It’s not uncommon for a photographer to have more than one specialty, but when it comes to Atlanta-based photographer Matt Odom, his long list of accomplishments speaks for itself. The commercial and editorial portrait, industrial, and sports photographer has been featured in National Geographic, The New York Times, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN, and more. He’s also served clients such as Burberry, Comcast, Wendy’s, and Dell. In 2021, Matt was named one of Architectural Digest’s Top 50 Interior Photographers to Hire.
More recently, the award-winning photographer captured former semi-pro football player, John Wharton, for the Summer 2022 issue of Cedars-Sinai Magazine. The client, who found Matt’s website through Wonderful Machine, was drawn to his style of portraiture, and his ability to make his subjects look natural in front of the camera.
In preparation, Matt and the team at Cedars-Sinai Magazine exchanged calls and emails to make sure everyone was on the same page. On the day of the shoot, Matt took charge as COVID caused limitations in terms of crew.
[The client] really wanted me to have John portrayed as a larger-than-life individual who was able to do things that only a year ago he wasn’t able to do.
John Wharton put his first set of hips through the wringer. But even after a semipro football career spent slamming his body full force into other players, 30 seemed too young to hurt so much.
Despite a diagnosis, he reasoned it was too soon for arthritis. For 15 years, he tolerated the debilitating pain that kept him home from parties and reduced him to relying on others at work. He got by on yoga breathing and borrowed pain pills, and eventually, he qualified for hip-replacement surgery at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute.Cassie Tomlin, Cedars-Sinai Magazine
The day brought rough and unseasonably cold winds which meant harsh lighting, but Matt prepared for the occasion by scouting multiple locations. His favorite part of the project took place indoors, where he captured lifestyle portraits of John and his fiancé, Shyla Darensbourg.
John and I clicked immediately, as he and I are both down to earth. I think having a relaxed attitude makes it so easy to work with subjects.
One thing that the readers should take away is that sometimes you will have to produce everything entirely on your own and always be prepared no matter what!
Matt is available for assignments across the United States and abroad. He always has his passport ready!
See more of Matt’s work on his website.