smiling girl in class

Landmark Student Turns Hobby into a Career

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Ambitious, confident, creative, determined, talented. These adjectives perfectly describe Matthew “Matty” Kaminsky ‘21. Although he’s only a senior in high school, Matty is an accomplished photographer with an impressive résumé—and a roadmap for his future.

Matty began dabbling in photography as a seventh grader. He used his father’s camera to take pictures on family vacations. As he got more serious about photography and his talents became obvious, Matty landed an internship at Alexa Media, in his hometown of Lexington, Mass. “I did a lot of still photography and editing. It helped me get the feel for editing,” he recalled.

Fortuitous Timing

His hobby turned into a career during the fall of 2019. He was flying in a World War II bomber at an airshow, taking pictures from the air. A few weeks later, that same plane crashed in Connecticut, and he tweeted his pictures. “I never thought the photos would end up anywhere, but several news stations contacted me and asked to use them,” Matty said. That exposure resulted in a contract with Wicked Local, and his photos have since appeared in the Boston Globe and on WCVB-TV and CBS-Boston. 

Matty monitors Twitter and radio apps for opportunities to take breaking news photos. News organizations often reach out to him when he posts news photos on Twitter. He’s photographed house fires, a standoff involving a SWAT team, a drowning, and other incidents. Many of these events are traumatic and can be difficult to witness.

“I have to keep the mindset that this is what I want to pursue and it’s going to be intense, and I’m going to have to see tragedies and people in pain,” he said. “It makes me feel lucky and gives me perspective that I haven’t experienced those types of situations.”

Matty’s most powerful shot occurred in January. “There was a significant house fire in my town, and it was about -7° outside. You could see the intensity on the firefighters’ faces, and you can get really good shots when people are taking their jobs so seriously.”

A self-taught photographer, Matty attended a summer camp at Boston University last summer to help him fine tune his skills and expand his knowledge. “I feel very accomplished, especially for my age,” Matty said, humbly. “Most people are surprised when they find out I’m still in high school. They think I’m in college or out of college.”

Applying Lessons Learned in the Classroom

Matty applies executive function skills he learned at Landmark to organize his file management system. “They really help with labeling photos and maintaining folders.”

Matty will attend Curry College in the fall and major in photojournalism. He plans to continue taking action photos of law enforcement and first responders in college and beyond. Given his skills and experience, he is well on his way to a promising career.

 


Take a look at Matty’s website.