At Digitalab, we know that you can’t underestimate the power of a truly exceptional image. The beauty of photography as an art form is in its diversity – with so many wonderful genres and so many utterly unique photographers out there, photography means many different things to many different people. That’s why we asked Matt Badenoch to talk us through his career, what inspired him to become a photographer, and his all-time favourite shoot.
Tell us a bit about this image and why you chose it to be featured?
This photo was taken during the portrait session part of the wedding day. It was a natural moment that occurred between Anna and Adam as they were walking back from a shot that I had set up. I chose this photo because it represents what I love about a wedding day. I’m not a fan of the scheduled parts of the day (the formals, the cutting of the cake, most of the ceremony and even to the extent the portraits), but what I love is the human interaction and moments that occur naturally in-between the scheduled bits. I feel this photo captured one of those moments. It’s not technically perfect but it’s the truth, and hopefully down the line it will help remind Anna and Adam about how they felt on their wedding day.
Why wedding photography?
People. As mentioned above I’m not a fan of most of the ‘wedding stuff’ but I find people fascinating, their interactions between each other and the range of emotions they show. And where else could you get such a huge range of interactions and emotions than on a wedding day. A wedding is one of the only times in your life that you will have all your favourite people in the world (friends and family) together in one place (next time sadly is likely to be your funeral), so you always get a lot of special and often comical moments taking place throughout the day.
Who inspired you to become a photographer?
It was a place rather than a person that inspired me to become a photographer. Other photographers didn’t start to inspire me until after I’d become interested in photography.
It was 4 years ago, I was just out of university and decided I wasn’t quite ready to start a job in an office, so I pushed back my start date with a Management Consultancy I was due to work with and moved out to Sierra Leone for 6 months. I picked Salone pretty much by random. I quickly fell in love with the country and the people (some of the most friendly people I’ve ever met). I wanted to capture it and as it happens I had just bought my first DSLR at the airport on the way out. I became fascinated with a camera’s ability to capture the feel of a place, especially when capturing moments between people. From then on I was hooked.
What is your all-time favourite photography shoot?
It’s really hard to say. What I love about my couples is that when it comes to celebrating their relationship they do it their way and man do they do it in style. I’ve had couples get married at Skate parks, castles, by the sea, in central London, in marquees in their garden and all over the world.
Each wedding has something awesome about it that you can’t really compare to others.
I’m actually writing this on my way to the airport in Sierra Leone having just shot a destination wedding here a few days ago. It was an incredible experience. Extremely tough (16 hours working in the West African heat and dealing with different social dynamics) but equally amazing.
Is there anybody or anything you would love to photograph?
I love experiencing new cultures and exploring new places so I am very excited to have several destination weddings booked for this year. But really it’s all about connecting with the couple. If I hit it off with them then I know I’m going to have an awesome time shooting their wedding. For this reason I will always meet with my couples before agreeing to work with them.
What one piece of advice would you give to any aspiring photographer?
If you decide to set up your own business (most photographers in my industry do it this way but it isn’t for everyone) focus your efforts on branding, marketing and the experience you provide to your couples first and on improving your photography skills second. Photography is naturally extremely important as this is the product we offer to our clients but it’s how you brand yourself and market yourself which will really determine your success and ensure you get the clients perfect for you.
To check Matt’s availability or find out more about his work visit mattbadenoch.com.