The magnificent landscape of Queensland just exudes drama and romance. Whether it’s on a tropical island, on a beach or in amongst the cane fields the photo opportunities are plenty. Matt of Matthew Evans Photography photographs weddings all around Queensland and beyond, and uses the landscape to create atmosphere in his stunning wedding photographs. There’s nothing like seeing yourselves against a sunset dwarfed by the vista beyond – yet somehow, you are still the focus of the image. Seeing magic – and capturing the magic for posterity, is Matthew’s love and passion.
What or who encouraged you to take up photography as a profession?
Growing up my mum was the family photographer. When I was 10 our family travelled Australia in a caravan and I was gifted my mum’s old Canon AE1. I loved taking photos of absolutely everything, then seeing the developed shots several weeks later.
We finished our travels in Cairns and my parents bought a business called Paronella Park. Paronella Park is a magical, photogenic location and during my years working there as a Tour Guide I was inspired to take beautiful nature shots. I then studied a Multimedia Degree to further my photography knowledge. In 2010 my sister asked if I would photograph her wedding and from there the business took off.
I have my mum, my sister and Paronella Park to thank!
Where are you based and what areas of QLD do you cover?
I am based in the Northern Beaches in Cairns. I shoot local weddings from Newell Beach, Port Douglas, Palm Cove, Cairns, Atherton Tablelands, Mission Beach and everything in between. I also travel within Queensland and have photographed weddings in Townsville, Rockhampton and Maleny.
Do you travel to shoot weddings?
I always love to travel to new destinations for weddings, last year I shot a couple on the Sunshine Coast, one in Hawaii and also travelled for a wedding to Stradbroke Island. Shooting in new locations is one of the best things I can do as a Wedding Photographer as it really inspires my creativity and pushes me to create better work.
The surroundings play a starring role in the beauty of the images you take – the sky, shadows, water droplets. How do you ensure that the enormity of the surroundings enhance the shot of the bridal couple, rather than dominate it?
Most of the weddings I shoot are couples that have travelled to Tropical North Queensland for a destination wedding specifically for what the region has to offer. They’re here for an exciting and relaxing wedding in a unique environment with their friends and family. While I deliver a variety of photos to the couple, I find that it’s the big environmental photos that really capture people’s eyes. These are the images couples like to display in their homes.
Wedding photographs with amazing scenery work so well as the viewer’s eyes will always be drawn to the people in the image, the scenery really just enhances a picture of a beautiful couple. I use the environment I’m shooting in to my advantage to create a magical photo.
You must have to get into some strange situations to take these shots – knee deep in water, in fountains etc. How much do you ‘sacrifice’ to get the shot you want?
I love shooting in the rain at night. If it starts raining during the reception, I’ll see if I can get the bride and groom outside for an amazing photo. Usually I’ll give them an umbrella and cover my flash with a plastic bag, but unfortunately I end up getting pretty wet.
I love low camera angles to mix things up, this used to mean lying on the ground and getting pretty dirty. Fortunately, the modern cameras I use now have flip out LCD screens which means I don’t need to do this anymore.
I do still take my shoes off every now and then to get that perfect shot from across the water.
Is there something about QLD that is different to other States as far as surroundings, light or other qualities?
Tropical North Queensland has some very unique venues for weddings. From tropical islands and sand cays to rainforest and beach. One of the great advantages we have is the perfect 25 °C days in the winter. This means couples and wedding guests can escape the cold of the south and combine a wedding with a fantastic holiday.
What is it about QLD weddings that you love?
I love getting to meet so many lovely couples, they’re adventurous and want timeless photographs on their big day, they’re excitement is infectious.
I also get to work with great wedding suppliers, we’re a relatively small community so we all work together which has created some strong friendships.
How do you prepare for each wedding so that your shots don’t become formulaic?
My aim every wedding is to create unique images. In my down time I’m researching ideas and when I’m out shooting I’m looking for amazing light and genuine interaction. This makes the photos I deliver to the couple personalised and unique.
How do you use the vibe in a room to your advantage to take great shots?
Personalities make a big contribution to the images I take throughout the day. A relaxed and quiet group results in lots of experimental angles and techniques while a wild group results in lots of close up action.
How do you approach the first meeting with the bridal couple?
I like to ensure the couple know that I am all about them and what they want on the day, no wedding is the same and I don’t provide stock standard images, therefore I listen to what the couples expectations are and I tailor my style to suit.
The first meeting is always fun, I love to hear an excited couple sharing the details of their wedding from theme, colours, dress, suits, style etc.
What do you offer as part of your wedding packages?
My base package offers 10 hours coverage and I deliver a USB with all the edited images. I also have album packages offering beautiful books from Seldex Albums.
Is photography a dream profession for you? What is it that keeps the dream alive?
Wedding photography is incredibly rewarding and most definitely a dream profession for me. I love working for myself and really enjoy the learning experience from every wedding I shoot. I think my passion for wedding photography and my clients love of my work is what keeps this dream alive.
What are your favourite places in QLD to have a wedding, or go for a short break?
One of my favorite wedding locations is Fitzroy Island, it’s never crowded and the water is always blue and clear, I can always create amazing once off images. It’s also a great spot for a short break.
I also love to shoot at Lake Tinaroo Resort, it has a picturesque country feel to it and the weather is fantastic.
A wedding photographer’s life involves a lot of weekend work. How do you ensure that you have plenty of balance in your life?
The main thing I think every wedding photographer should consider is not working Sundays. I’ll only work if I’m shooting a full wedding, other than that it’s a day with my wife, family and friends. Even just a meeting or 1-hour shoot can disrupt the day, and limit plans. Having a full day like this each week is essential to a good work/life balance.
Thank you Matthew for sharing your story. I love the grand views in these images – showcasing nature and the bride and groom in all their glory! To find out more about Matthew Evans Photography visit the website.
Images by Matthew Evans Photography.
Headshot by Jaypee Abraham of Coast Wedding Photography.