In November 2019 we received the most wonderful news we’ve received all year: Hollie and I won the award for Best Wedding Photographers in Yorkshire and the North East at the 2020 Wedding Industry Awards (commonly called the TWIAs)! This blog is all about winning this amazing award – and it also features many images taken by both Hollie and I.
But first, to set the scene: it was a wet and cold night on 11th November 2019 and we were at home, with our one year old son, Harrison. He was tucked up in bed, so we were watching TV. We were really disappointed to miss out on attending the TWIA awards in person that night. However, around about 10.00pm, we got a phone call from an excited friend in the wedding industry saying: “You won! You WON!” We couldn’t quite believe it, so began furiously checking Instagram for a story featuring our award. But there was none to be found – until, then, at the end of the awards an email arrived in our inbox from the TWIA team confirming that we were indeed the winners. We proceeded to indulge in the quietest but happiest celebrations ever (we didn’t want to wake Harrison!) We popped open some champagne and toasted… silently!
What a fantastic honour the award is. I want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all our couples and all thank you to the Wedding Industry Awards and its judges. Without our couples picking us from thousands of wedding photographers to document their most special memories, we wouldn’t be able to capture the natural moments we are known for and we certainly wouldn’t ever win a single award. So thank you. We love our job and that’s all because it enables us to meet new people and travel to new places every week: beautiful locations, beautiful venues. We photograph unique and wonderful weddings full of happiness, all in our very own natural style. The style in which we document weddings – letting people’s personalities shine through in every image we take, by simply letting them be themselves – enables us to have the freedom to photograph in a way that suits us perfectly. We are able to be creative in everything we do. Our couples trust us to capture their wedding in this way and it really is such a privilege. We truly believe we have the very best job in the world.
Also to the judges at the TWIAs: thank you so much for picking us as your Best Wedding Photographers for Yorkshire and the North East. All the photography judges are incredibly talented wedding photographers themselves, so to be chosen by our peers is so rewarding. To win the award was such a wonderful surprise. The standard within the awards was incredibly high and reading who has won a TWIA award for wedding photography previously, it makes me immensely proud for our names to now be on the same list. The response to us winning the award has been overwhelmingly positive and really humbling too. Our friends, family and above all our couples have been thrilled for us. Also people – many from the industry – who we don’t know have got in touch on Instagram to say congratulations which really is lovely.
As well as the TWIAs, we have won This Is Reportage, Fearless, Photographers Keeping It Real and WPS Awards this year. So it’s safe to say that 2019 has been the most amazing year for us in terms of our work. 2019 also saw us get married ourselves – we had the very happiest day with all our friends and family. Getting married at the height of wedding season and planning a DIY wedding was a challenge, but we pulled off and had the best day ever!
Having won our regional award, we will be making sure we don’t miss the UK TWIA Awards ceremony in January, when the overall UK winner will be announced. Attending the final isn’t about winning for us – although of course, that would be absolutely incredible! – it will just be lovely to meet all the other regional winners there, as the TWIAs celebrate the very best wedding suppliers from all over the country. It’s rare that people within the wedding industry stop to take a minute to celebrate what we all do.
People often ask me: isn’t it stressful, being a wedding photographer, all that pressure? But the way we work doesn’t cause stress, it doesn’t add pressure. We’re not staging things, so we’re not putting pressure on ourselves, our couples or their guests to stick to pre-decided shots. We feel, quite simply, that a wedding should be about the the couple and their guests, not the people photographing it. Their experience of the day is everything. So we let our couples enjoy their day the way they planned – of course our motto is Don’t Get Posed, Get Married – then we just capture it all, naturally. Even with our couple shots, we try to keep these as natural as possible by makeing them an extension of the day, not a separate, staged photo shoot. We just go for a walk with our couples and let them be themselves. All our images are taken with no prompts for kissing, no posing or asking our couples to stand or hold each other in a certain way. Of course that’s not to denigrate those wedding photographers who work in another way – it’s just our approach works perfectly for us and our couples. There is so much variety and choice within wedding photography and we think that is vital. We just ensure we take photographs and create work that we love. That for us is one of the most important things about the way we work – ensuring we love what we do.
We firmly believe that every good photographer needs their own individual style and we are so pleased that our approach – and most importantly, our photographs! – resonate with the couples who book us to document their day. Knowing this gives Hollie and I the freedom to just go out and shoot every wedding with the intention of doing something unique. After all, though weddings can conform to certain traditions, we love the fact that every wedding is full of tiny individual moments that make up a unique day. We want our style and our approach to to enable that uniqueness of every wedding to be apparent in every image we take.
So for me, there is no stress or pressure in photographing the happiest, most emotional and funniest moments at every wedding we are lucky enough to photograph. We think this relaxed approach comes through in not just the way we photograph weddings, but in the people we are photographing. We want people to be at ease around us, so when something amazing happens and we capture it, they don’t think twice and just carry on drinking shots, crying with emotion, kissing passionately – or whatever the moment may be.
Nevertheless, though our job isn’t stressful, it is non-stop. I think it is safe to say it is the same for most people working within our industry whatever their job may be. So to have a night like the TWIAs, celebrating talent from all over the country is something special and we can’t wait. Plus, having children means a night out is extremely rare! So good luck to all the finalists, we can’t wait to meet you and share a glass of champagne or two. Every TWIA winner should be extremely proud. I know we certainly are. We weren’t present on the night the award was presented, but if we had been, I would have dedicated the award to my wife, my best friend and partner in every way, Hollie Mateer. Hollie is the most amazing mummy and the most loving partner and wife – not to mention the most amazing photographer. Working with Hollie makes me love my job even more.
Below you will find a selection of some of our favourite images, all captured by myself or Hollie. I hope you like looking through them all. All images were taken without staging or posing with one exception: the outside shot in the rain. This was a moment the couple requested to be captured in amongst the fairy lights they had lovingly decorated their venue with – and because it was raining and pitch black, we happily posed the image, with off camera flash. For in the end, though our ethos centres on being authentically documentary and taking photographs in our own style, that should never prevent us from adapting to situations as needed. What our couples want is the most important thing. Written by Patrick Mateer.
Award winning wedding photography by Yorkshire Wedding Photographer M and G Photographic. We are award winning photographers, recently winning Best Wedding Photographers at the TWIA Awards for our region.
We photograph weddings all over the UK and abroad. We’d love to hear all about your wedding plans – use this link to check our availability.