Hi my name is Matt Godman. I’m a documentary wedding photographer and co founder of M and G Wedding Photography. I grew up in North London but now live in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire with my partner and two wonderful children. However, both my parents are from Yorkshire. I now split my time between Hertfordshire and Yorkshire. From here I photograph weddings all over the UK. I always feel at home in ‘God’s own county’. I spent a lot of time in Yorkshire growing up and it always feels a bit like home, even if my accent makes me stick out from a mile off! My memories of Yorkshire are of cold walks by the sea, which as a child I hated but now love. Proper fish and chips. You can’t seem to get those down south. Of course, one difference is people actually saying hello to you on the street – not the done thing in London! Below you’ll find some of my favourite images that I’ve captured over the last few years.
I’ve a wealth of experience as a wedding photographer
I am now 39 years old and I started photographing weddings in 2004. But I have had a camera in my hand for as long as I can remember. I started off in the days of film photography. I really remember the excitement I felt processing my first films during my Photography A-Level. The photography course was taught in the attic of an old house next to the school. It always felt slightly magical being able to leave the school and be immersed in the darkroom. The smell of chemicals, frustrations of failed frames and the glory of getting the perfect print are all really fond memories. Studying Art and Photography and being fortunate enough to be growing up in London gave me the opportunity to visit galleries and exhibitions all the time. It’s something I still love to do but time rarely allows for it.
My favourite photographers
My earliest memories of images that truly struck me were the work of Magnum photographers such as Robert Capa, Don McCullin and Henri Cartier Bresson. They all produced such powerful images. I think that is why really made me stay with photography. The power of a singular image to freeze a moment in time and record it indelibly on, in those days, film. It’s difficult to really pin down my favourite photographers. I love the beautiful yet powerful and challenging work of Sebastião Salgado and the amazing scale of Andreas Gursky’s work.
Studying Fine Art photography
After A-levels I knew I wanted to work with a camera in my hand. I went on to university to study fine art and this is where I met Patrick. We quickly found we had a shared sense of humour and more importantly a shared love of all things photographic. We quickly eschewed all other aspects of the course apart from the studio and the darkroom (and of course the pub). We spent three years living and working together and became friends for life. After university I worked at a large London photography studio – photographing works of art from everyone from Hirst to Emin – before I started photographing weddings.
The ethos behind M and G Wedding Photography
Patrick and I worked separately as wedding photographers for several years. Over time we realised the potential of working together. We have a shared philosophy in terms of wedding photography. We start by placing the couple’s experience of the day as the most important aspect – no endless posing, no staging moments and no pressure. Just letting people relax and enjoy their day. Being in business with such a close friend allows us to be really supportive. But also, we are challenging of one another. We always debrief after a wedding on the phone, chatting ideas through and reflecting on the day. This relationship is so important. It allows us to grow and develop the business by always ensuring we are trying to constantly improve what we do. We are a little obsessive about the job and always striving to raise our standards. I have photographed weddings of all different cultures, lifestyles and religions and I love the variety this brings. No two weddings are ever the same.
Why I love photography
I love my job as a wedding photographer for many reasons. Firstly, it is a chance to meet so many people, share so many beautiful and funny moments with them and see so many places. I love travelling the country, seeing new places and landscapes. I am what you might describe as ‘outdoorsy’ so I love a landscape and exploring new scenery. I do try to bring this love of outside spaces and nature into my photography when I can. So many of the venues I am fortunate to shoot at have stunning grounds or are set in some beautiful countryside. Britain is such a diverse landscape given its size. Some of my favourite counties to work in are Yorkshire (of course) Derbyshire and the stunning Peak District. Closer to home I find Suffolk’s coast really beautiful. I feel particularly lucky to live in the Chiltern Hills and love walking locally with my family.
Every wedding is a privilege to document
Weddings are such fun occasions. When you actually stop to consider how busy we all are and how little time often have to spend time with friends and family you really start to value these moments. These are the days we remember how important we are to one another. Weddings are days of laughter and fun. I still can’t quite believe it’s my job to photograph these events. It really is an honour and a privilege to share these days with our couples. I still get goose bumps at the key moments, despite having seen them so many times before. They are never quite the same. Every wedding day is unique with its own character. I’ve won many awards for my work, including This Is Reportage, Photographers Keeping It Real and NineDots awards.
My favourite moment at a wedding
I am often asked what my Favourite wedding moment is or if I have any horror stories of things going wrong. I am really glad to say that, although there are always hiccups, I can’t think of a single disaster. People put so much care and attention into planning their days that they almost always run wonderfully smoothly. Guests can hardly know the hard work that goes into a day. As for my favourite wedding moment, I genuinely can’t really pick any single moment in particular but it’s that moment you realise it’s going to be a really fun day or the party truly gets underway. The moment the atmosphere takes off and of course, it is always for me, the moment the couple say I do. It’s a moment I never tire of and one I get to see in close up and it is a privilege to have shared this moment with each couple I work with.
My own photographic style
My style of wedding photography is always trying to be as relaxed as possible. I am usually trying not to be noticed! I don’t boss people around, I don’t try to engineer or stage anything. It’s about trying to record the day as close as possible to ‘real life’. Allowing people to focus on what’s important – spending time with friends and family. This allows me to focus on capturing those unexpected moments that make up a wedding day.
Tips I’d give to our own couples getting married
Tips for our own couples just remember the main purpose of the day is to have fun, be with family and friends, to party, to have fun (yes I said that twice!) you can achieve this by staying relaxed and not to worry if anything doesn’t go exactly to plan. On your wedding day just let go and let moments happen. I’ll be there to capture them all.
Booking me to photograph your wedding day
If you’re looking for beautiful, natural images of your wedding day we would love to hear from you. We take wedding photographs without the need to pose you awkwardly all day. We have won many awards for our work and photograph all over the UK. Booking up quickly each year, we recommend getting in touch now. Check our availability here.