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 challenge.
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.
5 Awards for Documentary Wedding Photography
4 Diamond Awards for Engagement Portraits
4 Awards from the Artistic Guild of Wedding Photojournalists
1 TOP Wedding Photographer Titles
The WPJA proudly recognizes Matthew Pautz as a TOP International Wedding Photographer. Members holding the most contest points at the end of each year are ranked as TOP Wedding Photographers or, in some cases POY - Photographer of the Year.