Behind the Lens With Adriana Mateo

Behind the Lens With Adriana Mateo
Adriana Mateo By

Sign in to view read count
Meet Adriana Mateo:
Adriana was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is the daughter of award-winning director of photography Roberto Mateo, who mentored her.

Adriana started photographing with a still camera at an early age, and following her family's tradition, started working on feature films and advertising commercials. At age 23, she began working as an art director for Phillip Morris on the Marlboro campaign for TV commercials in South America . Her passion for camera work and her aspirations to become a film director lead her to move to New York City in 1992, where she completed her degree in film, at New York University Film School.

After graduating in 1996 she attended the International Feature Film & Television Workshops in Maine with director of photography Rob Draper (ACS) and director of photography Andrew Laszlo.

She has produced two Public Service Announcements, two short films in 35mm and in 16mm moving camera. Her first jazz HD short video, sponsored by Powell & Sonare Flutes, was released in 2010.

Adriana resides in New York City. She currently works as a free lance photographer, cinematographer and as a film director exclusively for jazz.

Canon 5D 28-300 mm;

Mamiya R67 Pro II-Medium Format Film—80mm;

Panasonic AVC CAM AG-AF100;

Red Camera

Teachers and/or influences?
Teachers: Roberto Mateo, senior director Of photography; Rob Draper, ASC; and Andrew Laszlo, ASC.

Influences: Herman Leonard, Francis Wolf, William Claxton, Robert Doisnau, Film Noir films.

I knew I wanted to be a photographer when...
I was six years old and my father gave me a small simple camera to play with while he was working on a film set. He had to take me and my brother to work with him when my Mom had to work.

Your approach to photography:
My approach to my photography is the same as in life. One moment is always different from another, change is the only constant and by been open to it we can do things we never imagine we could.

Your teaching approach/philosophy:
Technique is a must, is never enough what we have learned, we learn every day. By understanding that, creativity can emerge freely and only then we can use technique as a medium to express our artistic goals.

Your biggest challenge when shooting indoor (or low lighted) events:
not to use a flash!

Your biggest challenge when shooting outdoor events:
Photography, outdoors or indoors is always a challenge and always different , weather conditions and location can sometimes be a challenge if you had not scouted the place properly. Therefore, I always suggest researching both before shooting, and carrying the right gear and equipment in order to perform professionally.

Favorite venue to shoot:
There are venues and theaters that can enhance the beauty of a moment to the image. However, to capture a musicians/band moment in photography does not necessarily depends on the perfect venue or theater, is more the ability of the photographer to connect with the subject and capture in that second what the artist/s delivering to the audience. Ultimately, that is what a photograph should deliver in that image. I do not have a favorite venue.

Favorite festival to shoot:
The ones I haven't been to yet.

Where was your first assignment location?
St Peter's Church. I can say it went well.

Your favorite musician(s) to photograph:
I love to photograph big bands—and it's not something that is around much these days or at least that I get to do often enough. The amount of information that you receive, both from each musician individually and from the whole, is fascinating—so many different personalities that have to concur in order to produce a successful result. For me, this is the closest comparison to my own experience when I worked on a film—the effort of a group making the final result a success...that is always exciting.

Did you know...
I have been photographer for the back cover of Hot House Magazine since 2008.

Your favorite jazz story:
Well, I guess that could be the start of a book!

View more Adriana Mateo photos at All About Jazz


Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.