What’s really important is capturing moments that our couples will love forever. Awards are just a nice bonus.
With every single wedding featured, our lovely couples fill out an interview to tell us about their day, their suppliers, their wedding photographer. It struck me that I’d love to know more about the folks behind the lens!
M and G Wedding Photography are multiple award winners, with a natural, relaxed style of wedding photography. Started in 2014 by friends Patrick Mateer and Matt Godman, they have two bases. Patrick works with Hollie Mateer – his wife and fellow wedding photographer – from their base in Yorkshire. Matt lives with his family in Hertfordshire. From these separate bases they photograph weddings all over the UK. Below Patrick & Hollie and then Matt answer some questions about why they love their job! We hope you enjoy getting to know them.
1. Hi Hollie and Patrick! Tell us a little about yourselves:
Hello! We live in East Yorkshire, with two lovely children – and two cheeky cats! Our family life is busy, just as our working life: we photograph weddings all over the UK and abroad. We love our job – and we love that we get to share it together. It’s a very relaxed, creative job and photography is our hobby as well as our profession. So, we feel very lucky to be professional wedding photographers.
2. What’s your wedding venue bucket list?
There are so many amazing wedding venues and locations in the world, so it’s a tough question to answer! Between us we have been to literally hundreds and hundreds of wedding venues! But there are a few still on the ‘bucket list’. A few venues we’d love to visit would be: Palm House, Walcot Hall, Euridge Manor, The Eden Project and Sezincote House.
However, for us, a wedding really is all about the people – not the location. We’d like to think wherever the location, we can make our images look good! What matters to us is the couple and their guests. Natural moments with people is what makes great documentary photography and that is what we specialise in.
3. What is your favourite photograph that you’ve taken?
It’s a really tough question! Photographs transport you back to specific moments in time. And there are so many moments we have loved photographing at weddings over the years! If we had to pick one though, this image by Hollie would probably be it – it shows bride Zara striding across a very ordinary street in the city of Hull, in East Yorkshire. She transforms the scene into something extraordinary however, just by the way she looks, the expression on her face and the way she is moving. It’s a kinetic moment, capturing pure joy. Zara looks amazing in the image, with her dress flowing around her. It’s an image that people really seem to connect with – it was taken without posing or staging, Hollie ran out into the middle of the road quickly to capture the moment (she did check for traffic first!)
4. Any top tips for couples planning their weddings?
We got married ourselves a few years ago, so it’s great to be able to answer this question from both sides of the lens! We think as photographers the best weddings are always where the couple have really thought about their guests’ enjoyment of the day. That means everything from the running order, to choice of location, to the entertainment, to the food. Also, the more relaxed the day, the better – for guests and importantly, for the couple.
A wedding takes a lot of planning – but on the day, we recommend let go of all that. You’ve picked all the very best wedding suppliers, so you can let them do their thing and handle making sure everything runs smoothly. All you have to do is have the best day of your life!
As a couple ourselves getting married, we tried to take our own advice and we had such an amazing day. We did find all those clichés are true about a wedding though – it goes so fast and is quite hectic (in a good way!) So, we made sure we took some time just to ourselves, for a couple of little walks. We loved this time together and it also enabled our photographers to get some lovely, natural images of us both together.
5. You’ve won a fair few awards – is this an important part of your work?
We’ve won quite a few wedding photography awards in recent years, from Fearless awards to This Is Reportage awards – two of the most prized awards you can win in Wedding Photography – and many more. Awards for us are great for a number of reasons. First of all, our couples really respond well when we win an award. And for us, we have found entering awards is a great challenge – it’s a lot of fun too, comparing your work to other photographers out there.
We’ve made a lot of friends through entering awards. Awards definitely aren’t everything though – what’s really important is capturing moments that our couples will love forever. Awards are just a nice bonus.
6. What cameras do you use?
We use Nikon cameras and lenses. We have a range of professional camera bodies and lenses – we have made sure we have invested in only the very best camera equipment available.
7. What is your favourite Wedding cake flavour?!
All the cake!
8. How many weddings have you photographed?
Too many to count! Hollie started shooting with us full time in 2017 and as of 2019 started shooting weddings on her own too. Patrick meanwhile has been full time since late 2014. So all in all, it could be 300, 400 weddings we’ve photographed! We’re both lead photographers now, so we shoot on our own sometimes, but love nothing more than photographing weddings together.
9. Outside of photography what hobbies do you have?
Going for walks, travelling, spending time outdoors and having fun with our family. Hollie also loves macramé and cross stitch – anything crafty really! We have a lovely family life that runs alongside our joint career perfectly. As we’ve already said, we feel really lucky!
1. Hi Matt! Tell us a little about yourself
Hello, I live with my family in Hertfordshire having escaped from London a few years ago (though I do secretly miss it!). I photograph weddings all over the country and love the variety my job offers. The thing I love the most about the job is the freedom – the freedom to be creative, to travel the country to meet different people, to share so many special days. To have no boss – other than our wonderful couples in a way. Wedding photography, compared to other commercial photography, is very liberating. We are free to shoot the day in our style. We don’t work to a set checklist or list of go to poses – our approach allows us to be as free and creative as possible and importantly, lets our couples and their guests relax and enjoy the wedding.
2. What would you love to see at a wedding?
There isn’t anything specific here – we just love to see personal touches from our couples! We love it when a couples’ personality shines through every detail. Although I do love the idea of a warm summer’s evening that allows for dancing outside under the stars.
3. What is your favourite photograph that you’ve taken?
It’s so hard to pick one wedding photograph as I’ve photographed so many amazing days, so I’m going to pick a personal image – it was an image I took when I first visited Barcelona, I think I was 15 or 16 but can’t be sure. It was shot on 35mm black and white film. It was a shot of a pair of bicycles locked up in an old square. I had walked around the corner and the scene just caught my eye. The late Mediterranean sun streaming through the tightly packed streets and caught the bikes and thrown them in stark backlit shadow. On the ground was a brilliant and huge shadow of the wheels and structure of the bikes.
There was always a joy laced with tension of not quite knowing how a shot had turned out when shooting on film, this was especially true when starting out in photography. I remember this photograph because it gave me so much confidence. So many people reacted positively to it and it was one of my first images I sold as a print. It’s not the best photograph I have ever taken. However, it was the image that gave me the self-belief to stick with photography and has led me to where I am today.
4. Any top tips for couples planning their weddings right now?
I think as a photographer over the years the best weddings are always where the couple have really thought about their guests’ enjoyment of the day. They are well planned, and a lot of hard work and thought has gone into the day. However, on the day no one is a slave to the plan. Everyone just gets on with enjoying themselves and forgets timings and spreadsheets and planners – though the planning underpins the day in a subtle and unseen way. So, relax and have fun – that really is the best thing you can do. The more fun you and your guests have, the better memories you will create and the better photographs we will take for you.
5. How does team M and G work?
I love working with Patrick and Hollie, who challenge and support me to always improve. To have people you can bounce ideas off, give feedback to and challenge to do their best is what drives me forward. We don’t often shoot weddings together these days – we tend to be at opposite ends of the country. Hollie handles all the editing though for all our weddings and we all shoot in the same style with the same equipment – so all our work has that same, consistent look and feel.
6. Should I invest in a good wedding photographer?
Consider this – what will your record of the day be in 20, 30 or more years’ time? The day will live on in your memory, but the record of the day will be the photographic evidence. The photographs are the lasting, indelible record of the day and its events.
As memories fade, we look to photographs to remind us of individuals, or moments, of stories – of families. So, where wedding photography is concerned, why chance this?
You will no doubt take the utmost care and attention over every aspect of your day – the clothes, the cake, the place settings, the beautiful venue, the food, the wine and the guest list. Why would you then not choose to invest in perhaps the most important aspect of the day – legacy. What will you show grandchildren in years from now? The photographs.
The reason photography for me is such a perfect and powerful medium is its ability to isolate and capture fragments in time. These fragments, these memories are so easily lost or forgotten and, at the risk of sounding a little grandiose, the camera is, to me, a time machine capable to freezing and recording that most precious thing of all – time.
7. How many weddings have you photographed
Too many to count! I started working with Patrick in 2014 but shot weddings before that. However, I feel that my real starting point was the first wedding Patrick and I shot together. I still remember the debrief afterwards before we got in our respective cars and headed home. We were so excited to have done it and realised so many of our ambitions. We met at university and spent many hours processing and printing in the photography department alongside each other. We probably didn’t see our future as wedding photographers at that time, but we both dreamed of making a living behind the lens. I sometimes can’t quite believe my passion and hobby became my career, I am a lucky man.
8. Outside of photography what hobbies do you have?
I am what you might call outdoorsy. I love trail running, hiking, skiing and climbing. As I mentioned, I am quite competitive and love all sports but mainly play football and tennis now – though the knees are beginning to let me know they no longer approve of all the abuse I send their way. I have two beautiful children that I am truly grateful for, even though I haven’t had a lie in since 2012. They have slowly taken over most hobbies and free time Emma and I have but we wouldn’t change a thing, well maybe the lie ins.
Thanks so much for Patrick, Hollie and Matt from M and G Wedding Photography for taking time to speak to us and share some of their favourite photographs. You can see more of their award winning work here and if you want to check their availability, please contact them here.