Matthew Wardenaar cover1 1440x900 Photographer Feature | Matthew Wardenaar
Shanna June

Shanna June

Community Manager

Photographer Feature | Matthew Wardenaar

Up next on our humble blog is the amazing Matthew Wardenaar, a Dutch product designer, photographer and producer. We’re super excited about this interview, because not only do we get valuable information straight from the horses mouth, with a bunch of stunning images to endlessly inspire us; but today there’s video too! YAY! And the icing on the cake is that Matthew uses our presets for the video’s he shoots, hot stuff like Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire. WINNING! 🙂 So now, get comfy and lap up this multi-skilled, fresh, articulate and notable photographer. Thank you Matthew, it’s a privilege and our pleasure to feature you.

Good vibes and endless inspiration,
Preset Shop Team


What is your current state of mind?


What do you love the most about your job?

My standing desk.

Kendall Jenner BTS Harpers Photographer Feature | Matthew Wardenaar

What is the best advice you have received so far about photography?

Don’t quit your day job! The top 1% make the majority of the money in the industry. It’s a rich man’s hobby.

How would you describe your style?

Polished, balanced, a good mix of production and post-production value. I always find questions like this difficult.

What misconceptions do you think outsiders have about the photography world?

It can be fixed in post. Try to do as much as you can in the camera. It’ll save you time and money in the long run. 

Hoobastank Acoustic Album Photographer Feature | Matthew Wardenaar

Preset shop photographer feature Matthew Wardenaar

Preset shop photographer feature Matthew Wardenaar

As you look through the viewfinder, what is the most critical moment in the capture of your image?

Emotion. You can control and manipulate just about everything else.

What photographers from the past or present have influenced you the most?

Ansel Adams, Mario Testino, Jill Greenberg and Melissa Rodwell.

What’s the most important thing you want potential clients to know about you?

I started shooting part-time while studying for my Master’s degree in business. I would take on freelance projects and evolved into a full-service photography and video production studio/house. My previous work can be viewed online at Now I no longer run my studio/production house full-time, but work freelance when time permits. 

What has been your favourite photo location or session?

Shooting my first celebrity photo of Jim Carrey in his home theater. The photo was for his bio and an extreme close up of his iris.

Preset shop photographer feature Matthew Wardenaar

What advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue photography?

Don’t. Ha! Practice, practice, practice and never give up. You’ve got to love it. 

In today’s economy what changes are driving the fashion market place and how have you adjusted?

Cost of production is going down. More and more editorial clients are expecting full-service digital photography and video. You need to be a jack of all trades to be competitive.

What type of cameras do you shoot with?

Canon 5D MK II for both photo and video. I shoot experimental 4k videos on the Nikon V1 and long with a Red Epic.

Preset shop photographer feature Matthew Wardenaar

What is your favourite photography accessory, other than your camera? 

My iPhone.

If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?

Nothing beats my Cannon 85mm f1.2 L lens. It’s my go to lens. I find myself shooting more and more portraits / fashion and get the most consistent results with this one.

What is your favorite computer/editing accessory, other than your computer?! 

My standing desk from – The desk can tilt like a draft table, so retouching a photo on a Wacom is comfortable for extended periods.

Cos we just have to ask…!! 😉 What is your favourite +PS tool?? And how has it improved workflow time?

Oddly enough there are so many it’s hard to say. I think the sheer inspiration each time I get from doing the initial color grading, with +PS is always half the fun! I use a lot of the color presets and tweak them based on the clients needs. It saves me tons of time and allows me to deliver professional looking results in a lot less time. The second use for the filters is for actually color grading video, which is a majority of my magazine work. I’ll often edit videos in Final Cut, export to a .TIFF sequence, grade in LR with +PS presets and assemble the .TIFF sequence in Adobe After Effects. It’s an involved process but allows for some unique looks.

Do you maintain a studio or do you rent one when needed?

Rent, throw up a backdrop in my apartment or find a friend with a location.

Preset shop photographer feature Matthew Wardenaar

Preset shop photographer feature Matthew Wardenaar

Three photography pet hates and why?

1. There is a ton of nepotism.

2. The disparity in paid gigs. You might be making $250 dollars one day and $20,000 the next.

3. I can only shoot on the weekends….or have to take vacation time off from work to shoot.

Where would you wish to wake up tomorrow?

On the space mission to Mars….. I would be one of the select few to see earth from another planet and the first person to shoot a photo on Mars! 

What five words would your friends use to describe you?

1. Leader

2. Comedian

3. Communicator

4. Educator

5. Digital Swiss Army Knife

Preset shop photographer feature Matthew Wardenaar

Preset shop photographer feature Matthew Wardenaar

What lies ahead for  you?

Hopefully, a really awesome start-up that combines my love for photography, film and mobile technology!


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