BBQ Photographers

BBQ Photographers: Matthew Shelley

by Daniel Vaughn · March 17, 2014

Every month we’ll bring you a profile of a photographer who has captured the people, the food and the spaces that make up the world of barbecue.

Matthew Shelley – Dallas, Texas

I started shooting weddings back in 2004. Weddings are heartbreaking, uplifting, exhausting, and always exciting. I love the pressure and the evolving creativity necessary to give each couple something unique to themselves. Well, after seven years of hammering out weddings every weekend, I pulled back and found myself affixed to the plate. I began shooting for D Magazine in 2010, and things really picked up in the last two years. I recently spent several hours in the midst of meat preparations at The Slow Bone. While Jack Perkins has proven his skills with Maple & Motor, some people seem hesitant to allow him into the BBQ world. He may be new at it, but the brisket speaks for itself. It was a pleasure to take the photojournalistic prowess I learned over the years in wedding photography and sit back and capture the restaurant’s movements and personality as they prepared for the day. Jack is a bold personality and I think that fearless candor comes across on the plate.

There is an essence of smoke and grit that surrounds every BBQ establishment. I hope to continue chasing that and capturing it with something that gives it a presence beyond the plate. The folks I’ve met truly respect the animals they serve, and it’s a wonderful reassurance as the indulgent carnivores that we are to know that it’s not done in vain.


Slow Bone Brisket, Jack Perkins slicing

Jack Perkins Slicing Brisket

Praline Crusted sweet potatoes

Praline Crusted Sweet Potatoes


Slow Bone Smoked Sausage

the smoker, Miss Jessie

The Smoker, Miss Jessie

stirring the greens

Stirring the Greens

sides on the stove

Sides on the Stove

the fire

The Fire

Jack Perkins, stoking

Jack Perkins Stoking the Fire

The Slow Bone style

Slow Bone Style


The Wood

To find more of Matthew’s work, check his website.

Every month TMBBQ highlights a photographer with a love for barbecue as subject matter. If you’d like your photos to be included in this online gallery please contact


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