My last interview in 2009 / ISPWP Spotlight
Vinicius Matos Bio:
Brazil wedding photographer Vinicus Matos is a 33 year old photographer who has been in the wedding industry since 2005. He has won national and international wedding photography awards, the most recent of which was the prestigious ISPWP Photographer of the Quarter (Summer 2009).
How did you get your start and why did you chose wedding photography as a career?
Well, I fell in love with photography in 2002 when I was 26 years old, after a nervous break down. The doctor encouraged me to find a hobby so I decided to get my first basic SLR camera (Rebel 2000). As soon as I got it I started shooting some close up and macro photography just for fun, but some technical barriers prevented me to go to the next level. Then I decided to start studying photography in Brazil.
At that time, I was in charge of marketing for a large building company and I had to manage my career in business and marketing as well as being a photography student. Then I decided to open a franchise School of Photography in my city in Brazil, Belo Horizonte which has 2.5 million people in the Brazilian southeast. I owned a school but I wasn’t a pro photographer. This is really funny isn’t it? The business started growing and I had to quit my job. At that time, it was a tough decision but I decided not to go on with my primary job and keep photography as my way of living.
In 2005 I had a chance to photograph my first wedding. A foreign couple was about to get married in Brazil and decided to look for a photographer only 2 days before the wedding. A friend of mine referred me but I was quite nervous. Then my wife Ana told me not to lose the opportunity since it was good money. After that night I never stopped shooting weddings. It’s all I want to do in photography right now. I just love doing it!
What are some of your favorite local venues?
I really like the beach weddings. Especially in Brazil where we have plenty of beautiful places like this I enjoy shooting during the day time. Most of our weddings here happen at night so we do not have natural light. Can you imagine that?
What’s your favorite part of the wedding day to photograph?
I have no favorite part at all. I would say that during the preparation I`m usually looking for excitement and anxiety. I love ceremonies where people cry and parties full of good vibes with people dancing and this is not difficult to see in Brazil.
What kinds of weddings do you love to photograph?
There is one thing that I love, when the couple come to me and say that I’m free to do whatever I feel like. It’s all about trust. It really inspires me.
What are your top tips for brides to help them get great photos on their wedding day?
Well, they have to trust their photographers in the first place. It’s also important to relax and act naturally. These are good tips if they have hired experienced wedding photographers.
What do you find is the biggest challenge in wedding photography?
Being alert all the time so we don’t miss the important moments!
Do you do “destination weddings?”
Yes! I love them since we have a chance to travel to places I have never been. It’s awesome!
What do you do for fun when you’re not shooting weddings?
I play paintball, read business books and I travel a lot.
How would you describe your style of photography?
I don’t like to put labels and define myself as a PJ wedding photographer or as a traditional wedding photographer. I would say I like to understand the couple that hired me and start chasing emotion and feelings. I’m not so fond of posing photography but sometimes I cannot shoot without posing them. I’d rather be known as a wedding photographer that emphasizes feelings, the big day and that respects the style of the couple.
What do you think you offer to clients that is unique?
Emotion. It’s all about emotion during the wedding day!
Do you offer albums? If so, describe the albums you offer and why you think it’s important to provide albums.
Yes, I never book a wedding without an album sold since I could not see my work delivered on a DVD. I use 2 local companies, Fotolab and Digipix. My design is not outsourced since it’s part of our core competency. We have 2 exclusive designers.
How would you describe the current state of the wedding photography industry? Where do you think wedding photography is headed in the years to come?
Our industry keeps growing but I’ve seen a lot of new photographers getting in. I feel happy about it but at the same time I think they should know that being a wedding photographer is not just about owning good equipment.
What do you use for inspiration?
Music, PJ photographers, cinema and art books.
Have you found any products, services, or seminars that have made a difference to your photography or your business?
Sure, WPPI. They are going to celebrate their 30th anniversary now in Las Vegas. I’ll be there again. It’s worth it since you can get connected with the biggest photographers of our industry and also learn a lot from them.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Don’t try to get into the wedding photography industry if you don’t love weddings!
What would you say was the biggest reason for your success?
I never sleep! I’m kidding! I trust in my work and I’ve always tried to do my best for my clients!
Do you follow any photography or business blogs that you would recommend?
What future plans do you have for your business for the next year?
I intend to shoot 40 weddings. 33 are already booked. I need to spend more time with my family and with myself!