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Award-winning photographer Matt Button got his start at Harford Community College.
Matt Button’s photographs have been published in The Aegis for more than two decades. From November 14, 2016 to January 10, 2017, his images will be included in an exhibition, Visions From the Public Eye: Photographic Works by Matt Button, Brian Krista, and Joshua McKerrow, in the Chesapeake Gallery at Harford Community College. Photojournalists Brian Krista of The Baltimore Sun Media Group and Joshua McKerrow of the Annapolis Capital Gazette are fellow alumni and great friends of Matt’s.
An award-winning photographer, Matt got his start at Harford Community College. He decided to attend Harford for several reasons, including the quality of programs, the price, and its proximity to his home. “I knew if I went away to college I would have trouble affording it and most likely fail out,” he stated.
Matt says he was surprised by the quality of education he received at HCC. He knew Harford was a good fit for him, but didn’t realize how closely his instructors would work with him or the personal relationships he would develop with some of them. “In a larger institution, you become more of a face or just a student. At Harford, there was much more one-on-one interaction with the professors because of smaller class sizes.”
Matt, who earned an AA in photography, says his years at Harford helped steer him on his career path. “I had a teacher, Jack Radcliffe, who saw something in my work early on and encouraged me to save photojournalism until near the end of my classes. He helped me get an internship with then-Congressman Bob Ehrlich and then with The Aegis. After my internship at The Aegis, I stayed on as a freelancer for a bit before being asked by the chief photographer if I was interested in filling a photographer position. I took the job and have been here since.” Matt added, “Jack Radcliffe was a big help in getting me to understand and develop my style of photography. He also mentored and believed in me while encouraging me to strive for the next level.”
A staff photographer and photo editor at The Aegis for 20 years, he has received numerous awards for his work from the Maryland, Delaware and D.C. Press Association. He believes that his personal determination, the strong support group he has had around him, and his diverse background in dealing with a variety of people growing up helped contribute to his success.
“I would – and have – recommended Harford to others. Over the years, I think that Harford has lost the stigma of being the 13th grade and really has become a place for higher learning. With the Towson building, the higher education center in Aberdeen, and other programs at the school, it is a great place for someone to get a better feel for the direction they want to move in while still getting a good education.” The University Center, where several leading universities provide students and professionals with opportunities to earn their degrees or advance their careers, is located in Aberdeen. Towson University in Northeastern Maryland, located on the grounds of Harford Community College, offers transfer students the flexibility to pursue a four-year degree after they complete an associate degree.
Matt, a native of Harford County, lives in Jarrettsville. Although he graduated from HCC in 1996, he still maintains regular contact with current photography faculty Jeff Rollinger, sees his former instructor Jack Radcliffe on occasion, and keeps in touch with several others.
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