MEET OLYMPUS EDUCATOR MATT SUESS
WHO ARE YOU?
I'm Matt Suess and I'm from Bozeman, Montana. I'm a full-time fine art photographer specializing in landscape, night sky and Milky Way, wildlife, and macro photography
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE A PHOTOGRAPHER?
I was always interested in photography and by the time I was 12 years old I had a B&W chemical darkroom. This would have been in the early 80’s. My best friend’s father was a professional photographer and he showed us how to develop and print. This early start blossomed into a now 30+ full-time photography career.
I always enjoyed landscape and wildlife photography, but by my late teens I figured it would be easier making an income as a photojournalist so I started freelancing for the local newspaper. That evolved into a 17 year full-time photojournalism career that ended in 2006. While I photographed pretty much everything as a photojournalist, my favorite assignments were shooting Division 1 College sports and professional sports. Since 2006 I have been a full-time fine art photographer and educator and occasional commercial photographer. Teaching other photographers is definitely a passion of mine as I love sharing everything I’ve learned over the years to enthusiastic students.
How did you get started with the Olympus system?
The first 35mm camera I ever purchased with my own money was the OM-G when I was a teenager in the mid 80’s. But I ended up leaving Olympus for 30 years and was reintroduced to the system last spring when I fell in love with the OM-D E-M1X and all the lenses. I switched from Sony to Olympus last spring and never looked back!
What’s your go-to Olympus setup?
I ended up purchasing quite a collection of Olympus gear when I switched. My favorites are:
- E-M1 Mark III
- M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 PRO
- M.Zuiko 300mm F4.0 IS PRO
- M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO
- M.Zuiko 45mm F1.2 PRO
- M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8 Macro
- M.Zuiko 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO
- M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8
- M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO
How does Olympus help you do your job?
It gets out of my way and allows me to not only do my job but to have fun again. The system is so well built, I don’t have to worry about rain or dust so I can concentrate on the shot. The ergonomics are incredible, and you can just feel how well built the pro lenses in particular are. The gear is lightweight and inconspicuous which is great for both long hikes and also blending in with the crowd when photographing, not drawing too much attention to myself when working compared to when I carried all that huge bulky gear before. Other features like the image stabilization, Live Composite Mode, Focus Stacking, Live ND, Pro Capture Mode, High Res Shot Mode, and more give me so many creative possibilities I couldn’t get with other systems.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING A MEMBER OF THE OLYMPUS FAMILY?
I am new to the family, but I have to say some of the friendliest and most creative photographers shoot with Olympus and work for them. Everyone is passionate about what they do and they go out of the way to help others, making it feel like family from the beginning.
TIPS FOR OTHER BUDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Get out there and have some fun! Photograph what you are passionate about, what excites you, and make it come to life with the gear you have, and most importantly, with the creative vision you also have or soon will have. Follow your heart and you will soon start seeing an improvement in your photography.
TIPS FOR OTHER PRO PHOTOGRAPHERS
I’m going to repeat and give the same advice - get out there and have some fun! Often as pro’s we can get in a rut - I certainly was in one prior to switching to Olympus last year. And I re-found my love for photography by just going out there and having fun just shooting for myself and not worrying if the images would sell or not. Freeing my mind helped me create better photos that now sell for even more.