We had a phenomenal response to our first ever list of 50 top UK wedding photographers back in 2020 and many thanks to all of you who engaged with it, shared widely and fed back your thoughts on what was always intended to be a highly personal selection.
It was a hugely positive experience and one that we thought deserved to be an annual event, and so here is our updated list, in association with our valued partner Pic-Time, and we hope you enjoy taking a look through!
If we thought updating an existing selection of top photographers would be an easier task than putting the list together from scratch then we were certainly wrong. If anything, the task was harder this time around, as we had to find room for some fresh names who have been absolute stars over the past twelve months. It meant, of course, that a few names had to fall off the list, but that most certainly isn’t intended to suggest individual standards have dropped in any way. Rather it makes the point that lists can’t be static: they have to be fluid and active to be relevant and we’ve based our thoughts on what’s been happening over the past twelve months. Take a dive in and congratulations to everyone who’s been included!
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When they were dishing out the sass, Angela was right up at the top of the queue. Her wedding work is a mixture of under the radar reportage and romantic portraits. The results are modern and creative images that allow the viewer to feel included in the action. Although she is new to our list, she has a long established career and produces consistently excellent work. Her obvious passion for the craft of photography means that she is always experimenting and progressing.
Belle Art Photography
At the beginning of 2020, Becy from Belle Art Photography relocated to the Isle Of Skye to raise her family and focus on her photography business. She shoots elopements on the island and throughout the Scottish Highlands. She shoots in a fine art style for couples who want to make an adventure out of getting married. The beautiful landscape is the third wheel in her images but despite its power, it never detracts from the intimate sense of romance that Becy highlights in her work.
It might have been challenging to maintain momentum after shooting an incredibly high profile royal wedding last year but Benjamin Wheeler has remained very much in demand. He has been refining his craft and maintains an obvious enthusiasm for pushing techniques. His background in fashion editorial photography adds a considered edge to his work and he often focuses on the romantic elements of a wedding day. His images could grace the pages of any aspirational fashion publication and indeed they often do.
New to the list this year, Bernadeta is a Polish photographer who specialises in elopements and intimate weddings in her chosen homeland of Scotland. She’s a true teller of stories, revealing chapters through a combination of still-lives and portraits. There is a nostalgia to her work and although she often shoots out in the dramatic landscape, she allows the intimate connection of her couples to really be the star of the photos.
Another newcomer to the list, Hampshire based, Carrie confesses that she ‘is documenting life while everyone else is living it’. Passionate about keeping her business carbon neutral and sustainable, she works with couples who want natural, warm images that reflect the romance in their wedding days. Her portfolio is full of spirited and heartwarming images that make you wish you had been a guest at the weddings.
A fresh new talent in photography based out of the South West, Charlie is aiming high within the more luxe end of the wedding market. We think he’s got the talent and energy to do well. His work has an understated, considered and uncluttered look. Many of his images could be featured in the pages of a high end bridal publication. Our prediction is that he is one of the industry’s rising stars.
Italian born photographer Cinzia Bruschini is London based and leads a studio of associate photographers. Her passion is high end fashion and she brings that editorial edge to wedding photography along with a precise eye for detailing. She’s a standard all of her own that many UK photographers aspire to reach. It’s no surprise that she has many accolades from prestigious publications such as Harpers Bazaar and a stellar list of clients.
Chris Parkinson or Under The Pines as he is also known returns to our list this year. He shoots a combination of documentary and creative portraiture at weddings. Chris carves out artistic opportunities in wedding timelines and brings conceptual thinking as well as cameras to each shoot. His portraits have depth and observational nuance as well as incredible use of locations.
Claire has an obvious passion for people and how they relate to each other. She’s a resident of Edinburgh but travels all over for weddings, equally at home in the city or a rural environment. She has a magpie curiosity for details and still-lives and an easy going nature that allows her clients to feel relaxed in her company. Her sensitivity and gentle guidance grants her the ability to weave a deeper story for couples.
Born in Edinburgh but now living down in the South East, Colin is one of the UK photographers who was also happily shooting Destination Weddings until recently. Like many he may have been more domestic bound recently but he has still produced some incredible work. His aim is to seek out creative ways to represent his couple’s personalities and how they felt on their wedding days. He delivers a combination of documentary and more structured portraiture that allows the subjects’ characters to be revealed.
Based in the Midlands, Ed started his photography career as a teen shooting for magazines and newspapers. This photojournalistic approach translated well when he transitioned into shooting weddings. He obviously enjoys his work and shoots responsively, immersed in the action. His couples don’t want posed perfection, and Ed believes that the priority on the day is the party.
Fresh to the Top 50 list for 2021, Elena lives in Surrey and aims to attract couples who rip up the rules on wedding traditions. She gently directs couples into a space where they feel able to express their raw emotions and focus on each other. She wants to fill her frames with her customers’ style and personality so that they look back on the images and recognise their feelings.
Emilie is a native of France now residing in our capital. She brings her French flair and method to her photography. There is an effortless beauty to her work. It is minimal in the sense that nothing superfluous is within any one frame. It is both understated and excessively chic at the same time and this is why she makes her second appearance on our list. While some others are about fashion, Emilie is about style.
Aberdeenshire photographer Emma, has been steadily establishing herself as a strong brand. Her work is clean with a warm respect for her subjects. She may well enter someone’s family as the wedding photographer and then become their go to photographer for all of life’s key events. She outputs an impressive amount of high quality work herself and also manages associate photographers who shoot under her studio name. She is obviously equally as good as business as she is at photography..
Even before the Pandemic, Jo and Patrick from Cornwall based Enchanted Brides had decided to focus solely on elopements and small weddings. They offer both photography and filming services for the wild at heart. Expect to see them out on a windswept Cornish cliff or splashing about in the surf with their couples. They embrace the rugged landscape of this corner of the UK and encourage their clients to see their shoots as beautiful, wild adventures.
Epic Love Story
When couples book Emma, they get more than a wedding photographer. They get a wedding planner and a new best friend. She loves to go truly above and beyond for her couples and so she limits the bookings that she will take. She targets edgier weddings, so her couples look like loved up rock royalty. She’s faced the challenges of the last 12 months head on and raised her game.
Esme is up in the North West and brings a darker romance to her wedding work through deep, rich toning. She has a fine art background and you can see elements of the great masters when it comes to how Esme crafts light and shadow. Her typical client is very fashion driven with an eye for detail.
Fire and Ice
With a base in Wales, Fire and Ice is a collective of creative wedding photographers, videographers, and editors. It was founded by Christian and Yaky, a husband and wife duo who met in a photographic group on Facebook. Their aim is to elevate wedding imagery into show stoppers, using cinematic techniques. They orchestrate scenes rather than wait for them to happen around them. The resulting images are often spectacular and dramatic but also maintain a playfulness and an affection for their subjects.
Like many destination wedding photographers, the last year has seen Igor shooting in a more domestic setting but he has continued to push his creativity. He has found space for collaborative shoots with other premium suppliers with fantastic results. He’s known for bringing a relaxed elegance to his wedding work and he values the trust that his couples put in him. He shoots in a documentary style with fine art elements, celebrating both the setting and the connection in his subjects.
Using a combination of stills and filmed content, Camera Hannah concentrates on the heartfelt elements to wedding days. Her style is quirky and she admits that she’s an all out geek. This connects her to a more alternative client who often add creative and fun aspects to their wedding days. She has a sense of wonder that allows her two draw out the moods and emotions of a wedding day and you will see her playful sense of humour in many of her shots.
In Between Days
Laura is from Northern Ireland and Alex is English, they shoot together as In Between Days and like many duos they are also a couple. They bring an obvious enthusiasm for love stories to their images and combine portraiture with a street photography approach to shooting weddings. They submerge themselves into the action to ensure that nothing is missed. As a result, they produce images that at times could have been shot by an insider who just happens to be great at photography.
Back in the early 90s when Jeff began photographing weddings, the norm was formal, staged photography. He helped to break the mould of what a wedding photographer could be as an early pioneer of using a documentary approach. He moved the attention to the informal and un-staged parts of weddings and how narratives could be drawn out. He’s a photographer’s photographer and many cite him as an influence. It’s no wonder he has achieved an awe inspiring amount of accolades and an impressive list of celebrity clientele.
In the year since we last included Jo on our list, she has been busy using the additional time for self-improvement. Part of her up-skilling was learning videography and she is now exploring offering film in addition to photography. Being based in the Lake District, her work is often out in the landscape and she is targeting couples who are down to earth and willing to go on an adventure with her. “I don’t do this job for the megapixels, I do it for the memories.”
Joanna typically shoots either in London or around the South-East with a candid approach and a stylish clientele. She seems to celebrate both the wedding and the location, often pulling right back to give a strong mise-en-scene. Each element within the frame feels relevant, as if more of the narrative is being revealed. There’s often a tension in the poses, as if the subjects are holding their breath for the time it takes to shoot them. When she does create more intimate frames, her focus becomes the romance and how two people naturally fit together.
Another photographer that is new to our list is Sussex based Katie. She’s been building her business in the pandemic with all of the challenges that it brings. Yet Katie has managed to keep improving her skills, accommodating her clients, shooting self motivated portfolio work whilst making connections with others within the industry. It’s obvious that she really cares about her couples and the role that she fulfils for them. She’s more than a wedding photographer to them, she’s a knowledgeable guide and a calming friend.
Hampshire based Kirsty is another newcomer to the list. She’s also another photographer that has used the creative space from the last while to improve her business and create her own shoots that not only inspire her couples but inspire other photographers. She’s fashion forward and consciously got ahead of the game by generating images that reflect the shift in the market to accommodate micro weddings and urban elopements.
Recently Igor Demba described Lisa as the ‘Godmother of British Wedding Photography’. She has been influential in the industry for some time – as well as shooting weddings and for bridal magazines, she educates other wedding photographers through her Photography Farm. She has been busy in the last 12 months, with live online classes and when able, Shoot Days that create portfolio images for photographers. She also happens to be one of our columnists. Lisa is passionate about elevating the industry and supporting other photographers.
Lisa likes to spend time getting to know her couples before their wedding day so that she can be an insider, a friend with cameras. For her those cameras might be analogue as she maintains a fascination for instant and analogue. She often shoots wide and up close so that the frame is filled and the feeling is intimate. A Londoner who has settled in Birmingham, Lisa has a curiosity for life and how she can capture it.
Like many wedding photographers, Marianne took on work outside of the industry to survive the last year. She’s also used the time to refresh her website and realign her business. Her focus is the personalities of her clients and she shoots from the inside out as opposed to the outside in. There is a dynamic energy in her frames and a genuine appreciation of being the person who will reflect back to someone how a wedding day felt.
Polish born photographer Mark Pacura makes a well deserved return to our list. Like many photographers who specialise in destination weddings, his work has been mostly within the UK and his beloved Scotland in recent times. We can still see his love for big landscapes but Mark never loses his subjects win a frame. They are always the stars over and above any impressive scene. He is drawn to adventure and human connection.
We couldn’t not include Matt on the list again. His obvious enthusiasm for the craft involved in making images means that his portfolio is full of exceptional shots. He has an eye for clicking the shutter just at the height of energy within a scene and he continues to improve the frame in post production. This ensures the he stands out from the crowd.
Newcomer to the list, Naomi has a passion for analogue and uses a combination of 35mm and medium format to shoot weddings. The results are frames that are considered and carefully crafted. There’s an obvious love for the process that it takes to produce film images. They feel like momentary mirrors that reflect a slice of time.
Neil Thomas Douglas
Glaswegian, Neil could well be one of the hardest working photographers in Scotland. Way before COVID, he was already specialising in elopements and ‘wee weddings’ so he’s not been limited to weekend only wedding work for quite some time. Couples book him for his epic portraits which make the very best of any location. That might be Glencoe or the city streets of Glasgow but Neil always seems to plan carefully to make the very best of the light and the environment. He has very keen sense of composition and no single element will be in his frame without purpose.
Returning to the list, Nigel is based in the North East and shoots commercial work as well as weddings. He brings a sophisticated eye to this part of his work and if you head over to his website you can see how he cleverly curates a wedding into key moments and frames that bring our attention to how it felt to be that person at that particular time. Although individually they are interesting, in a collection they are utterly fascinating.
Kent based Olegs shoots with his partner Rita in a modern, documentary style. They work together with their couples to deliver a layered record of their day. Rita has an eye for detail and Oleg has an eye for a stylish portrait. There is a warmth and a subtlety to their images and they are obviously skilled at directing their couples into a comfortable space. We’ve had our eye on them for a while and welcome them to the list.
For some, this last year has been a time to step back but for Rebecca it was a time to step forward. She found opportunities for self motivated projects and shoots in between all the lockdowns. When restrictions were at their very toughest, she travelled into Central London to shoot a wedding for two NHS workers who sought special dispensation from the Archbishop of Canterbury to marry as they feared that either of them might contract COVID at any time. Rebecca is a positive force within the industry and an inspiration to many other photographers.
We’ve only just discovered Rebecca’s work but it would be an understatement to say that we are obsessed. Her wedding photos look like stills from some incredibly stylish movie that we would love to go watch on a silver screen. There is a nostalgia to her work, a look back to times of elegance. She is reflecting back to us that in this fast paced digital world, there are still good times that are just about being present and being your very best self.
Rob has carved out his own particular niche over in Northern Ireland. He has tapped into the market for couples wishing to elope or have a small wedding out in the spectacular landscape of this part of the UK. His local knowledge ensures that they get the very best locations at the best times of day to avoid the crowds and make the most of the light. What they also get in Rob is a guide and a photographer who wants to reflect their connection back to them as well as the wonderful location that they had their ceremony in.
Midlands based Samuel feels this his role as the wedding photographer is to interpret and document the day. He shoots very much as a favoured insider, afforded to him from the rapport that he so obviously builds with his clients. This is what gives his images their sense of relaxed intimacy. The couples feel comfortable and that they can be themselves. This is no mean feat with camera shy Brits and it’s a testament to Samuel’s skillset. There is no forced posing, instead there is an easy elegance that comes across in his portfolio.
Edinburgh based Sean is a natural born adventurer. His love for the incredible Scottish landscape is obvious but less so is the insider knowledge that he will share with couples so that they can have truly unique elopements and unique images. He queitly goes above and beyond, ensuring that they have an incredible experience and a series of photographs to treasure.
Based just over the border in Wales, Tash Jones from Love Luella brings passion and honesty to her wedding photography. She wants to create images that will be enjoyed for generations and that convey a sense of what a wedding day felt like and what the couple mean to each other and to their loved ones. There’s a sense that everything is done with both heart and soul with Tash, and her obvious rapport with clients indicates that she must be great at putting them at ease.
Jim and Katy Caryl are an English couple that have settled in Scotland and their love for the landscapes around them is very evident in their photography. Katy spent a decade working as a documentary film-maker for the BBC so they work in a cinematic style to reveal the layers to their couple’s stories. Jim’s background means that he brings a scientific approach and a love for outdoor adventures. He will extensively research locations and plan their work. Together they bring out the best in both their couples and their surroundings.
Liam and Bee Crawley are very far from your average wedding photography duo. They are creative innovators, pushing the very definition of wedding photography and creating unique images that elevate the genre. Liam shoots using a combination of cameras, drones, and water housing so that no idea is impossible to achieve. Bee refines the final images in post and the results are truly extraordinary. They have a wonderful sense of fun and their clients are clearly eager participants.
Chris and Gillian have now expanded The Curries into a small team of associate shooters. The studio aesthetic is pared back, fashion-conscious elegance. It’s fuss-free and creative with a love for architecture, textures, and playful light. They attract a stylish, relaxed clientele who want images that reflect their wedding days but do not dominate them.
The husband and wife duo, Dylan and Joanna Kitchener have long been the benchmark that many other wedding photographers aspire to reach. Their ability to extract a narrative and relay it in a series of images is exceptional. Based in Edinburgh, they are synonymous with Scottish Elopement Photography. Their focus is the intimacy and connection between their subjects and their images have rich, dark tones that reflect the moodiness of the Scottish landscape that often features in their work.
Through The Woods We Ran
Through The Woods We ran is Australian married duo, Lauren and Glenn. They chose Bristol as their home and offer wedding photography that is on the alternative end of the spectrum. Their style is vibrant, packed full of energy and confidence. They seem to be there for the party and the joy that happens on a wedding day and they obviously have an affection for the craft and an appetite for pushing boundaries.
Toast Of Leeds
Toast of Leeds is Yorkshire based photographer and film-maker Shelly Mantovani. She’s been in the industry for decades but maintains a fearless enthusiasm for her work. She is about ‘Collecting the Emotions’ for her couples. She does this by layering up the documentary shots with others that are creatively directed. Her palette is dark and so is her sense of humour.
York Place Studios
A family collective that offers both photography and videography, York Place Studios was started by brother and sister Liam and Dom Shaw who then recruited more family members into the fold. They are based in the seaside town of Scarborough and defy convention when it comes to their wedding work. Their aim is to show what it actually felt like to be at a particular wedding. They are drawn to the humorous and unstaged parts of the day and use a keen sense of observation to connect elements in a frame so that everything visible relates to the story.
Manchester based, Zehra brings her own unique romantic vision to her wedding images. Her portraits are a rich, visual tapestries but they are never overly formal. There is a warmth and a depth that hints at a genuine passion for her craft, plus an affinity with her subjects. Her eye for detail and fashion ensures that her couples look incredible.
Living in Scotland’s stunning National Park, The Trossachs, Zoë has now shoots alongside her husband, Sam. The Duo balance each other perfectly. Sam has brought his scientific mind to shooting and Zoë studied interior and environmental design before discovering her passion for photography. They expertly weave the different elements of a wedding narrative together into a cohesive and emotive record. Sam will be seeking out the micro instances while Zoë is perfectly crafting portraits.
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