Matthew Wright Steel est né et a grandit dans la 'Hub City' des plaines du sud Texas (Lubbock, Texas), une ville au centre de communautés rurales qui vivent du rude travail avec le sol et le climat. Il a suivi des études d'anthroplogie et travaille actuellement comme photographe de rédaction à Austin.
Il écrit :
"In the summer of 1989, at the age of eleven, I went to work with my neighbor and cotton farmer Mr. Heinrich. Starting at 5am each day, with a brown bag of sandwiches and a mug of coffee I received my education in agriculture. What became evident immediately was how hard a life farming was, the heavy machinery, crop disease, invasive plants, unpredictable weather, water or lack there of, and of course the sheer scale of the endeavor; the faces, the machines, the two-dimensional landscape, the isolation stuck with me. In 2011, I returned home to try to visualize my meaning of home. Borrowing a quote about farm work from the diary of a Panhandle farmer, ‘from dawn to dark and back again’, is a exploration of farming and rural life through portraiture and visual sentiment."