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I'm a recovering CEO turned award-winning, full-time portrait and conflict photographer. After spending most of my adult life in white collar roles, I’ve come to learn that my collar is actually quite blue. Though I projected the very image of success as a Harvard Business School-trained CEO building software companies for many years, I was far from happy.

Photography saved my soul. 

I pride myself on being a visual storyteller, and I’m most content embracing my blue collar, navigating high-risk conflict zones, and capturing images that tell the stories everyone should know. I prefer a photojournalistic aesthetic, and much of my work is focused on 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 as Leica Master Shots, distributed and sold by Getty Images, featured in photography and fine art publications around the world such as ShotKit.com and The Photo Review Journal of Fine Art Photography, displayed at multiple gallery events, and featured in the Smithsonian Magazine.

I've completed studies in Photojournalism with the New York Institute of Photography, Commercial & Fine Art Photography with SPEOS Photography School in Paris, am a member of the International Association of Press Photographers, am an Accredited Photographer with The Association of Photographers, and I am currently studying for my Master of Arts degree in Photography with Falmouth University in the UK. ​

Though I didn't seek out to become a professional photographer, 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 telling 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. 

My current photographic project is named Lottery, where I employ high-concept portraiture, and immersive 3D photography to show the stories of people in conflict zones around the world juxtaposed with similar people in comfortable Western society. This project synthesizes evocative imagery to show how different our lives might be had we won or not won the lottery of birth. My goal is to inspire people to affect direct, meaningful change, and help others succeed where prosperity and peace might otherwise only be a dream. 

 

My life's been filled with adventures and experiences 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. 

MAT CHACON

PHOTOGRAPHER/
VISUAL STORYTELLER

AS FEATURED IN

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LEICA Q
GALLERY

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LANDSCAPE

GALLERY

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PORTRAIT

GALLERY

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STREET

GALLERY

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AWARDS &
RECOGNITION

2022

Smithsonian Magazine 19th Annual Photo Contest - Top 10 Finalist Winner.

Featured Speaker - Rotary Club Seattle. My journey from CEO to 

Conflict Photographer, going from downtown to downrange. 

Featured Speaker -  Alderwood Terrace Rotary Club. 

My journey from CEO to Conflict Photographer. 

Gallery Show - United Kingdom - Landings 22 - IM/MATERIAL WORLDS Exhibition.

Private Gallery Show - Seattle - Conflict Photography (Sold out). 

Gallery Show - SODO - Conflict Photography (Sold out) 

2021

Leica Fotografie International (LFI) - Leica Master Shot - Leica Q Gallery.

The Photo Review - Featured photographer. 

ShotKit.com - Featured Photojournalist. 

Private Gallery Show - Sold out. 

2020

Leica Fotografie International (LFI) - Leica Master Shot - Street Gallery. 

Private Gallery Show - Sold out. 

2019

Photographic Center Northwest (PCNW) - Gallery Show - Sold out. 

Private Gallery Show - Sold out.

Winner - 2019 Greenlight Insights Innovation Award.

Immersive photogrammetry, and spatial computing. 

2018

Photographic Center Northwest (PCNW) - Gallery Show - Sold out. 

Leica Fotografie International (LFI) - Leica Master Shot - Portrait Gallery. 

Leica Fotografie International (LFI) - Leica Master Shot - Landscape Gallery. 

Private Gallery Show - Sold out. 

2017

Photographic Center Northwest (PCNW) - Gallery Show - Sold out. 

CREDENTIALS

2022

SPEOS Photography School in Paris, France  

Commercial + Fine Art Photography

The Association of Photographers 

Accredited Photographer (Member ID: 14482)

Falmouth University in the UK

Accepted into the MA in Photography program

Trafalgar Cohort (Graduate May 2024)

2021

Getty Images

Stock Photographer (Contributor ID: 691210)

2020

New York Institute of Photography

Photojournalism (Credential ID: DL1800013)

2019 

International Association of Press Photographers

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

2018 

Harvard Business School

Mergers and Acquisitions, Strategy, Execution, and 

Post-Merger Management  

2015

Rutgers Business School 

Executive Education Mini-MBA in Social Media Marketing 

2014

American Military University

Undergraduate in Counterintelligence  

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