Seen something here you’re interested in? I don’t usually take the time to respond to comments here, but you can email me on my address which is the same as this blog URL @gmail.com and unless your message is spammed, I’ll always see that.

Basic Bio

This was written in about 2008, and barely updated until now, 2023…

Mat Smith is in his very early thirtiesmid-to-late thirtiesearly forties now. (Ugh)

He runs a portrait photography studio and Education IT business, has a dangerous habit of consuming large amounts of filter coffee during the day, a very low musical compatibility with pretty much all of his good friends let alone anyone else he has met, a low boredom threshold, a mild form of linguistic OCD, a general love of long sentences and lists – especially those comma- or hyphen-separated clause-based sentences, a healthy mistrust of Lynn Truss, a thing about apostrophes1, and likes the Oxford comma.

Music-wise, because nobody asked, his preferences are catholic (not in the religious sense), but those things he holds dear are probably not on most people’s listening list. Rather than wheeling off a list of niche jazz piano artists he likes, perhaps you will get a stronger idea if you know there is one piece of music that can reduce him to tears purely on the merit of its auditory nature (i.e. not nostalgia / lyrics etc.), “My One And Only Love” on the album Now He Sings, Now He Sobs by Chick Corea. Also some pieces on Jarrett’s album Staircase Hourglass Sundial Sand. Actually there’s many more but this is getting boring. More generally, if something needed choosing for the desert island it would be the works of Chopin (solo piano), which provides pretty much every musical fixation ever needed for the rest of time.

His background in music and IT is so schizophrenic (the thought of combining the two makes him queasy) that he has now decided to give up on a career in music altogether, and pursue an entirely different life involving photography. Oh, and Education IT. Yes, it’s not a hugely logical step, but this choice is currently providing the necessary level of human interaction, interest, and brain space.

He has a very open mind, loves cooking things out of the ordinary (eg. reindeer stew), and is ever-so-slightly nocturnal, preferring night-time and winter to summer and mornings.

Mat doesn’t write about anything in particular, but the purpose of this blog is to act as an outlet for whatever is in the mind at the time. Some of it is extremely useful to a very small number of (call us ‘niche’) people, but I imagine it’s largely useless to most who don’t know me in some way.

His past reads thus:

Born London, brought up in home counties, year out internship in IT banking, University in Manchester (Computer Science then Music degree), pianist in a function band for a year, work in IT for four years, gave that up recently, and now it’s me and my camera, ready to face the world and eventually change it somehow for the better.  That’s the idea, anyway.

As this is Mat’s personal blog, it seems to make sense to compile a list of websites and enterprises he is associated with, runs, or otherwise takes a great interest in.

Here’s my online business card: http://about.me/matsmith

Here’s my photography portfolio website: http://www.matsmithphotography.com/

Here’s my Education IT Business: http://www.schoolcomputergeek.co.uk

Some other Mat-administered sites:

Mat Smith Photography / Shop / Blog
EM Electronics
Marta Holod Hat Designer
Natalie Raybould Soprano
Juniper Kick (no longer): Home of London based vocal jazz duo
(no longer): not a website but an application testing ground
This one you are reading right now: Hazymat WordPress blog
DrinkLeaf.com (no longer): Yeh, that business idea for a fashionable chain of high street tea shops to bring back a healthy lifestyle and introduce local trade, art, fashion, and live music to the Starbucks market never got any further than registering a domain name… oh well.
Your Wedding Captured: the wedding photography collaborative, still in development

Mat-frequented sites:

Wow – this section is old. I’ll keep it here for historical purposes.

Click to view profile on: Facebook, Myspace, Last.FM
Mat’s Flickr: shared photos
Dollorama: private community site for serious doll collectors


DCHS: a degree of site design, branding, and site specification
[Edit 10 years after writing this: many more websites…]


1 eg. if a word ends in an ‘S’ but is not a plural, one naturally adds an ‘apostrophe-S’ after the initial ‘S’.  For example, St James’s Park.  If you disagree with me, I don’t want to know you, you’re horrid and wrong.  I don’t care that St Thomas’ Hospital in London is spelt that way, that’s because, as writes Dr H.R., it may help you to know how St. Thomas’ Hospital (its official name) in London justifies its use of just one ‘s’. They say it is because it is named after two people called St. Thomas – St. Thomas the apostle, and St. Thomas of Canterbury.”
Incidentally, the above was shamelessly lifted (and not verified) from this page, frankly it doesn’t need verification because the writer Martin Dace speaks so much truth and goodness in this page alone I would lend him my granny for a day.  I’d also like to say at this point, I wholeheartedly agree with everything he says on the aforementioned page, and was relieved to see his intuitive pseudo-rebuttal of Lynn Truss, which saves me a long ranting blog post on the matter, thank God.
Wow, I was carried away again. My life is more than grammar rants.


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