We had the good fortune of connecting with Matthew Palpal-Latoc and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Matthew, what do you attribute your success to?
When I first started, photography was strictly a hobby, nothing more. I didn’t have the desire to be Instagram famous or be an influencer. But the more I posted, the more I got consumed by the numbers. I was looking how to gain more followers, get more likes, get more comments. I started researching the algorithm, what and when to post, started accepting every single brand ambassador opportunity that came my way. After all of that, I started to lose interest and motivation to even pick my camera up. I was at a block. After a few months of not creating anything, I decided to cut ties with all the brands that I personally wouldn’t use and just started creating things that I enjoyed, the same things that peaked my interest in photography to begin. In a matter of days, I had a whole hard drive full of photos I couldn’t wait to work on and share. I am proud to say that all work found on my page, are all pieces that I made myself, for myself, and for the enjoyment of whoever stumbles upon them. Whatever brands I work with, are all brands that I use and enjoy, with an organic connection. I think in order to find the best and most satisfying success, is to stick to what attracted you to your craft. Don’t fall into the numbers. Find success in yourself and others will recognize it guaranteed.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
To restate from the question before, I just shoot what I enjoy, not content that I know will get likes on social media. I think being able to go back to “my roots” as a photographer is what really allowed me to stay motivated and inspired to pick up a camera anytime and have some fun! All I want for anyone who sees this, is that, when working with me, just know everything you get back from me will be coming from a place of passion and love. I see you as someone I can build a connection with, that is how the most genuine content is created. I won’t see you as a money grab or just another client.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a loaded question, especially for San Diego. For places to eat, without naming one specific spot, you honestly can’t go wrong with anywhere in the North Park or South Park areas. Amazing food, drinks, and atmosphere wherever you go. San Diego is known for its incredible whether and beaches, so try and make time to visit all of them! You’d be surprised by how different of an experience beach offers. My personally favorite, is the Torrey Pines Gliderport along the cliffs. The views offers a different kind of perspective of and experience that other lookout spots can’t offer.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
For my photography career, I think a special shoutout goes to all of my friends that agreed (even if reluctantly) to be my models! They have put up with so many shoots, poses, road trips to odd places, and experiments of mine, just so I can hone in on this craft.

Instagram: @m.palpallatoc

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.