MIAMI (WSVN) - A Florida teen suffering from a tough illness lived his dream of becoming a professional street photographer on the streets of Wynwood, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Before hitting the pavement to snap some pictures, 16-year-old Mathew Glarum was the star attraction. The Cape Coral resident’s mother covered his eyes as they walked into what turned out to be a surprise media reception area complete with paparazzi, Sunday.
Mathew, who is living with sickle-cell disease, is an amateur photographer. He got the opportunity to pursue his passion for street photography in a spot loaded with street art and popping with color: Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood.
Thanks to the local Make-A-Wish Foundation chapter, the teen is getting to shoot with a top-notch camera that’s not even out on the market yet. “The Sony A7R Mark II, and it has an insane amount of mega pixels,” said Mathew.
Top-flight Sony photographer Brian Smith provided instruction. “Brian Smith is one of the best artists that Sony has, one of the best photographers we have in South Florida,” said a Make-A-Wish spokesperson, “so he is learning from the best, and he deserves that.”
Mathew got to use his mother, Viki Colvin, as a model. “Today’s a good day, so that’s good,” she said.
The teen’s illness is tricky. Some days he’s not as active and in great pain. “It’s a distraction for him. When he’s feeling good, he can go out and do something like this,” said Todd Colvin, his stepfather. “When he’s feeling bad, he can immerse himself in what he’s already done.”
Mathew also got some other gifts and a bag. “A tripod? I didn’t even ask for a tripod,” he said.
And for one day, Mathew was in his element … and clicking. “I’m very excited,” he said.