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 more personally 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!
+ 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.
Why should you care about any of this? Because my photography style is an extension of my beliefs and values in life. I believe it is incredibly important that you know what my values are so you can in turn know what to expect with your wedding photography. And the things I value are:
- Openness, honesty, transparency. I will never mis-represent who I am, what I do, or what to expect.
- A very “What happens happens, don’t sweat the details” view of life. I work incredibly hard to control what I can, but I’m also the first to give up control and go with the flow when I can’t. This has been incredibly useful for weddings when nothing ever seems to go right.
- I don’t tolerate BS in my personal life, and I don’t believe you should have to tolerate it from the people in yours. I have built my wedding packages around this belief, avoiding the common ‘nickel and diming’ or high pressure sales that other photographers employ.
- I value hard work over talent. I didn’t get where I am today because of talent – I got there by continuing to work through failures and successes and an obsession with perfecting my approach. This has given me loads of practical experience I can apply to any wedding.
- I don’t run from challenges, I seek them out. I have photographed candle-lit ceremonies in the dead of night, bright weddings in the harshest mid-day sun, weddings that were so behind schedule that I had to condense an hour’s worth of posed photos into 8 minutes; even ceremonies in the mountains that required a 4 mile hike with 60lbs of camera equipment on my back. I love every minute of it.
+ SOME OF MY PHILOSOPHIES
Looking for something more personal?
+ I am a weird 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 all day.
+ I have an amazing Corgi named Tucker. He is the best dog that ever dogged, and he sometimes comes along with me on my mountain engagement sessions or consults. Tucker needs to see the world!
+ 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. In 2019 I will be crossing a big one off my bucket list: 3 weeks in New Zealand. 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 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 everything from manual labor to construction to warehouse work. When I discovered photography, I was a college student who had a Biology major and $50,000 of student loan debt. I still have one of those things.
+ I think National Parks are America’s greatest contribution to the world, and something we should always support and protect. You haven’t experienced the great outdoors (And fear!) until you’ve accidentally snuck up on an 8′ tall moose in the backcountry.
+ I grew up in Greenville, SC and have lived here 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 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.
+ SOME OF MY QUIRKS
+ I grew up with animals, and have a soft spot for all living things. I own Tucker, the world’s most photographed Corgi, and am not ashamed to say he is basically my child. That’s him as a puppy on the right.
+ I would pay good money to sip whiskey in silence all evening with Nick Offerman.
+ I love a good adventure, but I also love a relaxing night in. My ideal Friday night could be either hiking a new trail in the mountains, or watching a cheesy movie while eating hibachi takeout in my pajamas.
+ “If you want the shot no one else has, you have to be willing to do what no one else was willing to do”. I have always believed that hard work is more important than talent. Talent is common, work ethic is rare.
+ I strongly believe that you get out of life what you put into it. Not only personally, but professionally as well. Wedding photography is my life and I put my heart and soul into every photo I take. I believe your wedding deserves nothing less.