May 24th, 2012

It always sounds easier than it ends up being, but working through the surprises keeps things interesting. 

My relationship with the Pomegranate Center started at a wedding last summer. Catherine and Andy’s, to be exact. Their officiant happened to be the managing director of Pomegranate; she had a big project coming up, and needed some help with it. For both Pomegranate and myself, this turned into an ongoing relationship with the Tully’s Coffee brand and it’s parent company, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. 

A couple months ago, Pomegranate asked if I could produce a video for their annual fundraiser breakfast. They didn’t need a “What is Pomegranate Center,” they wanted something with a little story about diversity, community, and leveraged the content I had shot in 2011.

Over coffee, we looked at the potential characters and found a story about parenting and exposing children to diversity and community. John, a single parent, was a volunteer at one of the Pomegranate builds last year. His two boys brought him to the event which struck a chord with the values he developed as a teen.

The work plan was simple: shoot an interview, collect some B-roll, and show off Pomegranate Center with existing visual content. I enjoy working in a team, but I’m comfortable in the field, the edit suite, or as a producer. This allows me to fit a variety projects with a scalable approach. It works well for a fundraiser short or more intense documentary pieces.

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Posted in advocacy, client, collaboration, community, corporate, editing, multimedia, non profit, publishing, technique Comments Off on CLIENT WORK: POMEGRANATE CENTER FUNDRAISING VIDEO


March 13th, 2012

When I was in school and working as a photographer for the University of Washington Daily, the publisher (our adviser) introduced some of us to the communications department of the Everett School District.

We would shoot hand-rolled Tri-X film, process it in the Daily’s darkroom, make contact sheets on paper we bought, edit it, and submit for client review. Once the images were chosen, we’d scan the negatives and work the images in Photoshop. It was a great arrangement; given our experience we were reasonably paid, but what we learned was invaluable. It was an introduction to contracts and corporate communications, with a reliance on our growing journalistic skill.

Last year, I received an email from Karri Matau, one of the people from the Everett School District’s communications team. She now works for the Greater Everett Community Foundation. It’s a great job: give money away to partner non profits in Snohomish County, north of Seattle. (above: Inside a juvenile detention facility where the foundation supports an art program. They are my first client to use iPhone images in an annual report)

Reintroducing herself by email, she said:

“I googled you to see if you stayed in the field. I am breathless by your portfolio and work to date!!!”

“We have a story to tell and a need to help our community celebrate and rebuild hope for the future,” she continued. “Interested in helping do some photo shoots with our grantees to “capture” our story for our annual publication and for our breakfast celebration in Sept?”

“I have hired a lot of photographer for day shoots and I’m just not pleased with the lack of emotion and energy in the shots.”
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Posted in advocacy, client, clients, community, inspiration, NGO, non profit, photography Comments Off on 2011 CLIENT REVIEW: WHY RELATIONSHIPS MATTER


December 10th, 2011

With an eye toward prison reform, writer and academic Pete Brook analyzes prison photography from behind his desk. After three years, he decided it was time to get out, on the road, and meet the people he’d written about. Especially the prisoners.

Pete is clear that he isn’t a photographer. Instead, he writes for’s RAW File and runs his own blog where he dissects photography about the prison system in America. I knew him peripherally through the photo community and through introduction several years ago by a mutual friend. I like what he does, so when he put out an ask to help make a Kickstarter video, I offered to shoot it and Seattle Times staffer Erica Schultz edited it with Pete in an 11 hour binge.

Prison Photography has built a community over the years. There’s no money involved, so for Pete to get on the road, he had to ask for help. The Kickstarter campaign began. By using social media and crowd-sourced funding, he successfully raised more than he thought it would cost to make the grand American tour, meeting photographers in person, visiting prisons, and seeing education programs at work.

Click here or below to read more and see a scene cut from the video.

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July 7th, 2010

This is a story about a love for music and the strength of friendship. Sasquatch is a three-day music festival in eastern Washington, just 2.5 hours from Seattle. Thousands travel to the Gorge Amphitheater for the live bands, to camp on the grass, and celebrate with friends.

Spike Kane grew up immersed in the world of live music, witnessing the rise of bands such as The Clash and Echo and the Bunnymen. Many of his old friends in Liverpool are still musicians. For the last five years, Spike was unable to go to shows or even appreciate the music so vital to his existence.

In June, 2010, Spike returned to the Gorge with the help of his friends, to once again participate in a music festival.

Read more About “Sasquatch or Bust” including tech tips after the jump!

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Seattle Zombie Walk Breaks World Record

July 5th, 2010

20100703_ZMB_060Saturday, on the third of July, the Center of the Universe (Fremont) was crowded with thousands of zombies as Seattle broke the world record for the zombie walk. According to organizers there were 4900 signed entries and 4233 solid entries.

I had no idea there was a world record for zombies, nor that there was such a zombie following, but I remember seeing zombies last year around Fremont. Then, on Friday, Lu saw the notice for the zombie walk and Saturday morning we made a run to the local thrift store…along with our costumes we scored on a shirt, bathrobe, and tuxedo for T!

Out came the costume makeup kit and in short order we were the zombie family.

According to organizers, Zombies have gathered in Seattle since 2005, and in 2009 set the world record for the largest gathering. In short order, the record was broken in the UK at a rave. Proud of its oddities, Seattle decided to take it back this year.

If you’re into zombies check out the links, photos and video on the jump.

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Posted in Canon 5D Mark II, community, coolness, events, family, fun stuff, gear, photography, thriller, zombies Comments Off on Seattle Zombie Walk Breaks World Record

CreativeLive and Zack Arias

June 14th, 2010

Past intern Dan Depew said he was heading to Seattle last weekend to help produce a workshop for his new boss Zack Arias. In a following email he asked about models and, as it turns out, Lu has moonlighted as a model for the past few years. So we were booked for Sunday morning where we got to see the full-production of this CreativeLive broadcast (live) of Zach’s workshop. Chase Jarvis and Creative Techs came together to create these online, live and interactive productions which are, as far as I can tell, pretty sweet.

We had fun talking with musician Zaac Pick and his wife, a great makeup artist with killer boots, watched a young woman dunked in a fish tank, a ballerina eating donuts, The Fences getting a band portrait…

I had fun tweeting the event (as it pertained to Lu and her pix), as I’d never really done that before, and snapping some iphone pix. Check out my timmatsuiphoto twitter for some of those pix and visit my Tim.Matsui.Photo Facebook Page for some more iPhone pix when I add them in a bit.

The kicker for me was Arias taking the time to introduce me to the live audience, getting my web address out there, and within a minute one of the techs said “and we’ve managed to crash his website.” I checked my server logs and found traffic peaked at 50,000 hits before they put up a 403 denial page. Thanks Zack, and thanks everyone for checking out my work!


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