Matthew Sowa is an internationally recognized, award-winning wedding photographer whose passion, creativity, and energy define his unique style. Over the past 15+ years Matthew has worked with NYC couples, bringing the highest level of creative, personalized, and professional service to commemorate their special day. He combines photographic artistry and classic portraiture with a primarily journalistic approach to capture the moments his clients want to remember.
Born in Poland, Matthew earned a degree in photography from the Warsaw School of Photography and he received additional training at the Institute of Art Photography in Ostrava, Czech Republic. He has photographed more than 600 weddings, treating each event with meticulous care and creating photographic memories that bring the wedding back to life for years to come.
Matthew Sowa’s photographs have been featured in Rangefinder, PDN, LensCulture, Magnum, La Grande, Carts & Cake, Memorable Indian Weddings, Southern Bride, Jim Couture, Style Me Pretty, Aisle Perfect, Contemporary Bride, Wedding, FotoRelax, Best of Weddings, Wedded Wonderland, La Bride, Filter-Grade, and Zankyou. He is a member of Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and has won awards from the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers (ISPWP), Fearless Photographers, Wedding Photography Select, Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) and Masters Wedding Photographers of North America.
I cannot express just how pleased my husband and I are with Matt’s photos. We just received our full wedding photo set a few days ago and are is awe of the one of a kind talent that is Matt Sowa
How did you get into wedding photography?
I graduated from college with a degree in photography and began my career by working as a news and documentary photojournalist. Later I developed an interest in an unobtrusive style in wedding photography, shooting my first wedding for close friends.
Do you have a recent favorite photo that you have taken? Tell us how you took it and why you like it?
Absolutely. One of my favorites is the photo I took of a bride-to-be getting ready for her wedding, staged through a keyhole prop I made from a carton. I asked the bride to stand in front of a window to add the texture and definition of natural light.
What really gets you emotional when you’re shooting a wedding?
Emotional moments can occur at any time on the wedding day, sometimes simply when people laugh or cry. Sometimes I witness raw emotion as the father of the bride sees his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time. I believe that the most significant and emotional part of the day is the ceremony itself, when the groom faces the bride walking down the aisle, or during the touching vows that can bring the joyful tears of love.
How do you put a couple at ease before and during their big day?
I always meet the couple in advance of the wedding to help them feel relaxed and confident in front of the camera and to preview the photographic element of their spe-cial day—where I will locate, the timing, my methods, and that I will basically fade into the background. I make every effort to meet their particular needs and interests, and I ask them to let me know of specific people, events, or other aspects of the day they would like me to highlight. An engagement session is also a great opportunity for us to connect and know more about each other before the wedding day.
What is it about being a wedding photographer you love?
I love feeling that I am creating a lifetime record of possibly the happiest and most im-portant event in the lives of two people who have made a commitment to love and care for each other. When I witness and the joy and warmth of this special day, I cannot think of any other profession that is more satisfying.
What is it about being a wedding photographer that you don’t love so much?
Waking up at the crack of dawn.
If you could change one thing about the wedding industry what would it be?
I would love to get back to the 1990s to see more unplugged weddings. Going un-plugged not only allows you to be in the present moment, but it lets your guests enjoy every aspect as well, instead of seeing it all as we do nowadays through IPhones.
What photography kit do you have in your bag & what is your favourite?
When I shoot a wedding, my bag always includes 2 to 3 bodies (Nikon D5, D4, and Sony A7S II), 4 to 5 lenses, and a few speed lights. My favorites are Nikon lens 85mm 1.4 and 35mm 1.4.
What is your favourite part of the day?
I like the beginning of the day, the getting ready. I love making myself invisible so that I can find and capture the joy, love, romance, and authentic interactions among the various parties arriving and participating in the wedding.
What tips would you give a couple on choosing a wedding photographer?
If I were choosing a wedding photographer for myself, I would focus on the following:
* The quality of a photographer’s full wedding portfolio
* The quality and style of the photographer’s images.
* The photographer’s personality—is this a person in whom you can place trust and faith?
* The photographer’s level of experience.
* Personal recommendations and word of mouth.
* Recognition of achievement by world-class wedding organizations and/or publica-tions.
Why do you think couples choose you?
I believe I have trustworthy, dependable, and strong work ethic. I talk and consult with all my clients before diving head first into a shoot because I want to make sure that all their needs are met, and that we are both heading towards an artistic vision all parties are content with. Everything is about trust, since there is nothing more important than developing a good relationship with a client. Also, my work is fresh and unique, and many clients like me for my dramatic, contemporary style.
How do you relax when you’re not shooting weddings?
I am involved in both sports and cultural activities: weight-bearing workouts, tennis, yoga, and skiing; theater, film, and historical literature.
I am also a travel freak, and I enjoy traveling on my own. One of my favorite destinations is Southern Asia, where I connect with people, in particular “The Land of Colors”–Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Indonesia, Papua, the Philippines, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Japan.
What are you looking forward to and why?
I always look forward to becoming a better man today than I was yesterday…