FAQ


1. Matt, how would you describe your photographic style?

-- Primarily photojournalistic, with an artistic/creative bent.


2. How long have you been shooting weddings?

-- I started over twenty-five years ago, but photographed my first wedding under the Spilker Portraits banner in 2007.


3. And how many weddings have you photographed since 2007?

-- Two hundred and eleven, and counting.


4. What drew you to wedding photography?

-- Well, to be honest, I didn't think I would enjoy shooting weddings that much. But, after I started, I realized how so many of my talents are suited for this business. I thrive on the chaos and unpredictability of wedding days, and trying to find something beautifully artistic in the midst of all that chaos. What keeps me coming back for more is working with so many amazing couples. Without their love and support, this just wouldn't be the same.


5. Do you consider any photographers inspirational?

-- Absolutely. Dorothea Lange, considered by most to be a documentary, or photojournalistic photogapher, traveled the country photographing the faces of the Great Depression, particularly in agriculture. I've never known anyone to take such intensely emotional portraits. Also, Henri Cartier-Bresson wandered the European cityscapes photographing street scenes. I consider him to be the greatest 'candid' photographer that ever lived.


6. Do you enjoy any other photography besides weddings?

-- Definitely. I save room for my couples and their growing families when they need portraits, but I also have some fine art interests and show my work on a regular basis.


7. Do you have a favorite wedding photo?

-- After taking roughly 250,000 wedding photos, that is a surprisingly easy question. Yes, the photo on the front of this website. That is a photo of my nephew and his bride, in the heart of the Black Hills, one of my favorite places on earth. And those ominous clouds in the background, although we didn't realize it at the time, were dumping baseball size hail on the reception site. I try to give couples those 'once-in-a-lifetime' kinds of photographs, but that one was even once-in-a-lifetime for me.


8. Why are your prices so reasonable?

-- Several reasons. First and foremost--so many of my couples pay for their weddings on their own, and they're very cost-conscious. I understand that, so I've designed my business to keep costs down. I work primarily out of my home, don't have any full-time employees, and spend a minimal amount on marketing and advertising.


9. So how is it that you're able to book so many weddings?

-- I've not had any paid advertising for several years. My business is generated almost exclusively from word of mouth. I feel very fortunate that so many of my couples have spread the word.


10. Do you work with any second photographers?

-- Yes. Keri Hess is my primary second shooter, but I also work with Sara Whisenhunt and Staci Frey on occasion. It's a pleasure to work with these very talented and terrific women.


11. And how much is it to add a second photographer to any wedding package?

-- I'll add any second for $350, and both a second and third for $600.


12. Do you recommend adding a second?

-- Absolutely. They not only give us cameras in two or three places, they each offer their own styles. I wish everyone would add them to their wedding packages.


13. How many photographs do you usually include on a wedding DVD

-- If I'm shooting by myself, I average around 1200-1300. Adding a second will give you another 1000 or so.


14. And couples have permission to print any of these photos?

-- Yes. The photos are jpgs, color and light balanced, and ready for printing.


15. And what is the low resolution disc for?

-- In case couples want to file share on sites like facebook.


16. What's your overall business philosophy?

-- Give the client what she wants. Then figure out what you need to charge for it.


17. Is it true that you have a slide show of wedding photos ready at the reception?

-- Yes, I back up my photos, and study them, all day long. If I can catch a few minutes on the way to the reception, or perhaps in some down time at the reception itself, I do show a hundred or so photos on my laptop. If there is a projector in the hall, I use that sometimes as well. People really love seeing those photos before they go home.


18. When it comes to weddings, what is your greatest gift that you contribute to your couples?

-- Two things--how I see the world, and my passion.


19. Do you see yourself in another profession before you retire?

-- Not really. This is entirely too much fun.


20. Any closing thoughts?

-- I love what I do. I love celebrating with my couples. I love that so many are still in my life years later. I feel very fortunate indeed.