As photographers our ethos is built around taking natural, unposed photographs throughout the full course of a wedding day – allowing our couples to forget about the presence of cameras and ourselves as much as possible. But how does this approach fit with taking of portrait photographs – those photos of the couple on their own? As you’ll have seen from our website and social media, most of our couples want some photographs of just themselves on their ‘day’. We do choose our words carefully though – we call them ‘couple shots’. They’re all about our wonderful couples.
Natural couple shots
Not that we have anything against ‘portraits’ – many of our favourite photographers in the wedding world take the most amazing and creative portraits. Every photographer has their own way of working, authentic to them. However, ‘portrait’ to us brings to mind a formal, posed situation which lies outside our documentary approach. So, we have developed our idea of ‘the couple shot’ and we talk about that with clients from the beginning.
Working in a way we love
For 99% of the wedding day, we shoot with a pure documentary approach with no posing and no direction from us. We of course do have an impact on the wedding – like dipping your toe in a pond and causing ripples on the water, a professional photographer arriving at a wedding does have a ripple like effect on the people present. We try to be unobtrusive, but we cannot be unseen. In fact, to try and hide around corners or behind a telephoto lens would be counterproductive. As soon as you were spotted, and you soon would be, you’d create a jarring presence and a feeling amongst those present of being ‘overlooked’.
Fitting in with our couples and their guests
So with all things considered, for us, we feel it is better to let people – the couple and their guests – become accustomed to us being there. As the wedding unfolds people begin to forget about us and be themselves. We can get close, move away and circle around to change viewpoints as we need to, all the time concentrating on image composition and capturing the best moments creatively – while the people around us can concentrate on having the very best day possible.
Just a relaxed walk
We do all we can to make the ‘couple shots’ feel like an extension of our documentary approach and flow seamlessly on from the previous part of the day. So, we simply go for a walk with our couple – and take photos of them, being themselves! As you can see from our photographs any location will work – whether it’s a dramatic landscape or a walk down the street outside the pub or registry office. So, if a couple is seen doing a Hollywood like dip as they kiss in our photo – it’s not suggested by us. It’s not all Hollywood kisses though – some couples just want to go for a walk and a chat. It really is down to our couples, and down to us to find the angles and compositions that will create a memorable set of images. Sometimes we might go for for one or two short walks – maybe even three. These are always fairly short though and the couple are back with their guests before they are missed (unless the couple want to dwell on their couple shoot longer, of course!) Sometimes the couple’s children – or a dog! – might join us, it really is all about what the couple wants from their wedding day. That’s always the most important thing to us at every step of the way.
Our own wedding day
On our own wedding day, we wanted some shots of ourselves and at a quiet moment walked out around the village and then later into the garden (we got married at Patrick’s family farm – that’s us below!) Our amazing photographers followed us and without direction from them – or us! – they took images that were intimate and very lovely. So, we take our own experience into the way we shoot other people. Every kiss, gesture, expression – every laugh, smile and tear. Emotions are often amplified – but not by us – it’s simply by the wedding. We shoot the way we’d like to be photographed ourselves. Then of course, couples who also want this approach on their own wedding day find us and choose us to photograph their celebration (and this is always an honour).
Not documentary – but natural
While these ‘couple shot’ moments are not pure documentary – we want them to feel as close to this as possible. Perhaps we should say, not every couple wants to go for ‘couple shots’. And sometimes it happens quite spontaneously; a couple will approach us, very casually on the day and say they’re going for a walk and invite us along. That’s an ideal situation and allows the whole experience to feel even more natural. But whether a walk around the grounds is prompted by us or our couples, our approach is the same – no posing, no directing, no staging. Of course, we also take photos of couples together, completely naturally, throughout the wedding day. We take beautiful images of our couples on their own – but also surrounded by the people most important to them. Confetti (as below), during the wedding ceremony, the first dance – plus so many unexpected moments through the day.
Some of our favourite couple shots
On this page you can see some couple shots of our lovely couples together – so many beautiful moments that were an absolute pleasure to photograph. All have a unique feel to them that is a reflection of them and their wedding day. If you book us to photograph your wedding day, you can expect the same natural and relaxed approach for your own ‘couple shots’, shot in our trademark style – showing you, being you.
M and G Wedding Photography
If you’d like to learn more about what we offer, please contact us here. We look forward to hearing from you soon! All images by us, that’s Hollie and Patrick Mateer, otherwise known as M and G Wedding Photography… except the image of us, by our wonderful friend Chris Pepper!