Matthew Gilligan, Photographer

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Local creative Matthew Gilligan is making his mark on the local photography scene – his work is raw and his talent is vast. FOCUS caught up with Matt and chatted to him about his passion …

Hi Matt. Tell us a little about your connection to Greater Port Macquarie?

I have lived here in Port Macquarie for around 16 years; it has become home for me.

My family roots are from Southwest Rocks (if you haven’t been, go check it out).

Port has changed and moved forward in culture and food. I am really excited to see it keep on moving forward.

What’s your “backstory” behind the lens … What inspired you to first pick up a camera? 

I was working in the hospitality industry for most of my working life. A pretty significant moment in early 2016 really changed my outlook on life and work; I knew cheffing wasn’t for me, and I wasn’t sure what the path was.

I had been in Norfolk in early 2016 working for a local restaurant, and I made friends with a few local photographers – and it really got me interested in the field of photography.

I knew I wanted to be involved within the food industry, so I bought a camera and to be honest, it has really reignited my passion and dedication for what I want to pursue as a career in life.

How would you best describe your style of work? 

I try my best to to capture images in a unique and organic form. I think an image will have greater impact when it’s taken naturally.

Food is something that can look beautiful in all its stages, from garden to plate; sometimes the best image is a vegetable pulled from the earth and shown in its raw beauty,

Landscape photography has been something that has really sparked my interest. Unlike food – it is a completely different challenge.

What are some of the most memorable photos you have taken and why? 

Although unrelated to food, it was a storm that came through last month (mid January). It was a really amazing storm. I was set up at the lighthouse from around 9pm, and this storm front was all around us with no wind and no rain and so much lightning. When I think about photos I’m proud of or have some significance, this is one of them.

Storms are nature’s TV, and I cant get enough of them.

Are you working on any special projects at the moment? What have you got planned for 2018?

This year is really exciting for me. I have a few landscape trips overseas in the middle of the year; I am considering doing an exhibition towards the end of the year to showcase some of the images from the trip. As opposed to the food side of things, I will be pushing the business into areas such as the Hunter Valley, Newcastle and other regional areas.

When you’re not shooting, what are you doing in your spare time?

I surf a lot; it keeps me fit and clear headed with what I need to do for work. I guess in most of my spare time I’m trying to improve my skills and find new locations to shoot, which is a cool way of getting out and seeing and doing more.

Where can people see more of your work and book with you?

You can find more of my work on my website and Facebook: or

Thanks Matthew.

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