Take a Vacation at Your Desk (and Look Like You're Still Working)

 Matthew Barnes Photography
What constitutes a luxury travel experience? It’s one thing to show off gold leaf, expansive ocean views or a classic marble interior, but quite another to connect with viewers on an emotional level. For the past 20 years, Matthew Barnes has been capturing moments of relaxation for resorts around the world. A seasoned traveler himself, Matthew is adept at storytelling, inviting the viewer to join him in the frame and ultimately at the resort. He possesses the unique ability to capture the details – architecture, interior design and natural surroundings – coupled with emotions that resonate with travelers. His clients include high-end resorts like LUXE and ARIA hotels for starters, but no matter the destination, Matthew has become an expert at communicating a sense of place:  “A viewer has to be able to imagine being there, in that moment. We are all busy, so I want the image to be simple and communicate the luxury of slowing down,” says Matthew. 

Matthew took a minute to share a few more of his thoughts on travel and his work:

Tell us about a few of your favorite travel destinations.
 Hotel Interior Image from Matthew Barnes Photography
To be honest, every place I travel is my favorite. From Savannah for its hospitality, New Orleans for the music and food, Miami for the light, Seattle and its crystal, clear skies and the green, New York for its energy, Hawaii for its sunsets. Then there’s Paris for its architecture and Chang Mai for its people.

What makes a location interesting to photograph?
What makes the destination interesting to me as a photographer is the excitement of what’s to come. Many times, I arrive at a location where things aren’t yet complete. Sometimes we are asked to create amazing imagery with bulldozers working in the background. It’s a challenge, but one that I love because It really pushes me and my team to be creative.

How do you adjust to the unique quality of light in different locations?
Some locations are so green and lush there’s a softness of light that lends a dreamy quality. Others are sharp with contrast, bright colors, clear skies and crisp whites. Each is unique, and we do our best to accent that to bring out the best on film.
 Matthew Barnes Luxury Travel Photographer
How do you work with a team on location? 
Often, I travel alone to these locations and hire local teams to help with the projects. Budgets can be tight. Some markets are full of talented people while others are more remote, but I always manage to source out what I need. That can be one of the more exciting things about what I do. Meeting new people and collaborating with them on the fly gives me great pleasure as a photographer and pushes me to grow as a human being.

Take a moment to look through Matthew’s work at www.sallyreps.com. We think you’ll be glad you did.


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