used to seeing them.”
Thus, his project and best-selling book Dancers
Among Us (Workman Publishing, 2012; available in
select Costco locations; Item #734430) was born.
“The thing I wanted to do, which I think is different
from other dance photography, is the idea of creat-
ing a scenario and telling stories, as opposed to just
doing a pretty picture,” Matter tells The Connection.
“We’d find a cool location and the dancer could do
a great pose, but the question was, What’s our story?
If we don’t have a story, then it’s not really unique.”
Matter, who uses a Nikon camera, makes cap-
turing elegant poses look simple, but it can be any-
thing but. It’s often a delicate coordination between
maintaining his subject’s energy and capturing a shot
before security or even the cops ask him to leave.
“Generally, the best locations are not necessar-
beauty A matter of
Photographer Jordan Matter
captures the extra in the ordinary
Name: Jordan Matter
Nanuet, New York
Member since: 2013
Costco: “Props, or acces-
sories, or anything that
we might need for the
shot, I’m usually going to
Costco to get it.”