South Bay Photography can be summed up in one word: fun! No matter the job we strive to make the experience fun, relaxing and enjoyable for the clients and ourselves. We enjoy what we do and hope that comes through in our work. We would like for you to get to know us better so here is a bit of our history.
South Bay Photography was the brainchild of Mat Gdowski back in February of 2002. It began one day at lunch when Mat and his friends discussed putting a calendar together with all the vehicles they had and the pretty women they knew. All of a sudden Mat was setting up the model shoots and handling all of the photography. He seemed to be a natural at it. At the time the company was known as MG Productions but was officially changed to South Bay Photography in 2004. Tina Gdowski came on board in the business after she met Mat in 2008. They both share a love of and work in the field of photography so it seemed like the perfect match. In fact it was so perfect that the two married in 2010!
South Bay Photography is unique and brings together the particular talents of both myself, Tina and my husband Mat as shooters. We specialize in modeling, sports, event, portraits, family, children, weddings and engagement shoots. We prefer environmental portraiture but can arrange studio shots as well.
Tina has a strong love for photography and has been shooting since she was a young child. Growing up in picturesque Northern California, there was no shortage of subjects to shoot. She would often spend all of her allowance on film to shoot on her first camera, a Kodak 110. Tina’s mother loved to encourage her creative pursuits and allowed her to shoot on her Canon film camera. Tina continued this pursuit through high school when her mother gave her the Canon camera to use in classes. Tina would stay after class in the photo lab for hours until her teacher finally kicked her out. As she got older she went back to school (earning a BA in Psychology with a minor in English from CSU Chico and an MBA at the University of Phoenix) and took more photography courses in college and shot on her Canon AE1 film camera. Tina still likes to use this camera today and shoot in the dying art of film. However, in 2008 when Tina met Mat she converted to shooting digital preferring to use Canon DSLR’s. Tina’s other hobbies include, reading, writing and gardening. Tina also has a young son who often finds himself as her photography subject!
Mat grew up in Detroit, Michigan preferring to pursue his love of motocross and building muscle cars. A self-professed “gear head” Mat continues these pursuits today by racing sport bikes and shooting such adrenaline-laced sports as NASCAR and motocross racing. Mat began his career shooting sport bikes, often with models and motocross. In 2006, Mat refined his sports shooting enough to be accepted as a member of Sports Shooter. This was a very important achievement as the best of the best sports shooters, as well as photojournalists are members of that site. The application process is long and brutal, but it is all worth it if you make it in. Mat is very proud of this achievement.
In April 2009, Mat started shooting for Southcreek Global Media, which was a mainstream media company. Mat was very happy to be working with them and gained some great allies in the field but unfortunately, they closed their doors in March of 2012. Mat shot a lot of different types of events for them, with a specialty in sporting events. They sent the images out to Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine and many other companies/books/newspapers/magazines. Mat’s experience with Southcreek Global Media has led to positions with other media companies such as Cal Sport Media, ZUMA Press and IconSMI. Most recently, both Tina and Mat have been hired by Front Page Media Group out of Ottawa, Canada working for Leon Switzer, editor extraordinaire! Mat and Tina do the West Coast USA shooting for Front Page Media Group and Tina often writes articles to accompany the photos as well.
Mat has garnered a couple awards in the past couple of years including:
- Sports Illustrated’s SI.com’s 2011 Pictures of the Year #36
- NPPA’s Best of PhotoJournalism 2012 – Sports Action Category – 3rd Place
We hope you have enjoyed getting to know us here at South Bay Photography. Why don’t you email us or call us (859-457-7800) about setting up a photo shoot and this way we can get to know one another and create some phenomenal photos in the process!
Mat Gdowski & Tina Gdowski
Owners & Photographers
South Bay Photography LLC (SBP)