Matt Borkowski: Journey to California

Matt Borkowski is an emerging editorial photographer. With roots in instant photography and in the darkroom, he utilizes classic technique to reinterpret and capture life unfolding around him. Matt combines his influences of street and narrative photography to portray a refined, surreal glimpse at otherwise fleeting moments. He has been published internationally in both print and web publications.

It’s odd, but seemingly my most lucid moments arrive at the most inopportune times. As I lay in bed at 2:00 a.m. making notations and switching wording or adding sentences, part of me wonders why I’m awake at all. What’s bothering me? Why can’t I sleep? Why aren’t I happy with what I’m writing for this entry? And then it sort of hit me — the itching and omnipresent self-doubt which typically fuels my career has been screaming out loud for months. I feel that it’s time to silence my own biggest critic, or at least give it an opportunity to rest on its own.

My wife and I recently completed a cross country move from Brooklyn, New York to Venice, California. While we were enamored with living in New York, we were also getting priced out of our beloved neighborhood, having trouble finding work and generally struggling to cope with the internal pressures of the Big Apple. I realized recently that I had spent over a quarter of my life living in New York City. I’m sure that this reasoning helped encourage a move West for something new, something visually stimulating and something challenging for us as a couple. The lowered cost of living and Los Angeles sunshine aren’t too bad either. Even so, it hasn’t eliminated the doubt of leaving, or calmed the longing we have for our old home while establishing a new base of operation.

Over the past month or so, I have finally been able to start working out of my home and studio in Venice Beach. I feel like I’m getting back into the groove of my work. I feel that when I don’t collaborate with people for too long, my photography becomes incredibly introverted, which I feel is present throughout these shots. If you gather senses of loneliness and, that old friend doubt, you might be correct. Perhaps being out of the city is driving me a bit mad, as I’m filled with angst over my work these days … too many thoughts. Or maybe I’m just afraid of the unknown, as success isn’t easy to come by and being in a new town aggravates the ease of comfort and familiarity. It’s all of these thoughts running around in my mind that have produced what you’re seeing in this post.

In essence, I’m tired of doubting myself for nothing more than anxiety, and I’d like to once again put something on the line. Here today, are some of my favorite images so far from our journey to California. And in the spirit of self-doubt and preservation, I hope you enjoy. I’ll be publishing more photographs from our trek in my next entry; until then, thank you for reading.

-Matt Borkowski

To learn more about Matt and his work, please visit his website and Twitter.