I'm Matthew Stokes, a designer living in Leicestershire. I enjoy art, cooking, design, fantasy, film, games, IT, music, poker, running, swimming and, of course, photography.
I’m fortunate enough to work in an industry that is creative, exciting and fun. During my years of working in busy studios I have gained professional qualifications, awards and experience in the industry. As my job is creative, inevitably I use photography on a day to day basis.
I haven't always enjoyed taking photographs; As a student I took very few and for a good portion of my life, during my twenties, I took none at all. This was something I came to regret as I got older, not just because I didn't record parts of my life to look back on but also because photography is a fulfilling hobby and art-form.
Digital SLR's are becoming far more affordable with better sensor technology that has improved the quality of digital imagery. Up until that point camera bodies had been thousands of pounds, and now you could get your hands on a fantastic, digital SLR for sub £1000. Of course that is nothing compared to how cheap cameras are today.
The camera which started all this was the Canon 300D. While holidaying in Tenerife I almost bought one, but decided to wait and get one back in England. The reason? I had researched camera models on the market and, for me, the one that caught my eye was Nikon's D70. It was slightly more expensive than its rival, the 300D, but it had a faster shutter speed and the controls on the Nikon cameras seemed so much more intuitive. On my birthday, in 2004, I bought my first digital SLR and never looked back.
The 'imagi' brand was created for the first website I developed, back before I became interested in cameras. It ended up being just a few pages of HTML with some fairly basic content.
I should quickly mention here where the name 'imagi' comes from. imagi has many meanings but originally came from the fusion of the word 'Magi' (illusionist or conjuror) and the singular 'I'. It also was a reference to images (photographs) and the symmetry of the medium.
The second version of imagi was slightly more complex. As I continued my career in design, graphics and art, I became more skilled at image manipulation. With the second site, I made a pseudo environment where users could travel about, seemingly in a virtual 3D world. Again by todays standards this was crude, featuring mainly static content.
With increased interest in blogging, and my growing photographic collection, I made a third version of my website. Because the site was limited to being static HTML (there is no interaction with any of the visitors, rather all content is posted by me) I decided, once again, to make another version. With my experience of web design, my understanding of CMS systems (Content Managed Systems) and my desire for other user interaction, on the second anniversary of imagi v3, I decided to update the site. This current imagi website (v4) is the realisation of that update.
Alongside my design work, I have the opportunity to photograph professionally. I have been on assignment for different councils, trusts, businesses, retail clothing companies and educational institutions, shooting all manner of items and people.
I will keep taking photographs in my spare time, honing the discipline, enjoying the art-form and posting any images I like, or want to discuss, to the blog. I want to explore different elements and techniques in photography and I am looking to get feedback on my work from visitors to imagi. I am also looking forward to posting links to imagi on other photographic websites to advertise its presence.
AWARDS & EDUCATION
I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Three Dimensional Design (Interior Design) with Honours, a Diploma in Photoshop and I am a registered Nikon Professional User. I was prize winning in the Leicester Regeneration competition in August 2006 and I have been awarded noteworthy twice on the Photofriday website among others. My designs for Burton college won the 2008 FE award for the 14-19 year old category. With The Phoenix Partners I have won more awards for the agency and myself, including the CorpComms 2012 Best Corporate Publication (Private Sector).
To my beautiful wife, who is my best friend, to my family, who I love dearly and to all my pals like Ian, who is an award-winning photographic talent and I highly recommend you check out his websites. To Paul who lets me live on his server… and a special thanks to James, without whom imagi wouldn't exist.
Matt 'yogavenger' Stokes
...AND NOW THE SERIOUS BIT
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, are subject to UK and international copyright laws and are the property of Matt Stokes © 2010. No photograph may be reproduced, downloaded, copied, stored, manipulated, or used whole or in part of a derivative work, without the written permission of Matt Stokes. All rights reserved.
If you do want to use any photographs please feel free to contact me to discuss.