#nineposts featuring photographer Mary Mathis of Fools Magazine

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#nineposts is a Little Village project featuring the work of area creators through the @littlevillagemag Instagram feed. This weekend we’ll be sharing work from our first #nineposts artist, Fools Magazine co-creator and photographer Mary Mathis.

Photo by Mary Mathis

Mary, tell us about your photography.

A large aspect of my work is about women. I’m deeply fascinated by a woman’s world without the presence of men. Stephen King and Owen King wrote a collaborative book on a world like that called Sleeping Beauties, which I highly recommend, but I think the thought of a man’s world with utter destruction and a women’s world with tranquility is really interesting. I do think women are soft, powerful, scary and brilliant. I use so much of my work to build other women up. I think that might be my calling.

Anger Dok models for Fools Magazine. — photo by Mary Mathis

So, you’re one of the creators of Fools Magazine, can you tell us a little bit about Fools?

Fools Magazine is something I created with a couple friends in my backyard last year. Now, Fools Magazine is a huge organization on campus with over 130 members (still growing!). It’s something I am deeply proud of and consider a huge part of my experience at Iowa. This is Anger, who agreed to model for me when I scouted her in my Arabic class. She’s beautiful and confident, and I wanted to portray her like that. I want to be an inclusive photographer who makes people feel comfortable, even when they’re in uncomfortable positions like this one!

Mary Mathis on the set of “Fine Lines.” — photo by Sam Fathallah

How has collaboration with others impacted your work?

Sam Fathallah, a great filmmaker and friend, photographed me shooting an episode of Fine Lines, a TV show that Jason Grobstich made. Jason is talented beyond measure and will surely be famous, so when he asked me to film a TV show with no experience on my back I, of course, confidently said yes. This night was important to me because I had shot for eight hours straight with one bathroom break and one coffee break, yet here I am, smiling. This photo makes me proud of myself. I am willing to do so much for my friends in the name of creativity and collaboration, and it never wears me out. It just charges me and pushes me towards the next project. Sam texted me after, telling me what a great director I am, and that was one of the most flattering things I’ve ever experienced. Maybe I’ll keep shooting and look into videography…right now I have to ask my friend Skyler to adjust the controls on the camera.

Visit the Little Village Instagram page this weekend for #nineposts from photographer Mary Mathis. Those interested in contributing to the #ninepost series may contact for details.

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