Emily Matyas began her photography career as a journalist. She free-lanced for some magazines and later, worked with Save the Children in Mexico, writing reports, grants, and photographing their various projects. Mexico was an inspiration to her, allowing her work to develop a metaphoric and conceptual component, which she continues to this day. Back in the United States, she entered graduate school and received her MFA in photography from Arizona State University in 2002. Since then, she has taught photography at the college level and led many youth workshops. Her photos are exhibited nation wide and collected by organizations including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She is a recipient of the 10th Julia Margaret Cameron Award in 2017 and is continues to make work for her "I Am My Ancestors" series.