Texas Based Photographer Published in Vogue. Meet Triple-Threat, Mat Wulff!

Texas Based Photographer Published in Vogue. Meet Triple-Threat, Mat Wulff!

As a photographer, you’re often behind the camera waiting for that perfect moment to capture the essence of a garment and model for a client, but the real magic doesn’t happen until after the long day of the photoshoot. You then spend a copious amount of time editing each photo to perfection always envisioning the moment that your work will be seen globally. What a dream and iconic career moment it would be to see your creation in the most famous fashion magazine in the world, a recent dream that came true for one of our Texas natives during quarantine, Mat Wulff. A triple threat in the fashion industry, Wulff is a multitalented hairstylist, makeup artist, and now globally published photographer in Vogue Magazine living in Dallas, Texas. We had the opportunity to get an exclusive interview via Zoom with Wulff to get the exciting details about the quarantine photoshoot tribute to the Emmy’s by superstar dragqueen Shangela, Wulff’s longtime friend and Texas collaborator.


Seen here, Mat Wulff, celebrity photographer, hairstylist, and makeup artist.


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SLTV: Hi Mat, we’re so excited to speak with you about your photos being published in Vogue Magazine, but first, let’s talk about how this photoshoot and project came about? What was it originally intended for?
MW: I’ve been friends with Shangela for 9-years now and have done multiple projects but out of the blue, she called me to talk about how she wanted to bring the red carpet to Paris, Texas where she has been quarantining with her grandmother and family. Since quarantine, many Hollywood ceremonies are not hosting red carpet events, so Shangela had the idea of taking the red carpet around the town and have a photoshoot. All the while, her manager was in talks with many publications, including Vogue and Vogue wanted it instantly. As we were shooting, Vogue needed 18 photos to choose from and we quickly collected the photos. I spent two days without sleep editing the photos to send to Vogue and that’s when the manager asked me how I wanted my name to be featured in Vogue. I had no idea my name was going to be on Vogue, and normally from what I’ve seen, they only credit the main subject of the photo and I’ve hardly seen them credit photographers. Seeing my name on every photo was mind-blowing. 


Photo credit: Mat Wulff published in Vogue Magazine.

SLTV: Congratulations Mat, we noticed the same, and we’re so excited that this happened to you. So tell us about your experience through this creative process and the moment you saw your photos published with your name credited.
MW: I was so shocked, my best friend lives in San Antonio still and she and her mom came to visit me and I had no clue when Vogue was going to publish it and I didn’t know they picked it up at that point either. So my friend and her mom came in and sat down. That’s when I got an email saying Vogue was picking up the story and 10 minutes later the story was published. I was so sweaty and it felt so weird seeing that, I mean, as a kid I would sit at Barnes & Noble…when that was a thing and would scroll through each photo wishing I would be in this iconic magazine one day, and it happened, so unexpectedly. 


Photo credit: Mat Wulff published in Vogue Magazine 


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SLTV: That is amazing, what a dream come true for a photographer Mat! It is great to hear a very talented Texas photographer was recognized and credited which is something very rare with Vogue. So why do you think this is? What was it about this collaboration with Shangela and her team that sparked Vogue’s interest?
MW:
I think Vogue picked it up because Shangela was the only one during the Emmy weekend to create a photoshoot around her small town. I don’t think anyone did anything like this for the award shows right?

SLTV: You’re absolutely right! Since the pandemic, events are like a faux pax, but this red carpet Emmy weekend tribute was very unique and the photos of Shangela in Paris, TX were just stunning. So what was your experience like in Paris, Texas during this photoshoot collaboration?
MW:
So Paris, Texas, it’s literally is a long dirt road for like hours, and in the middle of the town are monuments that have a touch of Paris, France! The photoshoot alone was so fun. Shangela is so hilarious and her team she brought, are talented and truly celebrities in the makeup and hairstyling world. Everyone was so nice to work with and one of the best moments from this experience, believe it or not, was the photo taken at the local Dairy Queen.


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Photo credit: Mat Wulff published in Vogue Magazine

SLTV: The photos were just stunning, captured the town so beautifully. We also see you are a very talented hair and makeup stylist, so how did this come about and how did you get started as a photographer?
MW:
  I like to say I started out doing makeup first because my Aunt worked at a makeup counter but truly it was art and drawing. I spent a lot of time drawing. As a kid, I drew a lot and loved anything creative. Each time I would visit my aunt, I imagined her makeup palettes and brushes as markers and paint. When I was 12-years old I remember begging my friends to let me do their makeup, ironically now they are begging me! As I got older, it was through makeup, I found the love of hairstyling, and through hairstyling and photoshoots, I found a passion for photography. I can remember at times early in my career that I felt people wouldn’t take me seriously as a makeup artist, so that’s when I invested in my own camera and began to work harder at that. Once I was a full-time photographer, I remember the company I started with wouldn’t hire a hair or makeup artist so that’s when I got to start officially advertising my craft as all three crafts.

SLTV: So you’re like a one-stop-shop, wow! So where are you originally from and where are you working now?
MW:
So, I was born and raised in San Antonio, but I’ve been living and working here in Dallas for a while. Funny story, 9-years ago I came to Dallas for a weekend photo shoot opportunity and ended up staying for three months. It was pretty crazy, I had no clue of what I was doing but I took a leap of faith and went with it. Within that first month, I had found a full-time job and just kept working.


Photo credit: Mat Wulff published in Vogue Magazine 

SLTV: So, you’re a San Antonian?! What will it take for us to bring you back home?
MW:
My nana asks me to come back home every time I talk to her. She tries to get me jobs there, but since living here I have built a great private client list so much so that my clients will contact me to get their hair and makeup done just to go run errands all day.

SLTV: So glad you have made a name for yourself there and now since your publication in Vogue, have you seen a boom in contacts and clientele?
MW:
First and foremost I cannot believe the love I got from the article. It was incredible and crazy and it felt like a high when people were congratulating me, it was nice. I did get a big chunk of followers on my social media platforms but usually, when I post a photo of my photography work, hair, or makeup I get multiple clients. Instagram has been great for my business.

SLTV: Well your hair, makeup, and photo artistry are stunning and we’re so inspired by you. You are very multitalented and we can’t get enough. So, now that you are a Vogue published photographer, where do you want to take it from here?
MW:
Since quarantine, I feel my next step is becoming a better businessman. Working more on setting up a better business foundation and continuing to book my clients. At the end of the day, all I want to do is make people feel beautiful. I’ve always been like that and I always will be.


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To view Mat Wulff’s collaborative photoshoot with superstar drag queen Shangela, visit Vogue.com. Be sure to follow Mat Wulff on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter 

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Kaia is a Trendsetter Member of the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative currently learning about online fashion media and content creation through its mentorship opportunity. A fashion and music entrepreneur who is local at heart with an international outlook, Kaia Dublin is a Texas digital influencer, and fashion blogger who enjoys expressing herself with trendy-chic looks for the women on the go! Kaia also has a background in behavior health, working with children and families with special needs. Most recently she has been modeling and styling campaigns for her local fashion community and enjoys her position with Style Lush TV as their Fashion Services Coordinator.