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Looking up: Albuquerque-based comedian, actor finds new love in photography

Editor’s note: Venue Plus continues “In Case You Didn’t Know,” a weekly feature with fun tidbits about New Mexicans and their projects.

With the click of a shutter, Matthew Peterson has captured a moment.

During the past year, the Albuquerque-based photographer has packed up his camera and photographed New Mexico far and wide – all while social distancing.

“I’ve been working on building my business and shooting as much as possible while wandering alone,” he says during a break from editing photos. “In the middle of a pandemic, I found a way to capture moments while pushing myself.”

Albuquerque-based photographer Matthew Peterson. (Courtesy of Matthew Peterson)

His work can be seen at or on Instagram by searing @mattythor.

Peterson was born in San Francisco and moved to New Mexico when he was 12, in the late 1980s.

“I’ve made it my home for now,” he says. “I’ve wandered around and lived in Los Angeles. I’ve been back in Albuquerque since the early 2000s.”

Peterson is known for his stints in stand-up comedy and music.

He’s also worked on film crews and in lighting.

But there was something about photography that kept pulling at him.

It helped to have a camera close by on h

is phone as he captured everyday happe


Two years ago, he got his first camera – and his life changed even more.

“With the phone, you just click and it’s done,” he says. “When I got my camera, I had to learn the equipment. I started shooting portraits.”

From that point, Peterson moved to street photography and landscapes.

“I love being in the elements,” he says. “I love going to a new place and everything is big and grand. Capturing those moments has been fun.”

Through his journey in photography, his love for New Mexico has grown.

“There are so many great places here,” he says. “White Sands is amazing. I like the Jemez Mountains. A few times, I went to the Pacific Northwest and photographed the Oregon coast.”

Here are five facts about Peterson:

1 “I’m obsessed with basketball and the NBA. I have an encyclopedia for players and statistics that I’ve made since I was little.”

2 “I’d rather go to the movies alone than with anyone ever.”

3 “I love classical music. I like Bach, Beethoven and Pavarotti.”

4 “I hate peas.”

5 “I love weather and storms. When I first moved here, I had lived in northern California and never really seen snow. The first time I saw flurries here was in the winter of ’88. It was the most amazing thing. Our monsoon season here is my favorite thing. I’ll drive through them and take chances. There’s so much energy.”

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