Matt Mason is a photographer located in picturesque Lake Geneva,
Wisconsin. He specializes in atristic wedding photography, regularly
traveling to Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago for on location wedding, family and commercial photo sessions.
Tell us a little about yourself and your photography.
I am an entrepreneur. I love every aspect of running a business. The
more I shoot photography I realize that there is a need for an
artistic and personable photographer with a high customer service
value. My first year in business I have booked over 50 weddings and
calls keep rolling in. This serves as a confirmation that people
agree with my assessment and desire to be the best photographer I
Why did you start taking photos?
With a friend of mine I launched a golf photography business and he trained me in the ins and outs of the technical side of taking professional photos. I brought the business side of things.
What inspired you to turn it into
I think that photography as a business is a low overhead high people skill way to earn a living. I love the word of mouth aspect so that if you treat people well, have an eye for photography and know how to network you can be very successful in this business.
Why are you fascinated with weddings?
On a wedding day I enjoy capturing precious moments with an artistic approach that will be with the couple for a lifetime. I live for
these moments of creativity and when the wedding party gets into the moment with me through collaboration and enthusiasm there is nothing quite like it.
How do you capture the love and feeling
of a wedding?
It’s starts from the very first time I meet a prospective client. Sometimes I have them bring an important print from their lives and share about themselves, how they met and why they are attracted to my photography.
Then, I insist on an engagement session because we continue to get to know each other in this experience. The final part of preparation comes from spending time planning the day by phone with the bride. I try to help them think realistically about their day and suggest changes so that things flow and so that they can enjoy their dream day as much as possible.
So as we get to know each other the clients become friends (even on Facebook) and they know I really care. Through this relationship the clients know they can trust me and be honest with who they are in front of the camera.
Name me some unusual services that you offer for weddings.
On the wedding side of things I offer:
- Fusion Video – Fusion video is the combination of HD video clips along with photos captured during the happy couple’s day. The resulting 3-5 minute rock star video serves as a wonderful and fun way to remember the day.
- Trash the dress – A trend in wedding photography on the East and West coasts is Trash the Dress. This phenomenon often incorporates a photo session with the bride and groom after the ceremony in which the bride literally ruins her dress in the quest to get photos that are not possible on wedding day. Sometimes the dress isn’t ruined but lots of risks are taken to achieve a fashion style shoot.
- Full size photo booth – We bring our studio backdrop and studio quality lighting to the wedding along with fun props and capture high quality photos of the guests.
This is a great alternative to the boring and awkward table photos you traditionally see at weddings.
- Same day slideshows – We will combine the family photo slideshow set to music and add photos from the day into a beautiful and memorable montage.
- Print release with disc of full res photos
What are some other photographic projects you enjoy working on?
At this point I am in my slow season so I am working more on keeping up with Facebook, updating my blog and preparing for the busy season. However, I am planning on doing a series of videos using my 5D MII DSLR.
What kind of a camera and lenses do you primarily use and how do you select your equipment?
Canon 5D MII and Canon 7D. I have a 17-40 f4, 70-200 f4, 24-105 f4, 100mm f2.8, 50mm f1.8.
I select my equipment first and foremost to serve my client as quickly and efficiently as possible. Weight is also an issue. I work long hard
days that are very physical. I avoid heavy equipment.
My feeling as a professional is that my equipment needs to provide a
significant return on investment. Computer equipment needs to be
fast and efficient because workflow is very important way to either
bury your life behind a screen or enjoy it. I do like laptops and
have recently converted to Mac.
Can you name some tips for those who want to start a wedding photography business?
- Pour yourself into customer service and really get to know your clients.
- Don’t over commit to clients. Under promise, over deliver. But don’t so over deliver that you eat into your profits.
- Find a successful photographer and volunteer to work for them for free to learn from them. Be clear what your hopes and dreams are.
- Count the cost. Do you want to do this long term? Can you give your weekends? You may not have kids now but will you still be happy when you do have kids and they are in school and you are now missing their weekend activities.
- Don’t go into debt unless you have to. Buy equipment because it will make you more money.
- Learn business principles and practice them as well as the art.
- Give back to the community. Find ways to donate or give away your services for a good cause. But don’t give away your work to people who could and should pay for your services.
Thanks for some great tips and beautiful photography, Matt.
I know you will continue your success!
You can learn more about Matt Mason and his work at his website