Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I am 40, but I act and feel like I’m 12. I have two hometowns: Yarmouth, Maine is where I was born, and Vancouver, Washington is where I grew up. I currently live in Frederick, Maryland, but only for another few months. I like coffee (more specifically, espresso) to a near obsessive degree, racecars, art, cooking and food, beetles (the insect, I have a large collection of them), pretty much everything in the ocean except lampreys and dolphins, bikes, and most importantly, being outside. I hate ticks and leeches, big dislike there, and those fish that swim up your pee hole. Don’t want to meet one of those. I like golden hour, and I wish it lasted about five hours a day.

Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme

How long have you been shooting photos?

I’ve been shooting for about seven years. Shooting seriously for five. When I started, I wanted to be an underwater photographer, primarily because I had toyed with the idea of being a marine biologist to study sharks but hated the idea of that much school. I thought taking photos of things that could eat you was the next best thing. Things sort of evolved from there. I destroyed one of my shoulders becoming a proficient swimmer, and then realized that I would have to double the cost of my photo gear for underwater housings and scuba gear. So, I moved things over to landscapes, nature, and mountain biking. My first camera was a Nikon N90.

Were you self-taught or have you had any formal training?

I am entirely self-taught. I studied guys like Galen Rowell and Bill Curtsinger at first; I suppose they really helped shape my style.

How did you move from amateur to professional photographer/journalist?

It was by working my way up through local races and then into some national events. Repetition, finding out what works and what didn’t, and trying to perfect things. Then I started with Decline magazine, and worked my way up.

Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme

Was there a specific moment where you knew it was a job, and not a hobby?

Definitely. When I signed my first contract with Trek two years ago, and knew I could pay my bills.

How long have you been shooting mountain biking?

Five years, maybe six.

Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme

Do you shoot anything else besides mountain biking?

I love shooting landscapes and travel stuff, anything where you can melt into the environment and become part of it to capture a sense of place. I feel like my head is usually on a swivel when I travel, trying to soak up as many details as I can. I also like shooting endurance motorsport. As soon as I hear those cars downshifting into a corner, I take off running and giggling.

Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme
Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme
Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme

What is your favourite thing to shoot?

Probably EWS races. The locations are unreal, and you get to ride bikes all day and make photos with your friends. It doesn’t get much better than that.

You cover the World Cup circuit for Pinkbike with Dave Trumpore, Paris Gore, and Nathan Hughes. What does it take to document a race and complete a photo essay that same evening? What are the challenges of it?

It’s a long day. We are usually on track by 8:00 and then scour the pits for tidbits in the afternoons. We typically get done shooting around 5:00pm. Then we hover over our computers while we eat dinner, edit, and caption till about midnight or 1:00 a.m. Some of the biggest challenges are weather. You can’t control it and you have to be prepared. Keeping yourself and your gear dry while lying on the ground in the rain isn’t easy. Staying hydrated and fed are also challenges; sometimes when you are in a rhythm it’s easy to forget to eat, then you start to bonk. That’s not good.

Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme
Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme

What’s the most enjoyable thing about being a World Cup photographer?

Witnessing some of the best racing on the planet. Hands down. Sure we are out there working hard, but we have seen first hand some of the greatest moments in MTB history. It’s an incredible thing to be a part of.

What’s the worst part about being a World Cup photographer?

The lack of sleep.

Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme

You’ve got a sweet gig shooting for Trek. How did that come about? What does that job entail?

Yeah, it’s really the best job in the world from my point of view. Ultimately, it started from my friendship with Neko Mulally and then Ray Waxham, one of the engineers at Trek. Things sort of evolved from there, and then two years ago I received an email asking if I was interested in being the World Cup photographer. We try to tell the story of racing, so it’s not just the race imagery itself, but everything that goes on behind the scenes. Those moments are often loaded with tension, excitement, exhaustion, and so many other emotions. I think to tell the story of World Cup racing, you need to be able to blend in with the team, be a part of the unit and be able to capture those moments without the riders being hyper aware of you. Like a ninja, I suppose. Outside of that, it’s getting images to both the XC and DH team managers for social media and to Trek at the end of every day, and then the full image galleries at the end of each race.

What kind of cameras do you use? What lenses? Is there any other gear that you use frequently?

I have been using Nikon equipment, a D3s and a D4, but this year I am switching to Sony. Their full-frame cameras weigh half as much as my Nikons do. For lenses, I am currently using a 70-200mm, 16-35mm, and an 8mm fisheye. I also have a cool Voightlander 40mm f1.4 for my Sony that is fun to play with.

Best thing I ve seen all week. Maybe this season. Brook MacDonald looks like he is getting back to his old self. Unafraid brutal and damn fun to watch. After getting buck wild into this corner he nearly died six times in the following steep chute. Only to save himself six times.

What photo are you most proud of? Why?

That’s a tough one. It’s funny, I kind of look at the moment that you download images like Christmas. You know you got some rad stuff in there, but it’s not until you get them on the big screen that you see just what you came up with. There are often little gems in there you may have forgotten about over the course of the day. It’s even more difficult to put your finger on that “one” when you have 40,000 selects in your library. Right now though, it may be the one of Brook at Leogang getting sideways in the woods where we were all convinced he was going to die at least six times after that. I was one of the best things I saw all season. There is also one of alpine glow on Mount Washington in New Hampshire that I took some years back. That one because it was -15 degrees out and my fingers felt like ice blocks, and we got up at 3 a.m. to hike up and catch the light.

Which photographers do you admire?

Sven Martin and Gary Perkin surely top that list. I always studied their photos when I first started shooting MTB, and I still do. They are like our World Cup media-squid-tribe-godfathers. Others would be Colin Meagher, Duncan Philpot, Dave Trumpore, and Paris Gore. I enjoy working with them immensely, and have much respect for their work.

Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme
Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme

What advice would you pass on to aspiring photographers?

When things aren’t looking right, and shit doesn’t seem to be going the way you want, take a step back. Take a deep breath, clear your head, and start over. Creativity doesn’t flow well from a cluttered mind. I still have to heed that advice. Everyone has off days, it happens. I’ve found that to be the best way to deal with it.

Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme
Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme

Who are some of the clients you’ve worked with?

Trek Bicycle, Troy Lee Designs, Specialized Bicycles, Davinci,, Revolution Magazine, Decline Magazine, Deity Components, Renthal, 100%,, TriRide MTB Magazine, Mountain Creek Bike Park, Highlands MTB Park, Eastern States Cup, Rays Indoor MTB Park, Rodale Publications, FOX Suspension, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Airborne Bicycles, Team Norco International,, Obsidian Engineering Group, SDG Components, Maxxis, Atlas Brace, Lapierre Bicycles, New Zealand Mountain Biker Magazine.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

I’ve got a rather twisted sense of humor, and some might say that I’m a touch hyper active. My brain is a trap for annoying songs and other useless information. I also don't like having my picture taken.

Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme
Behind the Lens interview images by Matt Delorme

Pinkbike // Matt DeLorme

Past Photographer Interviews:

Behind the Lens - Nathan Hughes
Behind the Lens - Matt Wragg
Behind the Lens - Claudio Olguin
Behind the Lens - Dave Trumpore
Behind the Lens - Paris Gore
Behind the Lens - Erik Holperl
Behind the Lens - Steve Lloyd
Behind the Lens - Garrett Grove
Behind the Lens - Mike Zinger
Behind the Lens - Joakim Andreassen
Behind the Lens - John Wellburn
Behind the Lens - Kuba Konwent
Behind the Lens - Bruno Long
Behind the Lens - Christophe Bortels
Behind the Lens - Norbert-Szasz
Behind the Lens - Christoph Laue
Behind the Lens - Lars Scharl
Behind the Lens - Mattias Fredriksson
Behind the Lens - Marc Landry
Behind the Lens - Reuben Krabbe
Behind the Lens - Ale Di Lullo
Behind the Lens - Sebas Romero
Behind the Lens - Sven Martin
Behind the Lens - Baxter Redfern
Behind the Lens - Fraser Britton
Behind the Lens - Margus Riga
Behind the Lens - Justin Brantley
Behind the Lens - Ian Hylands
Behind the Lens - Keith Valentine
Behind the Lens - Thomas Gaffney
Behind the Lens - Jacob Gibbins
Behind the Lens - Eric Palmer

Author Info:
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Must Read This Week

  • 68 0
 this format for these articles are the best thing to happen to PB. good work, looking forward to this racing season.
  • 3 0
  • 2 0
 So true!
  • 13 0
 Great to hear a pro is using Sony stuff in the future. Will you use mirrorless cameras or will you use also a mirrored camera like the a99 or a77?
Sorry for the question, but Iam a tech geek and also using Sony equipment.
  • 3 0
 Matty, it has beed awesome to watch you come into your own as a photog. Your skills have shot through the roof, you've earned the opportunity to take on fantastic assignments in the industry, and you are getting the recognition you deserve. Cheers buddy - Thibault
  • 2 0
 3 years ago after separating my shoulder at Mountain Creek, I chilled with Matt for a bit at my buddy's Sprinter. I got to sample some of the delicousness that came out of his vegan packed cooler and we discussed our love of socks and coffee. Thought he was one of the coolest dudes I've ever met. Now I see him regularly blowing up PB with his shots. So dope.
  • 5 0
 The photo of Brook in the woods is legendary!
  • 3 0
 It is great to work with Matt anytime he comes to our events. His passion stands above everyone else.
  • 1 0
 Coolbeth rocks. Rode my hog down to Sacramento from Tacoma the last four years to watch the flat trakers......AWESOME......90+ mph sideways through a corner with one foot on the ground....those guys got balls.
  • 4 0
 18 PODs at once
  • 3 0
 This is what is I want to do in the future!
  • 2 0
 Nice photos, i was suprised to see that you are in Frederick, why? I love it here, but not very picture worthy around here.
  • 8 0
 It's my fault - I'm finishing up school with research at a government lab in the area. He's been a good sport about the situation, and we'll be moving on soon.
  • 6 0
 Science, art and mountain biking - all at high levels. I think you two have it covered.
  • 2 0
 C9H13NO3: your username has saved my life a few times.
  • 2 0
 C8H10N4O2 This one saves my day. Every day.
  • 2 0
 Thanks for this PB + Matt
Creativity doesn't flow well from a cluttered mind, love it.
  • 1 0
 It's easy to get starry-eyed looking at all these pretty pictures and forget just how hard photographers work to put these images together for us. Fantastic work Matt!
  • 3 0
 Speed and Explosions- Make Matt [tick].
  • 2 0
 Love these articles, Duncan Philpott next please!
  • 1 0
 Great photos!

Is that a baby Orcas head on the table behind the Italian butcher....?
  • 2 0
 Keep up the great work Matt. May your cup overflow with nugs this year.
  • 2 0
 Hell yea Kenny Coolbeth runnin One bad ass sponsor on his chest!
  • 2 0
 For some reason I find the butcher photo so intriguing. Great work!
  • 2 1
 great photos great photographer, although i have doubts about his sanity sometimes. lmao
  • 2 0
 milk or sugar?
  • 2 0
 none of those
  • 1 0
 awesome article & photos!
  • 1 0
 nice coverage matt. congrats on the press.
  • 1 0
 Keep up the Great work Matt!
  • 2 0
 good work in here!!
  • 1 0
 Cool piece and great photos!
  • 1 0
 Maps n maps n maps Hell yeah Yarmouth Maine
  • 1 0
 Vancouver, Washington. Had no idea.
  • 1 0
 That beard tho.
  • 1 0
 Amazing pics !!!
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Absolutely awesome
  • 1 3
 No pics of me. Son, disappoint!

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