4 Fantastic Wedding Photos and Why They Work

Thanks to London-based wedding photographer Matt Foden for this excellent guest post showing some of his photos and how they were created.  My hope is that this post will help you to get in the mind of a wedding photographer to see how great pictures like these are made.  Oh, and if you're in the U.S. and aren't used to the term U.K. term “reportage photography”, just read it as “journalistic photography.”  I LOVE the way the English speak.  Anyway, here's Matt….

Wedding photography is the main focus of our business, and we've only been shooting them for 3 years we've learned a lot in that time- partly through training, and partly from experience and making mistakes. Shooting weddings is fun, stressful, nerve-wracking and dead exciting- we love it! I thought I would take you through 4 sample shots we've taken at 2 different weddings and explain a bit about how I took the shot and why the scene caught my eye.

Journalistic style wedding photography of a bride and groom sitting in a room.

Journalistic wedding photography

This shot was pure reportage- I love shots that feature a distinct foreground (as they add depth), and the door on the left of the frame acted as a foreground and also a kind of odd frame for the composition. This also gives the image a voyeuristic feel, which I love. This was shot with my 24-70mm at f2.8 and with natural light. Like most of our reportage shots I spotted the compositional potential first, framed up the image, and then just waited for the right moment. Reportage photography is like hunting- except of course you aren't killing anyone (hopefully)- and that's why I think it appeals so much to photographers. In many ways it's the purest form of photography. It's important to be ultra-observant at all times, and to keep looking out for interesting objects, frames, doorways and other compositional devices. At the same time, you have to keep a close eye on the action- not easy!

Wedding photo of a bride leaving the church with umbrellas raised around her.
Brides hate wet wedding days, but photographers love them!

Again another pure reportage shot- We had typically English rainy weather on this wedding day and I spotted everyone raising their umbrellas around the bride. I simply got into the right position and waited for the right moment. I love this shot, but in truth I was lucky, and there's nothing exceptional about this shot from a technical point of view, except the timing. The lesson to learn here is simply to be in the right place at the right time- This comes with practise and experience.

Fantastic posing!

In strict contrast this was very much a staged shot, but one that we tried to get looking as natural as possible. We had seen this pose carried out by other photographers, but usually shot from directly above. We changed the composition slightly by shooting into Maiko's face, and I gave some very quiet and soft direction to Maiko and Fabricio to look softly into each other's eyes. To get romantic expressions and moods it's important to use your tonality in the right way- speak softly and gently and slowly, and use emotive words to direct the couple. Then, just let the magic happen. Shot with a 24-70mm lens at f4.


Bride and groom stand posing looking at each other as a wedding photographer takes the picture.

Another staged portrait- This time shot with the 70-200 f4 to compress the perspective and make the arch of the bridge act as a more prominent ‘frame'. The longer lens also gave us much shallower depth of field which helped to focus the viewers attention on the couples' expression. It's good to ask yourself the question when taking a particular set-up ‘what is the best lens for the job?'. Always base your answer around what you are trying to achieve in the picture.

I hope these 4 examples gives you some insight into how we approach our wedding photography.  If you'd like to see more of our work you can find our website at https://www.mattfoden.co.uk

6 thoughts on “4 Fantastic Wedding Photos and Why They Work”

  1. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

  2. Great shots and tips, Matt!

    I also like some of the wedding photos to be
    B/W as well as some retro textured.
    Works well in the wedding album with all the
    colorful images that you typically see.

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