Matt Milless

Columbus, Ohio native Matt Milless rarely goes on a shoot without a certain scarlet and gray hat. Buckeye football, he’d be the first to tell you, is in his blood. And so is photography.

Now a resident of Schenectady, N.Y., Matt discovered his love of the lens a little bit by accident. Director of Student Activities at Union College by day, it all started when he snapped a few pictures during campus events in 2007 to help meet increasing website and social media demands. The ability he suddenly gained – to capture moments in time and view both routine and rare parts of life in a new way – is what really got Matt hooked. It turned a hobby into a career.

In 2009, MahiMattPhoto was established. The intense dedication and skill required to run this business has made Matt a versatile freelancer, as equally capable of stunning wedding photography as he is of high-impact sports images.

His pictures have been used in NewsChannel 13 broadcasts, and published in the Albany Times Union, Schenectady Daily Gazette and The Wall Street Journal. Matt also has loyal family portrait clients, has done work for the University at Albany and Union College, and shoots all sports for Sage College.

Its fields, courts and rinks he relishes most. “Sports are my first love as a photographer. There’s nothing more exciting than the celebration of a championship, and nothing more heartbreaking than an athlete realizing this is the end of his or her collegiate career,” Matt said. “I also like the unpredictability of wildlife. It’s the chase, the time you spend searching for a specific animal, and then the time waiting and watching that animal for the perfect shot.

“It’s very exciting to photograph a bird, have no idea what species it is, and then identify it from the picture you took,” he added. “I believe wildlife is meant to be captured with a lens in the wild. I don’t think I’d even take a camera to a zoo.”

Self-taught in every genre he shoots, and determinedly motivated to provide nothing but the best for his clients, Matt holds a master’s degree in higher education administration from Ball State University and a bachelor’s degree in multicultural studies from Augsburg College.

Well-respected by his peers, Matt has been a judge for the Schenectady Photographic Society, a number of photography competitions at Union College, and the Annual New York School of Public Relations Association Communication Awards. He also participated in the first Help-Portrait effort, in which volunteers provided professional portraits to underprivileged families in the Schenectady area. The local event was just one of more than 600 held around the world.

Matt’s work has recently been displayed in the “Diversity through Many Lenses Juried Photography Exhibit” at the ADK Lakes Center for the Arts, and in the “Brush and Lens Show” at the Irondequoit Inn in Piseco Lake, N.Y.

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This bio was written by Erin DeMuth Judd