What Makes onOne Software VP and Landscape Photog Matt Kloskowski Tick?

March 14, 2016

By RF Staff

Tamara Lackey is a photographer, author, program host (of Adorama’s reDefine show), Nikon USA Ambassador and WPPI speaker. Matt Kloskowski is the vice president of photography for onOne Software and a Tampa-based photographer. He is also a Photoshop guru, teaching at conferences around the world, and has authored over 20 books on Photoshop, Elements and Illustrator. 

Tamara Lackey: You made a pretty big—and rather public—career transition, from a high-profile personality, photographer, teacher and director of education for KelbyOne to the VP of photography at onOne Software. What are things like a year later?

Matt Kloskowski: I was at KelbyOne for ten years, and I’m very thankful for my time there. It was a very visible role, and I traveled a lot. But I started to feel like I wanted to do something different. I love shooting, I love editing and I love teaching. onOne offered me a new opportunity to really make a difference in their photo-editing apps. And when it came to shooting and education, they had a whole new audience that was super engaged and needed training and workflow to complete the picture.

As for the transition, it was pretty smooth. Not traveling and going to an office everyday was different. But I’ve loved it. I’m also getting to teach on a whole new level in a very personal way, which is so satisfying. And I get to spend a ton of time with my family. My wife and I have become best friends again (she works from home, too), and I feel like I’m really there for my kids in ways I was never able to be before.

TL: Of everything photography offers the shooter, what pulls you to it the most?

MK: For me it’s the challenge. When I’m at a beautiful location, I get to experience the air, the sun, the light, the clouds, the temperature and all of the things that add to the feeling of being someplace. But it’s hard to make those places look as good in a photo. You can’t just stand there, hold the camera up at eye level and take a shot. I love figuring out what’s really beautiful about a place, what lens to use, where to stand, what to put in the foreground and what not to include, making a photo that brings back the beauty and feeling of a great location.

TL: What do you believe every person should try at least once in their life?

MK: It may seem superficial and reckless, but I say everyone should try skydiving at least once. It probably sticks out to me because I just did it a little over a month ago. It was a crazy, amazing, scary, exhilarating and terrifying experience. To see the world from that point of view was absolutely amazing (once you stop screaming). Way too much fun!

TL: What bad habit are you proudest of breaking?

MK: I’ve been a highly competitive person ever since I can remember. And I don’t think being competitive is all that bad, but I do think that being competitive and being insecure come dangerously close to one another. I practiced and competed as a black belt in Taekwondo until I was 42. I left my family and traveled while always chasing that title. And I’ve been competitive at work. Who made the most videos and courses? Who had the most Twitter or Facebook followers, got the most likes on a photo, had the most people in their seminar? I’m not sure why, but that competitive nature was there, and I don’t think it was healthy at all. Over the last few years, I think I’ve really broken the competitive habit. It’s not about being the best or the most popular. I’ll continue to try to get as many people as I can to follow me, like my posts or buy my classes, but that’s because I really want to try to help as many people as possible, not to try to beat the other person.

And on a personal level, I’ve definitely kicked the habit. I still have a fire in me to be good at things, but I’m okay to try within my means as much as I can, without going overboard.

See the full story in Rangefinder's March Digital Edition. 

Portrait of Matt Kloskowski. Photo © Peter Hurley.
Portrait of Matt Kloskowski. Photo © Peter Hurley.

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