Paul Matthai has been a photographer since 1975. His work has ranged from photojournalistic travelogues to contemporary fine art photography. Paul has photographed in exotic locations abroad such as Turkey, the Persian Gulf, Europe and Africa. Locations closer to home include the natural beauty of Big Sur on the Northern California coast line, the Grand Canyon, Southern Utah, White Sands New Mexico, the Shenandoah Mountains, and, in particular, Southern Maryland.
Paul has exhibited in many juried shows that include the Neiman Marcus' "Top Ten," the Fairfax (VA) Council of the Arts, the Ellipse Gallery of Arlington, VA, the Rockville Arts Center in Rockville, MD, the North End Gallery in Leonardtown, Maryland, and the Maryland State Legislature House Office Building in Annapolis, Maryland. In 2001, he held a solo photographic exhibit at St. Mary's College of Maryland and has a permanent exhibit at Penn Camera in Washington, D.C. In 2004, Paul had a solo exhibition on the American Southwest at the Southern Vermont Arts Center. His images have been published in Chesapeake Bay Magazine, public service announcements, numerous scholastic brochures and quarterly magazines and by American Forest & Paper Association. Paul currently teaches photography at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC and has lectured at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. More recently, he as lead a photographic tour in Northern Italy sponsored through the St. Mary’s College of Maryland continuing education program.
Paul is currently working on a pictorial book that will catalogue the decline of Maryland's first industry, “tobacco.” Images capture how tobacco is grown, harvested, dried, processed for market and auctioned—as it has been for almost 400 years. The last Maryland tobacco auction was conducted in 2006.
I design each course for students so that they can have fun while learning, progress faster by making mistakes and asking questions, and allow them to expand their photographic creativity through the influences of both the instructor and the work of fellow students.