Mattie Simas is a portrait and documentary photographer with a natural love for people, culture, and travel. A first-generation Azorean -American, Mattie grew up in the diverse city of New Bedford, MA. As a child, her weekends were spent participating in traditional Azores church festivals and learning about her family’s rich history. At 14, she traveled to São Miguel with a relative, and this was the first-time photography entered her life. "At such a young age I found myself able to fully immerse in the culture of my ancestors and document it with my camera for my family and friends. It was an exciting time in my life. Photography has always been a passion of mine."
Mattie received a BS in Psychology and Women’s Studies from Suffolk University and attended the Rhode Island School of Design to study digital photography. Her wedding photography has appeared in BRIDES and Southern New England Weddings Magazine. Her beautiful wedding photography has also appeared on wedding venue websites such as Thompson Island Outward Bound, Boston; Seamen's Bethel and Mariners Home, New Bedford, MA; Whaling Museum, New Bedford, MA; Sperry Tents, W. Wareham, MA; and Fort Adam's Newport, RI.
In 2017, Mattie founded Capture Humanity, an organization founded on bringing awareness to human rights issues. Mattie's efforts have led to collaborations with many community-based organizations including Freedom for All, Voice of the Free Philippines, ChildVoice Uganda and HAART Kenya. Her work regularly is featured in the U.S. State Department Trafficking In Person Report, Kenyan Directory of Service Providers for Trafficking Persons, the Guardian and others. Mattie's photography has been showcased internationally and widely exhibited by various UN agencies.
Called to Listen: Portrait photographer Matilde Simas uses images to advocate for survivors of human trafficking.
UNICEF Photo of the Year Award 2021 Philippines
UNICEF Photo of the Year Award 2019 Ethiopia, Philippines, Haiti