How long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
I’ve been shooting weddings professionally now for 2 years. So I’m relatively new to the industry which is great because I’m still finding everything super exciting. When I was starting with photography as a hobby (I used to have a full-time corporate job in the city, London), I tried a bit of everything (landscapes, products, street photography etc). I quickly realised that the bit I loved most about photography was capturing people and moments. So I thought to myself, where could I go where there’d be loads of amazing moments shared between people? The answer came pretty quickly – weddings! So I took my camera along to a couple of my friends weddings, had a play and loved it. 3 years later and the rest is history.
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
I get to hang out with awesome couples on one of the most important days of their lives, and even get paid for it; how cool is that?
There are 3 things that I love about photographing weddings:
How would you describe your style and approach?
Using traditional terminology you could describe my style/approach as documentary, candid, reportage or photojournalism wedding photography. I personally like to refer to it as moment-catching storytelling. For me moments are King. I’m always trying to be creative and use different photographic techniques to create interesting images, but at the end of the day the moments are the most important part of every photo. The storytelling bit is about finding all the elements that are important to your couple (from the people and relationships to the venue and the details) and then to highlight these elements in the photos I take. One of the best ways to showcase this is with a slideshow of the photos accompanied by music. Also, meeting up with couples for an engagement session, so you can get to know them before the big day, helps to put you in a better position to capture the story of their wedding to the best of your ability.
Another part to my approach is the level of experience I provide my couples with. I feel like the experience is almost as important as the photos themselves. By experience I mean pretty much everything involved outside the photos you give them – communication, support, how you make them feel, how you make their guests feel, how quickly you turn around their photos, the options they get for displaying and sharing their photos and I’m sure a lot of other bits and pieces I can’t think of right now.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
After finding a photographer who’s work you like the look of and which you think is a good fit for what you’re looking for, there are 2 key things I recommend you do before booking them:
Ask to meet them. Wedding photographers are unique in that out of all your wedding suppliers they will be the only one spending the entire day with you on your wedding. And not just with you but also with your guests. So you want someone who is confident, easier to get along with and share’s your sense of humour. Ask yourself, “would I consider inviting them to my wedding if they weren’t my photographer?” The meeting could be face to face or over a Skype video call.
Ask to see some examples of their recent work. This could be either a blog, slideshow or gallery, with ideally 100+ photos of a single wedding. What you see on a photographer’s website is likely to be their best work. This is useful to identify which photographer’s style & approach best fits what you want. What the highlights on their website doesn’t tell you though, is whether they are consistently that good. And that is why you need to see more photos from a single wedding.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
Plan extra time. Time often runs away from you on your wedding day. I also recommend to my couples to put in 15min buffer time slots as often as possible into your timelines.
Delegate any decisions that need to be made on your wedding day. Your wedding day is about you both having an awesome time with your most favourite people in the world. The last thing you want to be doing is having to organise people or make decisions on the day. Delegate these thoughts of things to your Maid of Honour or Best Man.
Provide your photographer with any information they might need a few weeks before the wedding. This usually includes timelines, addresses of locations, a list formal group shots you’d like and any sensitivities they should be aware of.
Relax and enjoy your day!
Finally… Whats the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
Great Question, but also a really hard one to answer. What I love most about weddings is the range of amazing moments you get to witness as a photographer. From nerves, to excitement, to tears to joy, you get it all. You get a chance to capture moments that can have an emotional impact on yourself even if the people in the photo are nearly complete strangers to you. What’s really amazing is when you hear about the impact the photos have had from those that actually know the people in the photo. I think this probably covers some of the best moments I’ve had as a wedding photographer – the unexpected feedback. You often get amazing words of gratitude from your couples, which, don’t get me wrong, feels great! But it’s when you get an email or once even a phone call from a friend or family member at the wedding, someone who you’ve probably never even spoken to before, but just wanted to say thank you for capturing a moment that means so much to them…..that’s when you know you’ve created something really special. Knowing that, just feels amazing.
Find out more about Matt and view more of his work on his profile page here.