I hear a lot of different things about the people from “My City”. They say that Kansas City is filled with “haters”. I hear it’s near impossible to have a successful business venture here, because you will NOT gain the support of your city. The conclusion I’ve come to; like any city anywhere, people like to make excuses! That’s right, I said it…people like to make excuses for their failures, and shortcomings…no matter where they reside. While the negative voices may speak out the loudest, I’m grasping the opportunity to tell the other side of the story. Bringing out the voice of the SUCCESSFUL and the POSITIVE! That’s why, over the next couple of months I am bringing the stories, trials, tribulations, and inspirations of just a few of Kansas City’s own entrepreneurs! Take a moment to really get to know the faces behind your city.
Meet Matt Diamond
The very first entrepreneur to be introduced in my series popped right in my face (or on my news feed I should say). Literally…. I had NO CLUE who this guy was, but yet I kept seeing his work tagged all over Facebook. It came to the point where I was familiar with the branding “Matt Diamond Photography” before I was even able to put Matt’s face with it.
Now, like most of us, I’ve got PLENTY of “entrepreneurs” filling up my feed. They’ve got promos, flyers, and are always trying to tag me in things and fill up my news feed. So what was so different about Matt? The angles. The vision. The heart behind the photography. Matt’s pictures weren’t just targeted at women getting half naked or promoting an event…. there was meaning behind them. The first photo series of Matt’s that caught my eye was a compilation of shoots, all themed around patriotism. A THEME!!!! Who takes the time to put that effort and heart into their work anymore? I had to find out more about the man behind the camera. So I began digging.
Wasn’t hard to get ahold of Matt at all. When I inboxed him,describing the article I was interested in writing; his attitude was what I least expected…..Humble! A man with so much visible talent was clearly moved that I would take the time to write about HIM and HIS passion! Upon hearing more of his beginnings and background, I came to understand why.
Hustle and persevere have always been staples of Matt’s vocabulary. Not because he grew up on the “wrong side of the tracks” but instead because he grew up on the right side! For a Caucasian male with a passion in poetry, Matt quickly learned the world didn’t necessarily want to hear about his upbringing in the small town of Trenton, MO where classmates knew hime as Matt Spears. They didn’t really know the struggles Matt faced behind the scenes in pursing his own dreams and knowing himself. Things aren’t always as they appear.
Going right to the military after graduating, Matt didn’t move to KC until 2009. He actually came to pursue his love of poetry, while working as a New Prep Chef at the local baseball stadium. Matt’s passion for capturing the beauty in life was not secluded to this one genre, and brightly showed through in the area of photography as well. A true artist to the soul. When he pulled up on the poetry scene in KC , Matt was impressed. He saw lots of talent and wondered “Why isn’t anyone taking pictures of them”?. That’s when he took matters into his own hands (literally) and put his camera to use!!
Not gaining much initial support from the outside, Matt looked for inspiration in the music he listened to. While his musical interest range from country music to gangsta rap, Tupac’s sense of urgency is what he finds most inspiring. During our interview, Matt stated “Tupac just got in the studio and did it. He was laying track after track back to back no pauses in between. I love his urgency. He knew his goals, and he just got them done. He didn’t sit around waiting for anyone to do it for him.” Diamond’s career is proof enough, he lives this mentality daily.
Matt says “A lot of people say not to mix business with pleasure. With me, I blend the two. I’m an artist, I work from home….so the two are one in the same. As a poet, I made myself vulnerable by expressing myself through my work.” Matt lives by a quote he read “Your clients reflect yourself”. As he’s evolved as a person, honing his craft and knowing his role in the world as a business man, a human being, and a father.
For those looking to become entrepreneurs, Matt advises:
“The best bet for humanity is don’t apply for a job but apply yourself. In applying yourself you will find out what you are good at and what fits you. Some are made for the spotlight, and some are made to be behind scenes. Cultivate yourself. Believe in yourself. It takes faith. It’s an interworking process, networking comes later on. One of my growing steps has been stepping out on a networking opportunity. and misrepresenting myself because I was too eager. ”
A Quote from Matt:
“It’s become a matter of vision, and the fight to capture the light you see and feel, so your viewers may see and feel it too.. Something about photography breaks walls and build bridges. It’s like a catalyst for social re-configuration and revolutionary strides. Conveniently, this brings us back to this battle for light. It’s a photography thing.” MDP
Check out some of Matt’s work below, or at his website.