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Mateo Chacon - Photographer

Hello! My name is Mateo (Mat) Chacon. I've been lucky enough to live a life that can be the screenshots of a full-scale riot. I'm a recovering CEO turned award-winning, internationally exhibited photographer and educator with photos published by The Smithsonian, Getty Images, Leica Fotografie International, and others since 2017. I pride myself on being an inclusive visual storyteller with a lifetime of experiences and adventures that I'm sure will send me to hell on a full scholarship. But for now... this is as close as it gets to Heaven. 

Before becoming a photographer I was a successful software executive. I helped start the website development company US Web Corporation and participated in their $63 million IPO. After a successful career building software companies in Arizona and Washington state, I concluded my career as CEO of a profitable spatial computing company in Seattle that won the Greenlight Insights award for most innovative enterprise application, with customers that included Harvard, MIT, and the U.S. Department of Defense. A life-threatening injury in 2019 caused me to reevaluate my life path. I sold my Bellevue condo, significantly downsized, and dedicated my life to following my passion for photography.  

Much of my work is focused on exposing power relations, shining a light on the darkness of social inequality around the world. I've been fortunate enough to have my photos shown in Leica Fotografie International online as Leica Master Shots, distributed and sold by Getty Images, featured internationally in photography and fine art publications such as ShotKit.com and The Photo Review Journal of Fine Art Photography, exhibited in galleries around the world, and featured in The Smithsonian Magazine.

 

I am also happy to be a 2023 recipient of a postgraduate bursary equipment grant by the Royal Photographic Society and MPB.com to continue my project documenting the reproductive rights of people on their journeys through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) therapies to achieve parenthood through science. 

I'm a certified commercial drone pilot, a member of The National Press Photographer's Association, The International Association of Press Photographers, and am an Accredited Photographer with The Association of Photographers. I've completed studies in Photojournalism with the New York Institute of Photography, Commercial & Fine Art Photography with Speos International Photography School in Paris, France, and hold a Master of Arts degree in Photography from Falmouth University (ranked number 1 arts university in the UK.), graduating with photography distinction. 

Though I didn't seek out to become a professional photographer and educator, I wouldn't change a thing. Photography feeds my soul and has taken me around the world, meeting and photographing the beautiful, strange, and interesting people that inhabit it, and then showing their stories. 

If there’s one thing I've learned as a photographer documenting global social inequality of the human condition, it’s that this world needs only one thing… more love. 

It is my goal to inspire that love. 

Education 

2024

Falmouth University, Cornwall, England. 

Master of Arts Degree in Photography. 

Graduated with Photography Distinction. 

2022

SPEOS Photography School, Paris, France. 

Commercial + Fine Art Photography. 

2020

New York Institute of Photography, New York, NY. 

Photojournalism. 

Pre-2018

Software executive and CEO with proven track record of fund raising and global awards. 

Harvard Business School.

Rutgers Business School - Mini MBA in Social Media Marketing. 

American Military University - Counterintelligence. 

Department of Defense Think Tank Member (Human Dimensions Support Services)- Advising U.S. government on active task orders and forward-looking capabilities of the elite warfighter (IDIQ: ID0418014)

Seattle fine art photojournalism conflict photography workshops

Awards 

2023

Postgraduate Bursary (Photojournalism) as Shortlisted Finalist, Royal Photographic Society. 

2022

Top 10 Finalist Winner, Smithsonian Magazine 19th Annual Photo Contest (American Experience). 

2021

Leica Master Shot, Leica Q Gallery, Leica Fotografie International. 

2020

Leica Master Shot, Street Gallery, Leica Fotografie International. 

Seattle fine art photojournalism conflict photography workshops

Exhibitions 

2024

After Action, The SODO Gallery

2023

[r]EVOLUTION, The Rainier Club

2023

Conflict Photography, The Columbia Tower Club

2023

Life In Conflict, Lumen Field

2023

Gilded, Frequency Gallery

2023

Democracy In Distress, Innervisions

2023

Analogue, Seattle Records

2022

Downtown To Downrange, Seattle Rotary Club

2022

Downtown To Downrange, Cornish College of The Arts

2022

IM/MATERIAL Worlds, Landings 22 Cornwall, England

2022

Theater of War, The SODO Gallery

2021

The Seattle CHOP, The Photo Review Journal of Fine Art Photography

2020

Land-Scape, The SODO Gallery

2019

Seattle Street Photography, Photographic Center Northwest 

Publications

Smithsonian Magazine

Getty Images

Leica Fotografie International (online)

The Photo Review Journal of Fine Art Photography

The Royal Photographic Society

Shotkit.com 

Seattle Rainier Club 

Seattle Columbia Tower Club 

Seattle Rotary Club 

Decorus Art

Innervisions Seattle 

Seattle Records 

Frequency Freemont

Professional Credentials

National Press Photographer's Association

Member ID: 193435334

The Association of Photographers 

Accredited Photographer (Member ID: 14482)

Getty Images

Stock Photographer (Contributor ID: 691210)

International Association of Press Photographers

Photojournalist (Member ID: US/8-l-39623)

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