There are some very positive advantages to having a personal connection with your subjects. Matthew's family owns the The Gymnastics Revolution, where he trains. As a former college gymnast I have a pretty close relationship with them and even teach some classes there. This puts me in the unique position, as a photographer, to follow Matthew as he progresses in his gymnastics.
Back in 2011 I made some portraits of Matthew at the gym. He was just starting to blossom as a gymnast at the time.
Fast forward to 2014 and you can really see the fruits of his hard work.
It's truly amazing the progress he has made in the few years since our last shoot. Back in 2011 Matthew was just another kid trying to perfect his skills.
Now, with several championship wins and some impressive results in national competitions, Matthew is well on his way to a successful gymnastics career.