Getting the Shot: Matthew Meigs ’20

Matt Meigs selfie in an art studio
Matt Meigs ’20 of Lynn, Massachusetts, is a double major in film/media and writing and rhetoric at URI’s Harrington School of Communication and Media.

“Getting the Shot” features the photography of URI students and recent alumni whose work illustrates the intellectual curiosity and big thinking characteristic of our community. 

It was skateboarding that got Matt Meigs into photography. His fellow skateboarders were videographers and photographers, and they would share the cool work being done in skateboarding magazines.

Matt got his first 35mm film camera his senior year of high school and hasn’t stopped shooting since. “I learned how to develop film and make silver gelatin prints in the darkroom that year, and I continue to do so now four years later,” Meigs said. “I’m also a guitar player, and a camera is like an instrument in the sense that it has its own soul and feel that humans harmonize with.”

Making meaning

Reflection of a person in a lily pond
“Wishful Water”

“I’m looking to frame a small piece of life, and, in some ways, isolate it, to create meaning in my own context. I make silver gelatin prints in a darkroom, and almost every image I create ends up being a combination of two or more negatives. So I shoot anything and everything that I find interesting at a given moment, then I try combining different negatives to create completely different meanings—or a story. I have more film shot than I can handle developing most of the time. I would love to just develop all of it and spend more time in the darkroom making 16-by-20 silver gelatin prints. That’s my favorite part of photography.”

Bearing witness

“I wrote this in my journal a few weeks ago: I can feel the urge to make photographs. I feel inspired to let go of the weight I have of the world and be a photographer in it. It’s one of the ways I have a purpose in this crazy place.”

Follow Matt on Instagram @mattmeigs