ISPWP Member Spotlight - Matthew Pautz Photography

Posted by Matthew Pautz Photography on February 23rd 2017

Photographer Contact Information

Greenville, South Carolina Photographer (864) 590-4144

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1. How has your extensive experience in wedding photography helped you in difficult circumstances on a wedding day?


Let’s face it – stuff goes wrong at weddings. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but an experienced photographer can recognize a problem when it arises, react to it, and change how they work to fix or prevent it from happening. A great example is when the timeline gets off-schedule.


I still remember a wedding I photographed that ended up running over an hour behind schedule due to people arriving late. The bride was visibly stressed, on the verge of tears, and very worried about getting all the photos finished in time. My experience as a wedding photographer allowed me to remain calm and reassure the bride that we could still make everything work with some changes. I was able to shift the photography schedule on the fly, change a few locations, and simplify the process enough to get everything done on time. Seeing the bride smile and show genuine happiness for the first time all morning made me happier than I could ever explain with words. I talked with her again months later, and she didn’t even remember the stress of being so far behind schedule. She will never know it, but that was the greatest compliment I could have ever received.


2. Tell us about some of the more unique weddings you've shot.


I love environmental weddings! I have had the honor of working in some amazing locations, and I love weddings that emphasize them. One of my recent favorites was a candlelight ceremony right after sunset on a balcony overlooking the mountains surrounding Asheville NC. Another of my favorites utilized a gorgeous, ultra-modern event space that really allowed me to experiment with new techniques. Another took place in a historic, beautifully ornate hotel. I love being able to incorporate unique environments into a couple’s wedding photos. I have a small wedding ceremony coming up in Alaska this year, and I am very excited about the opportunities we will have. It doesn’t matter what the location is, if it is unique in any way, I will love it.


3. What are some of your favorite local venues?


Greenville SC wedding photographers are lucky to have so many beautiful wedding venues available nearby. I love venues with a flair for the unique.


The Westin Poinsett Hotel is perfect for a gorgeous, classy wedding right in the middle of Downtown Greenville. It is a lavish hotel that played a pivotal role in Greenville’s history and resurgence. Their suites, grounds, and ballrooms are perfect for weddings.


Hotel Domestique is a favorite due to their unmatched views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and incredible French Chateau styling. Indoors and out, this is a wedding photographer’s dream come true.


The Commerce Club in Greenville is an excellent choice for a classy, modern wedding as is Zen – Both located downtown. Greenville SC really is a photographer’s paradise, and more wedding venues appear every year.


4. What advice would you give a bride who is looking for a wedding photographer?


A wedding photographer’s style is an extension of their personalities and who they are as people – it is always better to find a photographer that matches your style from the beginning instead of trying to force a different photographer to fit in a style they don’t normally work in. If you love dark, romantic, artistic wedding photos, you will not be happy with a photographer who prefers the light, pastel, pinterest type look.


Also, try to keep your photography budget fluid – you don’t have to spend a fortune on a top wedding photographer if you can’t afford it, but you also should not be afraid to increase your budget a little if you find someone you really love that is a little above your price range. When your wedding photos are all you will have to remember your day, it is extremely important to choose the best photographer you can afford.


5. What's your favorite part of the wedding day to photograph?


I love everything about weddings, but I especially enjoy the getting ready photos and couple’s photos. Getting ready photos (hair/makeup/dress) are a time where I can relax a little and experiment with new techniques. Some amazing candid moments also happen at this time of the day while everyone is more relaxed and happy.


Couple’s photos are my favorite time to work with the couple one-on-one, after the ceremony when all the stress has been lifted and their true personalities can shine. It is also a time where I can get more creative, and really highlight the couple’s happiness and love for one another.


6. What kinds of weddings do you love to photograph?


All kinds! But I do have a soft spot for anything with unique details or locations. Ultra-modern event spaces and pristine natural mountains are two kinds of weddings I love to photograph, even though they are exact opposites of each other. I like to think in terms of extremes.


7. What are your top tips for brides to help them get great photos on their wedding day?


Trust your photographer! It is perfectly fine to have some requests, but too many can bog down the creative aspect of wedding photography. A lot of requests or a long shotlist can force your photographer into a box, where all they can do is check photos off the list instead of creating unique and memorable moments. This is also why I feel it is so important to choose a photographer that naturally matches your style from the beginning.


8. How important is it to hire an experienced wedding photographer?


Experience is a tricky concept. Everyone sees a photographer’s final photos, but those photos don’t show what it took to get them. If you look at any of the top wedding photos here on ISPWP, what you probably see is a gorgeous, beautifully lit wedding photo on the surface. What you don’t see is the creative process. The photographer likely chose the location based on their experience with what works best during specific parts of the day, or based on things like the angle to the sun or proximity to unique colors and textures. It is a conscious decision based on their prior experiences. They likely then arranged and posed the couple in a very specific manner to show a distinct look that took years to perfect. They then chose their camera settings based on their experience and vision of what they want the final image to convey. The best photographers have spent years, decades...their entire lives perfecting their ability to read the environment, their couple, or the lighting in a way that allows them to create amazing art. That is what experience is, and I believe it is one of the most important aspects of choosing a wedding photographer.


And that is only the photography side of things. Experience also allows a photographer to react to changes on the fly, anticipate what will happen next, and work properly with people in a very stressful situation. The more experienced your photographer is, the more enjoyable your wedding day will be.


9. Do you do "destination weddings?" If so, what are your favorite destinations?


I love destination weddings! Because of my background in landscape photography, my favorite destination weddings tend to be unique, outdoor locations like Alaska, Hawaii, the Bahamas...the more exotic the location, the more exotic your wedding photos will be.


10. What do you do for fun when you're not shooting weddings?


Landscape photography is and will always be my is what I do when I want to relax and forget the world. This is tied closely to hiking and traveling, since many landscapes require a bit of planning and travel to reach. I have been lucky enough to see some amazing places in these journeys, and I will never take these experiences for granted.


11. How would you describe your style of photography?


Bold, artistic, candid, and romantic. I am not a bright, Pinterest style photographer. I utilize lighting techniques that I feel pull more emotion out the couple and their environment. My goal is to tell a couple’s love story in a way that shows the feelings, happiness, and romance of the their wedding day candidly and naturally.


12. Do you offer albums? If so, describe the albums you offer and why you think it's important to provide albums.


Albums are an amazing way to showcase your wedding from start to finish. They are more portable than large prints, easier to show off, and easier to handle. In a world full of Facebook wedding photos, there is something truly incredible about holding a well-made, custom designed album in your hands and turning the pages to re-live every beautiful aspect of your wedding day. Most of my couples are shocked by how much more they love their photos when they are printed. Printing seems to be a lost art, but once you hold your photos in your hands and feel their real value, you will wonder why you ever settled for anything else.


13. What's the best photography-related advice you've been given?


Ah, the old saying that changed my life years and years ago: “If your photos aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”.


14. What would you say was the biggest reason for your success?


I think it is my passion for the whole experience. I obsess over the tiny details of photography that people will probably never notice because I want everything to be as close to perfect as possible. But I also obsess over my couple’s personal experience – How I work with them on a photo shoot to keep them happy and relaxed, being available at a moment’s notice to answer their questions, lending my experience to make suggestions when they are planning their wedding day, quick turnaround time on their photos...all this goes into the couple’s experience. It takes hard work, but I always have believed no matter who you are and what you do, if you work hard...the success will come.

Photographer Contact Information

Greenville, South Carolina Photographer (864) 590-4144

See This Photographer's Website

Photographer Bio

Matthew Pautz is a professional Greenville SC wedding photographer that also photographs weddings all over the United States.  Like many other wedding photographers, Matthew discovered his passion for wedding photography entirely by accident. He got his start as a landscape and nature photographer, which soon began to expand into live events, concerts, and corporate work. However, something always felt like it was missing - each branch offered something new, but nothing felt entirely complete. He didn't discover his true calling until he photographed his first wedding in 2011. Weddings were a challenge unlike anything else - They required skills from every other branch of photography and combined them all into one beautiful, irreplaceable event.


Because of his background in documentary style photography, he adopted a photojournalistic 'story telling' style early on. Today he uses a mixture of candid photojournalism and natural, realistic posing custom tailored to each couple's personalities. By working in this style, Matthew Pautz hopes to show every couple's love story in a way that is both artistic and beautiful while still staying true to their unique personalities and differences.


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