ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
+ Matthew Pautz
Wondering about how I fell into wedding photography, or what I like to do when I’m not working? Getting to know me better is the first step in understanding my approach to wedding photography. I am an open book – click the headings below and read as much as you like!
+ First, the elephant in the room…
You may have noticed I have not been as active lately in posting new content. This is because In 2020, I decided to go back to school and change careers to my first love and my original career choice – Computer science. I am currently a full-time student at Clemson University in the BS/MS bridge program, studying to become a software engineer. I still photograph weddings on a limited, part-time basis while I slowly transition into my new career, but my website will no longer be updated regularly. However, I have tons of new content and am still a very active photographer – If you send me an inquiry, just ask for the link and I’ll be happy to share. And if I am unable to photograph your event due to my time commitments, I am happy to supply a referral list of my colleagues who may be able to.
+ About my Personal Life
I enjoy the simple things in life. I am a person who is not motivated by money or fame. I am motivated by experiences and memories. My idea of a successful life is one that I can look back on later in the form of a photo album, re-living all the places I’ve traveled to and all the people I’ve met; all the cultures I learned about, and all the various aspects of life I’ve experienced.
+ I am a combination of homebody and adventurer. I am equally happy spending a weekend backpacking in the mountains as I would be binge watching Parks and Rec or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
+ I am a dog person and have two Corgis: A Pembroke Corgi name Colby Jack (Named after the cheese), and a rescue Cardigan Corgi name Ava. Both of them have been known to make an appearance at occasional client meetings or photo sessions.
+ I love to travel, and could take a trip every month for the rest of my life and still never get to see all I want to see. I love exploring and photographing the American West, and Pacific North West. Especially the areas around Yellowstone, Zion, the Grand Tetons, Olympic National Park, etc. I have been lucky enough to photograph weddings as far away as Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, and the Dominican Republic.
+ I worked many jobs before photography. I have worked as an EMT on an ambulance, as well as a firefighter for a short time. I have worked manual labor, construction, and warehouse work. When I discovered photography, I was a college student with a computer science major and a boatload of student loan debt. Everyone’s path is different.
+ In 2020, I decided to go back to school and change careers into my original career choice – Computer science. I am currently a full-time student at Clemson University in the BS/MS bridge program, studying to become a software engineer.
+ I think National Parks are America’s greatest contribution to the world, and something we should always support and protect.
+ I grew up in Greenville, SC and have lived here off-and-on for most of my life. Having a solid home base is important for being able to experience and learn about the world around us. If I were to move, I would probably choose Colorado or Oregon, which seem to fit my lifestyle and interests, but I have no plans anytime soon.
+ You don’t have to watch your language or what you talk about around me. I am impossible to offend, and you wouldn’t believe the things I have overheard at weddings. I believe life is too short to worry about being anything other than ‘you’. The more comfortable you are around me, the better your photos will be.
+ I am an extroverted introvert, if such a thing actually exists. I believe this has shaped my photography style immensely. It means I am excited to hang out and joke around with everyone during the wedding day, while being inwardly-focused enough to understand when people need their space.
+ My variable personality allows me to tailor my approach to each couple individually, and I am able to connect with shy couples as well as I can with outgoing couples. I believe being able to find and photograph the hidden outgoing side of introverted couples while also being able to find the inward/romantic side of extroverted couples is my greatest strength as a photographer.
+ My Professional Bio
Passion is a word that is sometimes thrown around and overused. Everyone is passionate about something, the trick is finding out what. Wedding photography isn’t a path covered by high school guidance counselors so like most photographers, I had to discover my passion for the art on my own.
I have always been a lifelong lover of nature and the outdoors, and I bought my first camera so I could take some snapshots to remember the hiking trips I went on. A desire to capture the beauty of our planet that I saw while hiking and traveling is what drew me to capture my first photographs, and fueled what was quickly becoming an obsession. I spent hundreds of hours learning landscape photography techniques, and experimenting with ways to capture the world around me. I would spend nights outside in the mountains, photographing the stars and sleeping on the ground in the dead of Winter. I was chasing the perfect photo, which of course doesn’t exist. But I loved the thrill.
This soon spilled into other types of photography like corporate events, graduations, and concert photography. They were all amazing experiences, but each specialty was missing something. Concerts were tons of fun, but impossible to make a living with. Corporate events were all business with no room for art. Nothing really fit right. Then I was asked to photograph a friend’s wedding and everything changed.
Weddings were unlike anything else I’ve ever photographed before. They were incredibly challenging, and required skills from every single other photography specialty. They were as fun as concerts to me, yet had the potential to make a career out of. They could be photographed candidly like events, but allowed for me to experiment artistically. No two weddings were anything alike – I could photograph an outdoor mountain wedding on a Friday, and then photograph a dark candle lit ceremony in a 200 year old church on Saturday. Nothing had ever challenged me in so many different ways before.
Ironically, the very reasons I loved photographing weddings were the same reasons why so many other photographers avoid them at all costs. Instead of finding these challenges stressful, I loved them. I actively seeked them out. I had discovered a passion I had never even thought was an option, and that’s when I knew I wanted to do this as a career.