Features

Success In The Frame

Kajamba Fitz-Henley

This week Youthlink puts the spotlight on another bright young mind – Matthew Orville Dawson, a young and passionate photographer and avid car enthusiast, is paving for himself an even brighter future. Speaking on his interest in cars, Dawson told Youthlink, “I knew I liked cars from I was eight, but I started really getting into them when I was 12.” As he met with us at Porsche Centre on Knutsford Boulevard in New Kingston, the
Excelsior High School graduate spoke of his special love for the Porsche brand. “I was getting tired of seeing the BMWs, Audis and Mercedes all the time.”

Even at 12 years old, Matthew had a desire for diversity in his interest in cars. “I come from a car family, but they’re not diverse. They’re mostly into BMWs, but I like to diversify and know the other brands, so that’s how I found Porsche.” He made sure to point out, “I actually wanted to see Porsches in Jamaica and not just the same old brands.”

PORSCHE CENTRE VISITS

It was not only the love for the German-manufactured beauties that had Dawson making frequent visits to one of Kingston’s popular automobile hubs, the Porsche Centre. “I started coming to Porsche Centre initially seeking mentorship in the marketing field, just to volunteer my time and learn [from the successful minds behind Porsche Centre],” Dawson shared. While there, the 17-year-old also began to indulge in his love for photography. “I love to take pictures of the cars and see them in person because Porsche is just my favourite brand (with the Audi and BMW as second-place favourites).”

His love for Porsche lies mainly in the value of tradition that he associates with the brand. “If you look at a lot of the other brands and take their models from the ’60s and ’70s and compare them to their modern designs, they look completely different. Their designs have changed over time. But,” as he gestured to the 2018 Porsche 911 Carrera gleaming not far from where he sat with Youthlink, Matthew continued, “you can see that the soul of the design in the car is still intact, and that design still stands out today. Some people call it stale or say the designers are lazy, but I call it being traditional and timeless.”

PORSCHE DREAMS

Though he doesn’t yet have his driver’s licence, one cannot call Dawson a stranger to the inside of a vehicle. Simply touching the steering of the various cars, he revealed, is one of his favourite parts of visiting Porsche Centre. He became familiar with the spot behind the steering wheel from early, practising with a manual shift from he was 15 years old but later beginning to favour the automatic. His dream automobile is the Porsche Carrera 991.2, though “realistically, what I plan to own is one of the 997 models from 2005- 2007. That’s the generation before these latest cars, and it’s what I want to own in the future,” he declared. While walking around the display at Porsche Centre, Dawson also expressed to Youthlink his dream of viewing some of Porsche’s more vintage models; he pointed out that this would mostly likely have to take place at The Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.

DUAL PASSION

Dawson’s love for cars and photography is explicitly combined on his Instagram feed, where he goes by silver_4608, posting various captivating pieces, including multiple car shots. His pics are currently captured using only a Samsung Galaxy S4 while he saves for a DSLR camera. He seriously started practising photography at 16, initially focusing on horticulture until switching more recently to portraits. “Cars are currently my strongest area.” Matthew pointed to January 2018 as the beginning of his attraction to car photography. “That’s when I started going to the dealerships and taking pictures of the cars ... Although I’m still trying to step out of my comfort zone and explore a little, I know my aim is mostly focused on cars.”

The young man plans to pursue photography professionally, but knowing that “to just be taking pictures alone is rough,” his academic future will involve a major in photography supported by a minor in business to acquire “the business mindset that I need while doing photography in order to build myself properly”. Dawson currently has his academic sights set on Broward College or Florida State University, both in Florida.

So, set on building a strong foundation for himself in the world of photography – while combining his passions and especially featuring his love of cars – that whether within the car frame or the photographic one, or both, one can trust that Dawson’s vision is one focused on success.

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