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Conversations with Jefferson Mathis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jefferson Mathis. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I began photography when I was 16 years old on my home lake of Lake Martin, AL. It began as a way to document my friends and I as we wakeboarded on almost a daily basis. As time went on, I picked it up more and more, and as my skills improved, I began making a side business out of it. I started photographing more outside of wakeboarding but my favorite thing to shoot has and will always be action photos on and around the water. I moved to Orlando in 2017 to pursue my photography even further because Orlando is the mecca of wakeboarding. So many professional riders live in the area, and a lot of international riders call it a second home during the summertime. There are always riders to not only shoot with but to ride with as well. The fact that I’m lucky enough to call Clear Lake home also helps because I have water access to go out any time I need to. The wakeboarding community is very tight-knit and I love being a part of it! 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The most challenging part of my photography journey was establishing myself in the water sports industry. Sure, I had been around it for years and loved it, but it’s a whole different thing to get people and companies to respect you enough to hire you out for work. But after years of shooting and working with various riders, I was able to build up enough of a portfolio to show to potential clients that would convince them to hire me. Once I was able to get my foot in the door, it was just all about fostering positive relationships with people and over-delivering when it came to jobs. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m a photographer that specializes in action photography, wakeboarding, and water sports specifically. I’ve been doing it for almost as long as I’ve been riding (about 20 years) and love every aspect of it — the people, the locations, the sport, everything! One of my proudest accomplishments was working as the editor of Alliance Wake Magazine and not only shooting multiple photos and covers that made it to print but also being able to write, interview, and curate the magazine. I believe what sets me apart from others would be that I have a good attitude when it comes to the work, I’m excited to do it, and if a client or rider isn’t happy with something, I will do everything in my power to correct it. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Follow me on Instagram — @jeffshotthat 

And if you’re in need of some photography, don’t be shy and hit me up! 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jeff Mathis
Bec Gange
Guenther Oka
Jake Pelot
John Akerman
Riley Dillon
Thomas Herman

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