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January 16, 2015  RSS feed
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Text: T T T

Photographer captures essence of Gulf Coast JFCS clients for FACES project

Photographer Matt Preiser. Photographer Matt Preiser. When Matt Preiser’s parents gave him a 35 mm Kodak camera when he was 8 years old, little did they know how enchanted he would become with the art of photography and of capturing the beauty of everyday life.

Preiser recently photographed several dozen Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services clients from 13 programs in and around the Tampa Bay area as part of the agency’s on-going FACES project. “It was a pleasure traveling around the area with Matt and seeing him work. He has a wonderful way of capturing the essence of his subjects,” said Stuart Berger, vice president of development and marketing at Gulf Coast.

Prieser was amazed to learn the scope and scale of Gulf Coast’s work with the Jewish and broader community and said that the work the agency does is “incredible and has an impact on so many people.”

The photographs he took were displayed at the agency’s recent Annual Celebration, and can now be seen adorning the walls of Gulf Coast’s corporate office in Clearwater.

Images from the Faces project: Above, two young Iraqi refugees; At right, Holocaust survivor Riva Litvin Images from the Faces project: Above, two young Iraqi refugees; At right, Holocaust survivor Riva Litvin The FACES project is the brainchild of Barbara Sterensis, long time board member and acting CEO, who invited Preiser to use his artistic vision to capture what the agency does on film. “Matt has a way of getting the best out of those he photographs. People immediately feel at ease with him,” said Sterensis.

Creative and artistic genes apparently run in Preiser’s family, as his father is the owner of DV Preiser Designs in South Tampa.

After graduating from UNC Asheville with a degree in liberal arts, Preiser spent a year in India, traveling and photographing the subcontinent. His photography is influenced by a number of well-known photographers including Henri Cartier Bresson, a master of the candid portrait.

Preiser “tries to capture a magical moment in time, telling a story about the person being photographed.”

Originally from Tampa, Preiser now lives in Hendersonville, NC, with his wife. They have one daughter, who is now 3 years old. The couple operates an acupuncture clinic together.

To contact Preiser and see his portfolio, go to

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