Photography to George is not just a job. He first became interested in this art back in high school where he contributed photos to the yearbook and school newspaper and used his family and friends as unwilling subjects. Following a formal education at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, where he earned a BFA, George did postgraduate study as an assistant to a prominent New York photographer. This later led to a staff position as photographer at Fortune 500 giant, Nabisco. He gained experience and about 15 pounds photographing food for packaging and ads of their tasty products.
Seeking to shed not only pounds but also the limitations of only photographing food, George struck out on his own, forming George Mattei Photography Inc., originally in Hackensack, NJ. His workload increased quickly, and he welcomed forays into other consumer areas, as well as business-to-business, and industrial photography.
A personal interest in alternative medicine and nutrition found George specializing in work for the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry, though he ever remains able to tackle assignments that range from products in studio, to location, to the people on location – the people who keep things moving and shaking.
As a new resident of the New Jersey Shore, Mattei’s major and frequent subjects of interest are landscapes and seascapes. Much of his photography is produced using the High Dynamic Range technique: no single film or digital camera can reproduce a scene as well as the human eye can, so by taking 3 to 9 exposures from very light to very dark, a wider range of tones is produced, and the details that would be lost to a single exposure are preserved.
Paradoxically, the effect of this attempt to create a greater degree of realism actually creates an almost ethereal, surreal effect, as the still images in front of us look too beautiful and bold to exist in the real world. In this way, Mattei’s photographs seem to transcend the beauty of realistic vision and are elevated to something out of a dream.