Patrick Mateer – documentary wedding photographer

May 16, 2020

Hi there, I’m Patrick Mateer. I’m a reportage style photographer for M and G Wedding Photography. I have won many awards for my work and photographed weddings all over the world. That’s me holding the Super 8 film camera above on holiday in Poland. Image taken by my amazing wife and fellow photographer Hollie Mateer. My job is my passion and I absolutely love what I do. Below you will find a selection of my favourite images. After looking through my portfolio I’ll tell you a little about myself and my documentary style of photography.

Photography is our family business

I live in Cottingham in East Yorkshire with my beautiful family. I’m a dad to two wonderful children. My wife, Hollie Mateer, is as talented is as she is beautiful! Hollie is an incredible and multi award winning wedding photographer. Working with her in such a creative and fun profession is such a privilege. We both find working alongside each other really inspiring. Seeing the stunning photographs Hollie takes every day makes me always try to be better at what I do. When we are photographing weddings we know instinctively what the other is thinking. I always know how Hollie is going to approach photographing an individual moment. It means we work seamlessly together. We have such a positive influence on each other’s photography in every aspect of our business.

I was taking photos from a very early age!

My dad was a lecturer in animation and art, later teaching in art and design at secondary schools. He always had a Nikon camera with him and I remember vividly taking photographs all through my youth. My dad was a very trusting father and let me use his precious Nikon F2 film camera as pictured below. This image was taken at a student art exhibition. Both of my parents were always very supportive of my artistic ambitions. They were a huge influence on me in my path through education and ultimately my choice of job.

Based in Yorkshire but travelling the whole of the UK and abroad

From my home base in East Yorkshire I regularly travel up and down the UK. I work at new wedding venues, while revisiting ones I already know and love. This brings incredible variety to my work. I also travel abroad, photographing destination weddings. It’s a really special job that gives me the opportunity to travel to new places and meet new people. Yorkshire is an historic county. Over time Yorkshire has been split into divisions of North, South, West and East Yorkshire. I feel blessed that my home county – often called ‘God’s Own Country’ – is made up of beautifully unspoiled countryside. The topography of undulating hills is perfect for photography. But travelling to the Cotswolds, Lake District, Derbyshire and further afield reminds that the whole of UK is full of beautiful scenery.

Wedding photography for relaxed couples

I am very relaxed in the way I photograph so it makes sense that the couples that book me are equally relaxed. I let couples and their guests enjoy the day without directing them or staging things. Every photo I take is unposed. Even photographs of my couples on their own – during ‘couple time’ – are natural. I don’t tell them how to stand, how to hold each other or where to go. There’s never a need to tell a couple when to kiss. By letting people be themselves, beautiful moments happen naturally.

Documenting fun and real moments

My favourite thing to photograph is real moments. That goes for when I’m photographing at weddings or taking photos of my family. My only aim is to photograph everything in a creative way. By not posing or staging moments I am able to concentrate fully on the framing and composition of an image. I can consider every moment and how to document it creatively. Above all I love capturing real emotion and fun moments. Similarly I look to photograph unusual and unexpected things. In short, I love photographing anything and everything that makes up ‘real life’.

A real love for photography

I absolutely love my job and I love photography. Being a wedding photographer makes me feel extremely privileged. Before specialising in weddings, I used to work regularly in commercial photography. Though I enjoy this type of work immensely, it never allows me the creative freedom that being a wedding photographer affords me. As a wedding photographer you capture happy days all in your own style. There really is nothing better. I love working with my wife Hollie. Also I have a number of trusted associate photographers who we can employ to work for us when needed. Each one of them works in our trademark documentary style. They produce stunning work for us each and every time.

Degree in Fine Art

I studied Fine Art at degree level where I specialised in photography, choosing this over a traditional photography degree. Studying and practising photography within a Fine Art context meant I had total creative freedom. My work was not just about aesthetics but also the meaning behind the image. I studied art in Sheffield where I was lucky enough to be tutored by some fantastic artists including Nayan Kulkarni, Bashir Makhoul and Steve Hawley. It’s actually fairly rare for a wedding photographer to have a formal educational background in photography. Having qualifications in the subject doesn’t make me a better photographer than anyone else. However it does help evidence that it has always been my ambition to be a photographer. I still produce work in the same vein as I did at university. Creative and documentary style images, encompassing elements of landscape and street photography.

Some of my favourite photographers

I love the work of Ansel Adams, William Eggleston, Weegee, Duane Michaels, Cindy Sherman, Douglas Gordon, Helen Levitt, Jeff Wall, Robert Frank. I also particularly admire the work of Joel Meyorwitz and Don McCullin. They are both so incredibly versatile. Meyorwitz is a reportage photographer, street photographer and landscape photographer all in one. These styles are essential tropes of modern wedding photography. His work is also incredibly beautiful in all that he photographs. Don McCullin is famous for his reportage images taken around the world. Also, his proto-street photography images of post-war London. Less well known are his landscapes images. My art college library had a ‘beat up’, falling apart copy of the Don McCullin book Open Skies. The black and white images contained within the pages are enchanting and emotive images of rural England. Still, for me, they are landscape photographs with no equal.

Developing my own photographic style

At University, I made work to be presented as ‘art’. These images could be landscapes, street photography, creative portraiture. However in retrospect, the images that I really loved shooting were shot informally. I was always shooting the world around me. My friends, in particular. I never stopped shooting, documenting time and documenting people. I have thousands of images shot on film (both 35mm and medium format) from this time. In hindsight, it is these images that I should have been exhibiting. But it has taken time for me to realise that this is the style of photography that I really love. My own combination of a formal photographic and artistic education coupled with a real love for documenting the world around me has led to my own style of photographing weddings. I shoot weddings in a reportage style, while all the time looking to be creative with my images. My love of landscape photography is heavily imbued and can be seen in my images, though now as a documentary wedding photographer, people are my focus.

I photograph memories to look back on for a lifetime

Outside of photography, I spend time with Hollie and our beautiful family. I love films, music (I play guitar and bass), eating and cooking Indian food. Above all though, I love photography. I became a wedding photographer because of my love for photography. At home, I still document everything, from key events in our lives to the smallest details, to the seemingly more mundane days. I know my children, when fully grown, will treasure the memories I have captured over time.

Best wedding photographer in Yorkshire and the North East award

At the end of 2019 we won our biggest industry award yet. Being named as the best wedding photographers in Yorkshire and the North East was an enormous honour. It was an incredibly competitive competition with our area covering Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Northumberland. So to be named the best photographer in that area really did make our year! Thanks again to The Wedding Industry Awards, we are still over the moon!

My other photography awards

I am a proud member of This Is Reportage and Fearless Photographer. I’m pleased to have won both This Is Reportage and Fearless Photographers awards. These are widely considered to be two of the hardest awards to win in our industry. I have also won many other prestigious wedding photography awards. Further awards include Masters Of Wedding Photography, Photographers Keeping It Real, NineDots, Wedisson and Wedaward. Photographers Keeping It Real named us as one of their Top 10 Wedding Photographers for 2020. This was a huge honour as it is an international competition, so we were up against some of the best wedding photographers in the world.

The founding of M and G Wedding Photography

I started M and G Wedding Photography with Matt Godman. Matt was my closest friend at university. Godman is the G in M and G, where Mateer is the M. To this day, Matt remains my closest and best friend, aside from of course my wife Hollie. Like myself, Matt honed his photography skills within our Fine Art degree. We quickly learned that we shared the same influences and inspirations from the art world. After leaving education we decided to pool our skills and go into business together. Since that moment in 2013 M and G has grown in stature and reputation. We still work together now on occasion. However more often than not Matt is at a wedding at one end of the UK and me the other. The first thing we do after chatting to our families on the way home from our respective weddings is to call each other. We then share a lengthy chat about our day. Our favourite images and moments from the wedding. This debrief is an essential part of unwinding after the highs of a wedding day.

Talk to us about your wedding day

If you are planning your wedding I would love to talk through your day. I photograph weddings all over the UK and abroad. I am based in the county of Yorkshire. However I do not charge any additional fees for travel to anywhere in the UK. So wherever you have chosen as your perfect wedding venue, please get in touch here.


It’s interesting to hear about your story. I think that your artistic background does actually set you apart – despite what you might think, as should be evident to anyone looking at quality of your images. 7 years of wedding photography has also clearly honed this talent Futher. Keep up the great work.

Thanks so much Sean!