London to Bath (and back again) – a photo essay

February 15, 2024

“Are you nervous?” “Are you excited?” “What’s it going to be like?” These are some of the twenty or so messages we were sent by other wedding photographers before we photographed this beautiful London to Bath elopement. There’s never been so much interest from other photographers about a wedding before we’d photographed it.

We’ve often photographed weddings where the couple was an artist or a creative – film makers, directors, photographers, playwrights, musicians, art directors – but this was actually only the second time we’d photographed a fellow wedding photographer.  And not just any wedding photographer. Chelsea (the bride) is, like us, a documentary wedding photographer, and like Hollie, she is also one of Rangefinder Magazine’s ‘Rising Stars of Wedding Photography’.  So, absolutely “…no pressure then!”

This is the story of Chelsea and Lou’s beautiful wedding – and the story of how we photographed it in our own documentary style.

Trust gives you artistic freedom. 

Let’s start by answering that question we were asked so many times before the wedding – would we (and did we) feel pressure photographing a fellow wedding photographer’s wedding? Happily, the short answer was “No!”  In fact, we’d say the complete opposite because, as fellow photographers, you share a lot in common. 

Chelsea and Lou understood what we are about. They understood what we’re trying to do in terms of creating compositions, moving around and crushing ourselves into odd corners – choosing the moments we choose to capture. Chelsea is a close friend which of course helps. But it’s more than that. As a fellow photographer – as an artist – she knows our style and ‘gets’ that as we’re documenting their ‘day’ we are doing something unique, something individual to us. Lou – who were so pleased to get to know before and during the day – also has a real love for photography. So both Chelsea and Lou knew they were going to get something different to the usual wedding story and would have images that they couldn’t foresee – a gallery of surprises. Lou and Chelsea trusted us and that gave us great artistic freedom. That trust is something we share with all our couples.

Our photographic style 

We didn’t treat Chelsea and Lou’s wedding any differently to any other wedding – it doesn’t matter if our couples are artists or lawyers, teachers or nurses. Our work style is documentary (as things happen) and relaxed (no posing or intervening). Our visual style is one of dynamic composition derived from the interaction of setting and action. We seek the unusual framing and atypical details – not the usual formulaic wedding narrative. At every wedding we photograph we aim to provide images that will bring back the day to life. All our couples understand this, they feel connected to our ethos as much as our compositions. So every couple who chooses us to document their wedding day give us the implicit and explicit permission to do so in our own photographic style.

This Is Reportage award winning story

Hollie was absolutely delighted to win a This Is Reportage story award for her images of this amazing day. You can see all of these award winning images and more below.

An elopement like no other

We’ve photographed elopements before, but none have been anything like the wedding day Chelsea and Lou planned. It began at the Artists Residence in London where Chelsea and Lou got ready.  It was a beautiful location full of quirky architectural detail, with large windows that let in swathes of natural light. It made a perfectly relaxed setting and one full of interest for a photographer. From there we went onto Victoria Station, where we boarded the famous British Pullman train (such luxury!) to Bath. Then onto Bath Registry Office. Finally, back to London for a quick outfit change for Chelsea, before heading out for bao, beer and karaoke. It went completely against the template of what an elopement usually is – small and beautifully intimate. Chelsea and Lou’s day may have been all about the two of them, but it didn’t feel small. It felt loud and full of character – it felt like the biggest small wedding we’d ever attended. And we loved every minute of it.

Behind the scenes of a documentary wedding photographer

In this blog we’ll talk through some of our favourite images from the day. We hope you’ll get some sense of how we work as a team, playing to one another’s strengths and of the individual decisions we made in camera and post-production.  Here’s our story of this amazing day.

Hollie – the first image I took at just after 7am, as we walked from our Hotel to the Artist’s Residence (an aptly named hotel). An orange glow is cast across the photo – reflected on some of the houses and the windows, with a street lamp on the opposite side matching the colour perfectly. A plane flies across the sky. The symmetry of the scene and the leading lines inviting the viewer in to the wedding day that’s about to unfold.

Hollie – Lou works on his speech, while Chelsea has makeup applied. By focussing on the subject in the background, rather than the foreground, you immediately draw the viewer into the picture allowing them to explore the composition. Focus on the foreground and you close off the composition – the background becomes just that, a background. I wanted to combine the moments, to include the two of them together. This day was about Chelsea and Lou – and I wanted my images to directly reflect that, where possible.

Hollie – however, not every image needs multiple elements – some can hone in on one person, one detail. Here, by framing out Chelsea’s eyes and shooting at a shallow aperture, I draw the eye to the croissant. Chelsea’s smile is there, too – just out of focus. Our couples know we’re not afraid to show our subjects eating. One bride once proudly announced me to her bridal party as: “This is Hollie, she’s amazing, she’s won loads of awards and loves taking photos of people eating.” So perhaps it’s a knowing smile (or, perhaps Chelsea is just really enjoying the Croissant).

Hollie – a simple composition of a happy moment, using Chelsea’s cape to create a two-toned composition. One large area of bubbling, abstract shapes set against the sharp focus of Chelsea laughing her wide, expressive laugh that says so much about her character and about the day.

Patrick – details say so much about a couple’s choices for their wedding – they speak about them as people. When Hollie and I got married, Hollie spent a whole year making all the decorations for our day. So, we know just how much they can mean. We photograph details in a visually exciting way – giving them their moment. These documentary detail shots have become a calling card for us. It’s what the ‘things’ say about the couple that resonates for us.

Patrick – Chelsea considers her makeup in a mirror. I chose an extreme framing with a large uninterrupted area of shadow to accentuate her gaze – the arch of her contemplative eye brow.

Hollie – Chelsea applies her nipple covers (sometimes called pasties). Her engagement ring matching the colour of her pyjamas – the mirror frame and Chelsea’s hair colour complimenting the other. The red lipstick picking out the half smile – it’s one of playful concentration.

Patrick – I stepped back here, allowing the composition to open up. There is Lou, side on, mid-action, semi-focus watching as Chelsea, ‘frozen’ in sharp focus, picks up her jumpsuit – and the busy room. Croissants, a polaroid camera – the light filtering in through the large unseen bay windows, picking out and illuminating areas of the room, while others fall in half shadow.

Hollie – the a bride’s dress (or here, jumpsuit) going on is understandably a moment that often goes unseen by us. It is a private, intimate moment – and one that we must be invited to capture. Chelsea and Lou made it quite clear before the wedding that nothing was out of bounds photography wise – Chelsea told me that we was entirely comfortable with me photographing this very moment, just like the nipple covers shot before. When we are invited to witness and photograph such moments, we’re always respectful and empathic in our documentation.

Hollie – Lou and Chelsea getting ready at exactly the same time was a photographrer’s dream. So many opportunities to combine similar actions and movements in the same frame. Here I frame out the eyes, the concentrating faces. This is a mundane moment – putting on socks and shoes. Including the faces of the subjects would take attention away from that. By drawing the viewer’s attention to the action, it reveals how, on a wedding day, every little action is important. It’s a day that will be talked about for years to come – that day Chelsea and Lou got ready together, put on their shoes together – and went off on an adventure, together.

Patrick – I used this door way to frame shots many times throughout the morning, but this is my favourite of those images. The towel, the two dressing gowns in the foreground added to the scene – they weren’t a distraction for me. A reminder of the day before – the day after. Those ordinary things that adjoin a wedding day to everyday life.

Hollie – when we’re photographing weddings together, it’s our job to ensure that what we’re capturing is different, even if we’re photographing the same moments. We seem to do this intuitively. Patrick here is shooting the scene with a wide lens, I’m on my 50mm at this point, getting low and photographing through the table and chair legs. So, though our viewpoints are similar, we’ve produced very different images using a different perspective – this helps layer up the story as we go on.

Patrick – Lou cleans his teeth while Chelsea has her jumpsuit adjusted. The make-up artist and Lou’s outstretched arms were mirror images of the other. It’s a rare moment of calm set against the whole collection of images – no one laughing, smiling, crying, gesticulating. It’s not all about high emotion or expected photo-reactions – the human condition is far more wide-ranging and nuanced than that. Our photography tries to show the full gamut of responses and character. Catching the quieter and more mundane moments. Finding framing, focus and composition to do them full justice. We enjoy the quiet moments.

Patrick – A passer-by, head down, earphones on – and a bike in the foreground – as Chelsea and Lou leave the Artist’s Residence, smiling, ready for the day ahead.

Hollie – Now we’re in Victoria station and we’ve run ahead, waiting at foot of the escalator. Lines running up and across the image, with Chelsea and Lou the only characters with a smile on their faces.

Patrick – Chelsea and Lou daringly ignore escalator etiquette, travelling down, side by side. With Hollie shooting the scene wide, capturing the context and the moment, I pick out the details, getting close with my 24mm lens. I liked that the escalator said, “HOLD ME” with the graphic of two figures hand in hand. As documentary photographers we gave no direction at all – the escalators provided a few hints, though.

Patrick – compositionally this is far from perfect. Overlapping figures that at first appear haphazard. Chelsea and Lou slightly off centre. It’s not symmetrical – it’s not rule of thirds, it’s not purposefully oblique. Yet this is an image I really like. I simply opened up the view without a dynamic viewpoint. The wide space of the station allowing the figures to find their own place. Like an L.S. Lowry – or perhaps even a Richard Scarry – the figures make their own mini-compositions; the couple asking directions; the young girl intent on her phone; the red backpack graphic; the woman glancing over at Chelsea. Chelsea and Lou striding through – Chelsea’s outfit in particular is so sartorially out of step with a drab working day in London.

Hollie – Lou points up to their train. Not hard to find, granted – train strikes meant it was the only train running that day.

Hollie – Chelsea and Lou reach their train – the famous Belmond British Pullman. The staff of the Pullman were a big part of the day – all winningly charismatic and altogether accommodating – as they clearly loved the roles they play on the train.  They were genuinely excited to welcome us aboard – it was their “first ever wedding”.

Hollie – perhaps the most ‘meta’ image we’ve ever taken. Chelsea, a wonderful wedding photographer herself, opens an email from ‘This Is Reportage’ telling her that she has won a wedding photography award. Just think, on her own wedding day too.  And there’s more. Chelsea’s moment was captured by me, a wedding photographer, who also won a ‘This Is Reportage’ award on the same day. Then, later, I enter my images from this wedding into This Is Reprotage – and I won a story award for them, too. It was such an honour to win a story award for this wedding.

Hollie – the joy on Chelsea’s face as the adventure begins, a high shutter speed freezing industrial London, glimpsed through the window.

Patrick – I use a slower shutter here to capture the world as it wizzes past in the carriage window – Chelsea and Lou looking at a map of Bath, wondering what the day will be like. The journey ahead.

Hollie – Chelsea and Lou sharing a private moment, playfully hiding behind their maps.

Hollie – Chelsea and croissants again. This time, I get closer, making the image all about the pastry, as she, very impressively, fits almost the whole thing in her mouth at once. So, as Chelsea fills her mouth – I choose to fill the frame, leaving the viewer nowhere else to look. We were given the same food and drink as Chelsea and Lou throughout the day – seven courses on the British Pullman alone! It’s fair to say we’re not used to such lavish treatment when we’re working. Also, I can safely say, these were the nicest croissants I’ve ever eaten.

Patrick – we’re always looking to vary our perspectives and viewpoints to hold the viewers’ interest.

Hollie – the carriage was designed by the film director, Wes Anderson. So aesthetically, things looked so striking, from the sunburst wall panelling to the choice of curtain material. Here Chelsea and Lou tuck into their breakfast – I wait to click my shutter just as they put their spoons to their mouths.

Hollie – drinks are finished off just as the train pulls into Bath station. Chelsea looks effortlessly cool here, brow slightly furrowed, slowly drinking, looking in an arch manner towards Lou – as he takes a more rudimentary route to draining his glass. With the Wes Anderson designed carriage naturally playing games with symmetry (just as his cinematic imagery does) and the fact that we were packed into a small, enclosed space together, there was a natural inclination keep our images centrally composed, too. In this case I went a little off kilter – not quite horizontal, not quite vertical, not quite centred.  I feel it makes this image feel more immediate and authentic.

Patrick – I liked the one patch of light in this image, coming from the station above and picking out the couple, the other passengers in shade. Then, there are the signs. Signs can be a distraction – but here they seem to describe Chelsea and Lou’s individuality. Ignoring all the signs, once again foregoing established etiquette, and striding confidently down the wrong side of the stairs.

Hollie – we have spoken many times about how we use a simple crop to change the way the viewer looks at a moment. Here, I originally captured the image wide and low, showing the full scene from the other side of the road as Chelsea and Lou leave Bath station. I liked the original image – however, I found the geometry of it to be a little confusing, top heavy, my eye darting around, making me feel a little uneasy. So, I cropped, placing them at the top left. Chelsea glances sidewards, our eye then follows gently through the frame to the other figures. We now feel the trajectory of journey, the travelling feet, without any distraction.

Hollie – A moment of joy and expectant happiness as we walked through Bath, nothing more. But sometimes, that’s all that’s needed.

Hollie – the previous image leads naturally to this one. I notice the harsh sun is casting strongly defined shadows. The light and the shade, along with the lines of the faded road markings and the long shadow to the left – I create a graphic image that accentuates the connection between the couple.

Patrick – a flower shop in the centre of Bath. We stop to pick up Chelsea’s wedding bouquet, as Lou checks ‘is the place?’. Usually, a bouquet is delivered to the wedding location hours before the ceremony begins. But here, on this most uniquely relaxed of days, it’s mere minutes before the ceremony and we’re popping casually into the florist.

Patrick – Chelsea collects her beautiful bouquet as Lou adjusts his tie. A tight space, I’m pressed against some stairs here.

Patrick – a busy street in Bath, close to the registry office. The man in the blue top catches sight of me, camera up. Lou and Chelsea have long ago got used to me and Hollie running around, capturing images from all angles and positions.

Patrick – a fist bump before getting married, then they walk through the registry office door. My position between the two images does not change. But I vary my composition, placing my subjects on opposing sides. Always looking to keep visual interest high, to make each moment feel new. 

Hollie – a trope of wedding photography is to pose a subject adjusting their clothing or accessories. It’s something of an old-style Hollywood glamour shot (or perhaps a 1950s issue of Vogue). The ‘star’ adjusts their veil, their dress, or their tie, even though they already looked faultless. Without doubt – doing this can create some beautiful photographs. But for us, if you let those little adjustments happen naturally, they say so much more about the moment. Here Lou adjusts his shoelaces, full of nervous excitement. He’s just about to be married, after all.

Hollie – one of the things that stands out about Chelsea and Lou’s wedding was even though it was just the two of them (and us) for the full day, those people who were on the periphery were swept up in the occasion, too. We’re now in the ceremony room, with the two registrars. They’ve just met Chelsea and Lou, a few minutes earlier – a few minutes later, they’ll have tears in their eyes (along with us, too). In this image Lou and Chelsea both look out of the frame, to a registrar in each corner.

Patrick – there was a time when we’d feel frozen to a spot during wedding ceremonies, scared to move a muscle. But these days, we move freely around a ceremony room, looking to capture moments from the best positions, making the best of the space, the light. Here, the back lighting of the large window looked a little foreboding at first. However, I found that the window gave the opportunity to silhouette Chelsea and Lou – while also throwing light to either side to illuminate our registrars.

Patrick – Lou reads his vows from handwritten paper, Chelsea uses her phone. It doesn’t matter the method of delivery. They were both in tears – and as we mentioned earlier, so were the registrars. I looked over to Hollie at this point, saw she had tears in her eyes – and the same could be said of me, too. Both Lou and Chelsea read such beautiful, personal vows.

Hollie – I stepped outside the room to capture this joyous moment at the end of the ceremony, using the door frame to my advantage. Technically, it’s far from perfect, with the window over exposed. But the moment far supersedes any technical considerations.

Patrick – as we’ve already mentioned, usually, we end up with different looking images even when shooting the same moment. We have the same style and approach, but our ‘eye’ is unique – how we ‘see’ a moment individual to us. But here, our images are unusually similar. School children walk unexpectedly past as Chelsea and Lou step outside, just married. Some of children smile back at them – some don’t notice and carry on their own interactions. Visually, I was looking to make use of the naturally spacing between the children – just as Hollie was too. Hollie’s spacing is more successful (Hollie’s is the second image of the two).

Hollie – after exiting the registry office, Chelsea and Lou showered each other in confetti, then embraced for a kiss. You can see here how I’m moving in from the first image to the second, so when they do kiss, this moment feels close and intimate. As a photographer it’s not just how a moment looks, it’s how a moment felt. I want to convey those feelings through my photography.

Patrick – a stroll through Bath, just after the wedding. Lou nonchalantly letting Chelsea’s ‘wedding present’ bag dangle from his hand, Chelsea wrapping her arm around her new husband. As we often do, we crop away the facial expressions to hone-in on the details that make a wedding day real.

Patrick – Chelsea’s jumpsuit gets caught in the wind, as she jokes, ironically, with Hollie (out of frame) about a laughing Lou having to do as he’s told now they’re married. I use the shape of the flowing material – along with Chelsea’s gesturing thumb – to my advantage, partitioning Lou off, yet also, creating a sense of connection.

Hollie – A passer-by calls out and waves – Chelsea and Lou reciprocate. I rush round to the back of the deckchair, this image spaced out into three horizontal panels.

Hollie – weddings become public property, passers-by instantly drawn to them, wanting to congratulate, to be involved. Passing pigeons, however, tend to be less concerned.

Hollie – Chelsea and Low ascend the stairs as they begin walking back to the train station. They look up, catching sight of me. Sometimes, even with our documentary approach, it’s unavoidable – particularly in this kind of position above the couple as they walk towards me. So, I instinctively frame out the top of their heads – their gaze, straight at the camera, would dominate the image. Instead, we look towards the hands, the steps upwards, the bag and the flowers, the symmetrical connection between the two subjects – not a connection with me and my camera.

Hollie – I crossed over the road and ran ahead to compose this image captured through a bus window. A little planning sometimes goes a long way.

Patrick – I made my aperture more shallow than usual here. I wanted the reveal of Chelsea and Lou to be gradual – to first look at the sign, gathering passengers up for the return journey.

Patrick – here I held back as others boarded the train, using my own reflection in the image, to help capture this moment. You can see me holding my Nikon Z9 up to my eye with one hand, the other is holding a super 8 camera. The image is abstract, apart from Chelsea and Lou holding hands across a table.

Hollie – as Patrick photographed the barely seen moment through the glass, I waited on the train, to the side, out of view. We instinctively know what the other is doing – we very, very rarely obscure a shot by the other. So. I was ready for this kiss, captured from just outside the carriage, in the narrow corridor. The colours, the reflections – they add to a dreamlike feeling of this image.

Patrick – one of the challenges of shooting on the British Pullman was the ever changing lighting situation. At times, second by second, it went from being completely over exposed to a more manageable situation. Here, you can see Chelsea caught in the harsh light, blinking in the sun. The chiaroscuro lighting creating a painterly scene.

Hollie – on the journey home, the champagne kept flowing, kept cold in a decorative silver swan. I love this moment, tender, full of humour – completely relaxed and off hand in its nature. But with the silver swan in the foreground a little reminder of the slight ostentatiousness of the occasion.

Hollie – I pressed myself up to the window to get this image, using a 20mm lens to enable me to capture the full scene (we borrowed the 20mm especially as we knew space would be at a premium on the train). Chelsea and Lou imagined that this moment of the singer visiting the carriage – that they had been expecting – might feel a little forced and awkward. But like the rest of the day, it felt intimate and fun – authentically Lou and Chelsea. It fitted in perfectly with the rest of their day.

Patrick – Chelsea and Lou were given some beautiful, commemorative glasses. They swiftly broke one.

Hollie – back at Victoria Station, London, Chelsea disembarks.

Hollie – leaving the Pullman behind after the most special journey, walking down the path of light created by the fluorescent bulbs overhead. More joy, more happiness. I vary the composition here a little. Instead of behind straight on, side on or behind as usual, I take up a slightly unexpected angle which makes the most of the and the platform as it snakes away.

Hollie – Patrick said to me at this point ‘It’s like Indiana Jones’. Though on reflection it wasn’t quite as filled with jeopardy as that for our heroes here (the boulder chasing them was conspicuous by its absence), it was another moment you really wouldn’t expect at a wedding. The now quiet and eerie station, night well and truly fallen, only a guard for company holding shutters open as they close to let us out.

Patrick – Lou hails a cab.

Patrick – I really love this image; a counter point to the earlier image of Chelsea, caught in chiaroscuro lighting on the train. That was a documentary moment resembling a Rembrandt portrait. This is similar – all light and shadow. And just like the shot on the train, this image in the taxi is both a product of its environment and also an evocation of the atmosphere of the moment. The luxury train gave way to a classic image – this photograph, feels like London, it feels contemporary. The lights from outside cast shapes and textures over the faces – the city outside creating interesting bokeh. The high ISO needed to capture the dark interior giving a grainy, filmic look. Less a painting, more a still from an independent film.

Patrick – Lou leaving the taxi, back at the hotel.

Patrick – Chelsea and Lou decided not to have wedding rings during their ceremony, so they donned haribo rings back at the hotel, instead.

Hollie – Chelsea getting changed into her outlandishly wonderful evening outfit.

Patrick – three images that show Chelsea and Lou getting ready and leaving for their taxi.

Hollie – I was in the middle of Chelsea and Lou in the taxi ride to the evening venue. I’m pretty small, so I can fit anywhere. I snapped what I could of our journey – in this image you see a rollerblader travelling fast on the road ahead.

Hollie – The colours of the pub signs and flowers both matched and contrasted with Chelsea’s colour palette here.

Hollie – two images that are very ‘me’, picking out two amusing little details rather than focussing purely on the people around. The first, the sign for Bao – showing us where we’re going and a prescursor for some of my images to come. Then, the second, a handy sign (they were very steep!). Despite the earlier champagne, everyone made it down the stairs safe and sound.

Patrick – Chelsea and Lou picking songs for Karaoke while the Bao staff member programmes the machine.

Patrick – the food and drinks arrived quickly. I got in close for the first shot, stepping back for the second. Those chicken rolls and that beer were a great combination, I can attest to that.

Hollie – eating food is definitely a visual motif for this wedding – from the croissants, to dinner, to the Bao sign. Shots of people eating food is sometimes seen as invasive – or over-stepping the mark – in wedding photography. But as I discussed earlier, our couples expect these kind of shots from us – we have full licence to take photos of, well, people stuffing their faces. Food is such a big part of any wedding celebration. Good food and good entertainment in many ways make a wedding, in fact. And that was definitely true here – with more good food than we’ve ever experienced at a wedding before.

Hollie – and then we’re onto entertainment, the karaoke. What an incredible way to finish the wedding. This is another one of my favourite images from the day. This was a shot a few photographers brought up with us when we attended the NineDots photography conference in 2023 (just after we’d delivered Chelsea and Lou their preview images). One photographer said he loved the photo and that “as soon as I saw it image I knew it was by you”, which was a lovely compliement. Finding unusual compositions, finding a way of telling a story through one image without resorting to the obvious, it’s what really excites us about this job. And this photo says everything about our style – while also saying everything about this wedding. Unique, cool, alternative – everything that Chelsea and Lou are as people, too.

Patrick – the wall offered a chance to incorporate a reflection in this image. It was imperfect, which I liked, almost like a diffracted reflection in water. Just two people on the stage and an empty room – yet the moment is so full of energy, with clashing colours of shimmering greens and dark reds.

Hollie – Chelsea takes the stage on her own, with Lou – and us – watching on. Small, enclosed spaces (a train carriage, a small registry office room, a taxi) reoccurred throughout the day, culminating in this space. Never did it feel hemmed in, claustrophobic or repetitive. Each space had its own feeling – and it felt easy to raise to challenge of finding new compositions, finding engaging ways to tell the story, despite the spaces being small. Chelsea and Lou treated us as wedding guests – yet also, we were completely able to do our own thing (just as we reciprocated and let them be themselves, too). We were wedding guests, so invested in the wedding – yet as photographers, objective observers to their day, too.

Patrick – the end of the night. Empty cans and plates – Lou and Chelsea leaving Bao, smiling, laughing, completely lost in the moment.

Patrick – as we walked through the streets, Chelsea and Lou, suddenly veered off, drawn in by the pretty festoon lighting at a nearby market. Though these images look more like ‘portraits’, these were just like the rest of the photos of the day: completely unposed. Then we were quickly back walking, heading to the hotel.

Patrick – the last image of the night, I took it at 11.23pm. We said our goodbyes, then they were closing the door behind them, Lou locking up as he went. A quiet moment after a day full of excitement, a day so personal to Chelsea and Lou. An absolute honour to document.

“The most personal and valuable art we will ever own.”

As you can see, we really loved everything about this elopement. And we’re happy to say Chelsea and Lou loved the photographs we took for them. They were kind enough to send us the following (really beautiful) words. We got emotional all over again when we read them – thanks so much C & L, we’re so pleased felt the freedom to be yourselves, just like you gave us the creative freedom to be ourselves artistically, too.

“Hollie and Patrick are simply incredible. Five stars are nowhere near enough to thank them for how many authentically meaningful memories they have left us with from our wedding day. As a wedding photographer myself, you can imagine wedding photography was one of our top priorities! After all, when the wedding is over, it’s the memories that outlast nearly everything else, so entrusting the job of capturing those memories to someone you trust is one of the most crucial wedding choices you can make.

What we really wanted was for the day to be captured authentically, with bold artistic choices, using creative compositions and for us to feel safe knowing we had the freedom to just be ourselves without needing to fit into the traditional wedding narrative. When we pictured seeing our wedding photos, we imagined a gallery full of surprises while still telling the day’s story. After seeing Hollie and Patrick’s work and speaking with them about their ethos, we felt they inexplicably connected with everything we valued.

They exceeded our expectations and have left us with some of the most personal and valuable art we will ever own. When we finally showed the images of our elopement to our family and friends, they all commented on how incredibly intimate the images felt and how much they enjoyed looking through them because they finally understood how it felt to be there. And we couldn’t agree more!

We’ve looked back through our images countless times, and every time we are taken back to the story of our day, we see something new that we missed before or something that lets us re-visit a feeling. We find ourselves returning with a new favourite image whenever we open the gallery. More than anything, Hollie and Patrick are so, so lovely, and both are clearly incredibly passionate about what they do. It was an absolute pleasure to have them join us for our elopement in London, and we can’t thank them enough from the bottom of our hearts for capturing one day of our life so perfectly.” Thanks again so, so much to Chelsea and Lou for such lovely words. They mean a great deal to us.

Documenting weddings all over the world

We hope you’ve enjoyed this deep dive into how we photographed this amazing wedding. If you have any questions please leave a comment below or drop us a message or email – we’d love to hear from you. We also offer mentoring and coaching for other photographers – again, feel free to drop us a message to discuss. Lastly, but not least-ly, if you’re getting married and feel our approach and style to wedding photography would match you and your day, we’d love to hear from you. We photograph weddings of all types and sizes and love to travel all over the UK and abroad. You can contact us here.

Camera equipment used at this wedding

For the photography minded of you we used the following Nikon cameras: Z8, Z9 and Z6 ii. We also used the following Nikon lenses: adapted 20mm 1.8. G, 24mm 1.8 Z, 35mm 1.8 Z, 50mm 1.2 Z, 85mm 1.8 Z. You can see us on the Pullman train above, with our Nikon gear. All the images in this blog by and copyright Hollie and Patrick Mateer – apart from the polaroid in the image above (by the amazing Chelsea Cannar).


A brilliant and fascinating insight into the way you both work, will be taking a few pointers in with me for the year ahead for sure!

Ah thanks so much Kristian, that means a lot! Thanks so much for reading – it was such a beautiful wedding to photograph