Wedding photography by The Mateers

March 7, 2024

So, you’re thinking of having us along on your wedding day to take some pictures? First of all – can we please just say you have the most impeccable taste in photography. Secondly – hi! We’re Hollie and Patrick, otherwise known as The Mateers (formerly M and G Wedding Photography). We’re documentary wedding photographers, based in England.

We photograph weddings all over the UK – and abroad, too. As a married couple ourselves, we know what being photographed on your wedding day is like from both sides of the lens. We have a deep understanding and empathy for every couple we’re lucky enough to photograph. That’s why our approach is all about making sure you and all your guests can forget about us, relax and have the very best day ever. That’s why our images feel so real and authentic – because they’re all about the people in the image, they’re not moments that have been posed, staged or created by us. This blog is designed to introduce you to us and give you an insight into how we’ll photograph your wedding day.

Forty images that say everything about the way we work

Below you’ll find around forty images that we feel exemplify what we do. Images that say so much about us as photographers, artists and people. Images that also say so much about the kind of couples that choose us to photograph their wedding day. You’ll see couples that want to relax, have fun – couples who want the very best in wedding photography. Couples who want the most contemporary, artistic – yet also timeless – wedding photography. We don’t follow fads or trends – we capture weddings authentically, with a high level of skill that’s been honed over documenting hundreds and hundreds of celebrations. Artistic images, beautifully edited, full of energy. We hope you enjoy looking through this blog and reading about our style and approach.

A relaxed documentary approach from the very beginning of the day

We love capturing those pre-ceremony moments at a wedding. People getting ready – the nervous excitement, people watching the clock tick by and often, a little happy chaos. Why we love this stage of a wedding so much is that it allows people to get used to the way we work. From far and from close, we move around the scene, capturing images from all angles. Quickly, it becomes clear that we’re not going to be posing or staging things – we’re not going to be asking people to move or rearranging the room. So, people relax – and this then permeates throughout the rest of the wedding. If the couple are relaxed around us – if their closest friends and family are – then everyone is.

Two photographers means more locations and more moments

Being there for the getting ready stage also allows us to capture so many intimate moments – the story begins to unfold before us as soon as we walk through the door. Also, we pick up cues that are so important for us as we photograph the rest of the wedding – observing emotions, the important connections. Anticipating moments (both big and small) that will happen later begins as soon as we take that first photo of the day. And if you choose to have both of us photograph your wedding day, we can be in two different getting ready locations if needed – capturing more moments. We don’t advocate ironing your clothes while still wearing them however, like our groom Abin is doing here.

Authentic and real emotions

We don’t pose or stage anything at all. So a moment like this (that ‘first look’ between a bride and her bridesmaids) happened quite naturally – and we were ready to capture it.

Moments of spontaneous joy

This is an image that has really resonated with our couples over the years. A very ordinary scene – a zebra crossing, in the Yorkshire city of Hull – transformed by the pure, spontaneous joy and energy of the moment. Completely unposed – we captured this by anticipating what was going to happen and running ahead into the road, ready with our camera (luckily, no traffic was coming!)

Changing the perspective

We tell the story of your day – but we do it an original way, a way that is uniquely ours. So we’re always looking to vary our perspective where possible – so each image feels new and exciting.

We never stop moving

As long as the officiant (or celebrant) allows it, we’re always looking for different vantage points to shoot from during a wedding ceremony. Discreetly of course – without drawing attention away from what’s important – but we’re always on the move. Finding the best positions from which to capture individual moments, to tell a story full of variety. As there’s two of us, we’re able to take up different positions too, covering more angles, capturing more memories for you to look back on. Weddings never stand still – and neither do we.

Natural confetti shots

There is sometimes an expectation that confetti and other events at a wedding need to be staged by the photographer. Trust us – they really don’t! Beautiful and fun moments at a wedding happen, naturally. We love confetti and let the moment unfold before us – just like the rest of the day.

Yes we do photograph people eating!

Lots of photographers shy away from taking photographs of food and people eating. However we’re the complete opposite. We photograph all parts of the day that we’re invited to attend in our own unique style. And of course food is a big part of the day – you as a couple invest so much on food, you spend so long picking out the perfect menu. In fact, good food can be one of the most important parts of the day for you and your guests – it brings people together. So why would we not want to photograph it for you? The second image above is one that couples bring up with us time and time again as being so different, to standing out to them and catching their eye. And it also shows that if you can impressively fit a whole tiger king prawn in your mouth in one go – well, then we’ll be there to photograph it (even if you’re the bride!).

Reflections and abstractions

One of our mantras is: ‘Wedding Photography Is Art’. This imbues every image we take – the striking and dynamic compositions, the bright and colourful editing, the choice of moment. Reflections and abstractions often catch our eye – like here, they can elevate a scene from something ordinary into something quite beautiful.

Children at weddings

Not every wedding has children present – we love that about weddings, they’re always different. But if you do have children on the guest list, as parents ourselves, we know exactly how best to photograph them (Hollie is a leading family photographer as well as a renowned wedding photographer). You don’t need to pose a child or tell them to look at the camera – just let them be, let them enjoy the day in their own and we guarantee they’ll do some incredible (and often very funny!) things.

Yes we do take group shots!

We’re documentary photographers – it’s what we’re famous for, it’s what we win awards for, it’s what we get invited to photography conference to talk about. And we know our skill at documentary photography is why you’ll choose us to photograph your day. However, if you do want some group shots, we’ll happily take them for you. We’ll keep these group shots relaxed and make sure they don’t take over your day. We aim to take all your group shots within around ten minutes, capturing all those key people in around six group shots. However, even with our relaxed approach, there is always that one person you’re left standing around waiting for as the image above shows! Group shots are entirely optional – it’s completely up to you if you want some or not. And we actually find the images we take around the group shots (those natural, in-between moments like the image above) are often actually the most interesting to the couple, as they tell a story.

Real and authentic images

“We are so glad we booked you and we are so excited! We’ve been to a number of recent weddings where we’ve been posed almost endlessly, so we are really happy we can just relax on our own day!” This is a lovely quote from one of our previous couples (Libby & Peter, married in the Lake District), sent to us via a message just before their wedding day. That traditional approach – endless posing, endless staging, endless interruptions – is exactly what we avoid and that’s one of the reasons couples book us. Our couples want to relax and enjoy the day – and leave us to do what we do best and that’s capturing natural moments, artistically. What’s more, your wedding guests will no doubt be taking so many posed photos throughout the day on their phones, like the above – which is great, we’re more than happy for guests to take their own photos. In fact, we actually think it works as a good counterpoint to what we’re doing. Because we’re capturing moments that a wedding guest never could, moments guests would never even think to capture. Moments like the ones on this blog. A wedding guest is taking snapshots – we’re making art.

We’re ready for the unexpected

Because we’re not posing and staging things, we’re immersed in your wedding. We’re ready for the unexpected. That’s why our portfolio looks a little different – we’re ready for those moments you or we could never have imagined. Just like the image above of two brothers on mobility scooters, crashing into each other while wearing oversized, blow-up sumo suits. Such a funny, once in a lifetime moment. One that so many of couples respond to (don’t worry, no elderly gentlemen were harmed in the making of this image!).

The wedding is about the guests too

Our couples choose us as their photographers because they want to see the wedding from their guests’ perspective, not just their own. So we’re always looking for images of the guests – not just the couple – to tell the story of the day. Above we captured the guests, silhouetted against the sky, resembling the chess pieces in the foreground – an image that has won countless awards since we took it. More importantly, an image that the couple (who are huge chess fans) really loved.

Relaxed couple shots

Our couple shots are reflective of how we photograph the rest of a wedding day – we keep them relaxed and fun, we let you be yourselves. No posing – just a walk around your wedding venue or the surrounding area. This is all we need to take some beautifully relaxed photographs that say so much about you as a couple.

Big entrances and little details

We love that a wedding offers so many opportunities to capture different moments. A big, grand moment as the couple enter the room before speeches – or a little detail, of the cake being brought outside just as it’s about to be cut. Then, a completely unique moment – a cake piñata, suspended from the ceiling as the couple attack it (blindfolded). We’re there to capture it all.

We love the conventional and the unconventional

It doesn’t matter if you have a classic first dance, or a planned routine borrowing dance moves from Pulp Fiction. We love to photograph your wedding, the way you planned it. Or perhaps you’re not having a first dance at all? All that matters is you having the day you want. So if you go for something less than conventional – like a trip to a karaoke bar! – we’re there for it.

We love to photograph the party

When the party starts, we’re right there on the dance floor, in the thick of things, ready to capture the best moments as it all kicks off. Arms everywhere, people lost in the music. Champagne spraying – wine glasses spilling. Such funny, unique moments you’ll want to look back on as the years go by. Moments that show you and your guests having the best day ever – moments that immediately transport you back to the biggest day of your life. Of course, maybe your evening do will be a little more sedate – less champagne spraying, more quiet and intimate. We love that a wedding reception can be the most raucous party or the complete opposite. And as the above shows, even if your guests enjoy a well deserved nap, we’ll be documenting it for you to look back on.

We’ll stay until the end of the night if you want us to

We offer the option for ‘unlimited coverage’ meaning we’ll be the last ones to leave the dance floor. So if you’d like us there until the very end – the option is very much there. The first image above shows the cake piñata from earlier in the blog (now decimated and strewn across the floor). The second shows Hollie, sauntering off at the end of the night as the venue is packed up, light stands in hand, at around 1am – ready for bed! We really love the party and if you want us there to capture all of it, we’ll be fully committed to that – and as you can see we’ll still be smiling at the end of the night (or is that the beginning of the morning?).

Award winning wedding photography

We’ve been photographing weddings together since 2017 and have won (we estimate) about 600 wedding photography awards between us. Amongst them are some of the most prestigious awards in the international wedding photography industry. These include the This Is Reportage International Photographer Of The Year award. As documentary photographers, we treasure this award above all others that we’ve won. This Is Reportage awards are the hardest awards of their kind to win. So, to be named their overall photographer of the year is such an incredible feeling (read more about this here). We have also won the highly coveted TWIA UK Photographer Of The Year award and were named as one of the 30 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography by New York’s legendary Rangefinder Magazine.

We’re the only UK photographer to have won all three of these awards. We absolutely love doing what we do – capturing real moments authentically, travelling the world meeting new people, immersing ourselves in the most incredible celebrations – and to be recognised for our skill and expertise in doing this makes us feel very proud indeed. Hollie and Patrick (The Mateers).

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