Matthew Dockery is a professional videographer who lives in Key West Florida. He has been practicing videography for over 10 years. It all started on his skateboard when he was just a kiddo. Matt operates his videography business, DockLight Productions, in the Florida Keys and specializes in travel videos, wedding films, and mini docs.
When I was growing up, my father was in the Army. My family and I moved from city to city, state to state, sometimes country to country, and often. I spent a lot of time skateboarding with my friends as a kid. Thru skateboarding, I discovered the world of videography. We just wanted to see what we looked like when we were skating, so we spent a lot of time filming tricks and goofing off in front of the camera. Back then, I had no earthly idea that you could make a living in such a field, but here I am all these years later working at what I'm most passionate about, videography.
At some point I was accepted into college and graduated from Florida Southern College after studying Business Management. For several years after graduating, I worked in the for-profit education industry as a financial aid advisor. To say I was miserably depressed doing this would be a really solid understatement, but this experience was important to me. This is the time in my life that my passion would show itself and become the highest of my priorities. I made many friends and learned many hard lessons during this time. Without this experience, the world of video production and photography may never have become so important to me.
One day I was sitting in my cubicle, auditing files and memorizing the 88 pages of IRS tax publication 17 (yes this is exactly as boring as you're imagining), a good friend of mine texted me. He said "dude, if you hate it so much, why not take a chance and just move down here to Key West" and without hesitation I put in my two week notice. I moved to Key West with a couple grand in my pocket, slept on my friend Scotty's couch for months until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I found myself shooting and editing videos in my spare time, just for fun, much like when I was filming skateboarding as a kid. After some nice people took notice to my hobby via social media, I started getting inquiries to produce videos and was being offered compensation to do so. At the time, this blew me away. A local film maker called me out of the blue and asked me to help him with some wedding videos he was making. Fast forward a couple years later and I was able to start my own videography business and become accepted by this outstandingly beautiful community of Key West FL. When I found videography, I had found my passion.
is something that was instilled into me at a young age."
Travel is something that was instilled into me at a young age. My father, being in the Army, took me exploring from the earliest ages. I am very pleased to have the travel clients that I do. They ship me all around the country and even the globe. My first big travel client was Sports Leisure Vacations. I met the owner at the National Tour Association's big event in Atlanta in 2016. We immediately hit it off and soon I was on an airplane to our first big video production together.
Travel really does re-instill a whole new appreciation for the world, also for my beautiful home here in Key West. Everyday I wake up and say the words "thank you" out loud, simply because I feel so grateful to be doing what I'm doing. Not once did I ever have that experience while working my 9 to 5 desk job with benefits. Now, my benefits are when I get bumped to first class on flights to new and historic places. Now, my benefits are meeting lots of wonderful new people in new places where I'm having new experiences. These benefits are ten times more valuable to me than the 401k and health plan that my previous employer offered. People ask me a lot "was it worth it? Do you miss the security of your corporate day job?" The obvious answer is yes, it was worth it, and no I don't miss that corporate security in any way shape or form. I think it's important to learn to adapt, to take risks and learn new things. The corporate nine to five desk jobs that I've experienced, they just don't cater to those deep seeded needs that I'm now more aware of than ever. You couldn't pay me enough to ever go back to my cubicle.
"I like to really nerd out over my gear"
One of my favorite things about being a videographer is how often I get to be a complete nerd. I like to really nerd out over my gear. Surely, that started when I was a kid when I used to take apart my family's discarded electronics and mix and match parts to make something new. When you're on this level of nerdiness, you really fall in love with your gear. It's something I truly enjoy, taking care of my cameras, cleaning them, taking them apart, understanding them, and then reassembling them. Camera gear is especially interesting to me and I think many filmmakers can relate.
Ever since I figured out the videography industry I've felt more fulfilled than ever before in my life. It has brought to me a new purpose, it's given me a voice I never knew I had before. I imagine myself doing this for many years into the future and I welcome any and all of my friends and colleagues to join me along this journey. If you've ever felt like you needed something new in life, I encourage you to pick up a camera and start seeing the world in a different, more meaningful way. You'll be very pleased that you did. I am Matthew Dockery and I really like making videos. I'll do this forever because I love it. Lots to come. Stay tuned...