Matt Scott-Joynt, BA(Hons) / MSc
I realised I loved photography in my teens, and I bought myself a cheap tough Russian Practika MTL3 35mm film camera, yes I am that old. But it wasn't tough enough and every moving part seized up crunched with sand by blown sandit during an adventure along the top of a giant, hill sized sand dune just south of Bordeaux. I had had my first lesson in camera care. Whatever the - whatever the manufacturers say, cameras don't like sand or water very much. Since then I've tested all sorts of cameras almost to destruction...Leicas, Nikons, Canons, and with them photographed people in all sorts of situations currently work mainly with small silent high quality Fujifilm Rangefinders. It took until my late twenties to really get passionate about pictures, and how to make them. Photojournalism and documentary photography grabbed me, and whilst at London University I spent more time walking and clicking around the city, and then discovering the very occasional gem in a dark room, than I spent in the library. But it meant University not just with a degree but having won an award from The Independent Newspaper for Student Photographer of the year, and this got me into newspapers. Since then I've worked for all sorts of news, as well as non-news people, both freelance and employed, and have had photos published all over the place.
Having over the years photographed lots and lots of weddings on the side of press photography commitments, I've recently pleased my lovely wife Charlotte by transferring my picture passion to full time documentary wedding photography. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I now wish I'd taken this decision some years ago. If you'd been a fly on the wall to witness the sometimes weekly diary challenge that has been fitting news photography into family life you might agree? And documentary wedding photography is so much more rewarding. Producing photographs that are so appreciated by couples and will grow in importance over the years is a fantastic privilege. Making long visual wedding stories is much more like the photography I loved when I first started looking through a camera at people and life - I've even gone back to using the small silent unobtrusive type cameras that I first travelled with.
I've always loved an event, an occasion where something important to people is happens, particularly when it's drawn out for long enough enabling me to get immersed in the story. And weddings are just that - incredibly memorable days full of wonderful people, emotions, fun and colour. And because actually we're all human, and so thankfully we can't control our expressions and reactions, wedding days are made up of people being themselves, which is just how you'd want it, and how I try to show for you? And you might be reading this due to wanting someone like me to frame this lovely reality for you so as to help you remember your day. I don't believe in perfection, and weddings aren't a fashion shoot, they're much more interesting than that. It's my hope that you may be reading this as you don't want the pressure of having to 'put on a face' throughout your wedding day, and you'd both prefer to have fun and enjoy the day. Maybe you'd also like your wedding photographer to not be a bother to anyone and just get on with framing the atmosphere, charm and character that your families and friends will bring to the places where your wedding will take place. My experience is that beautiful pictures come from reality - and whatever the weather, that is always what makes lovely photographs on wedding days.
Charlotte and I were married in August 15 years ago on a ridiculously hot day - yes, be careful what you wish for. We said the 'I do's' at Portsmouth Registry office and walked down the aisle carrying our six month old daughter Lily. We went on to a church service and garden marquee party in Winchester where my clergyman father blessed all three of us. My wife's dress is packed away in our loft, the edge of the skirt still caked in Mulberry Juice from where we all quaffed drinks sheltering from the sun in the shade of the huge Mulberry tree in the garden. We still live in the unique island Kingdom of Portsmouth (a rare island city) - we're in Southsea, the old seaside resort town and we now can't really imagine not living near the sea (and the beach!). We returned here, where Charlotte grew up, to have our eldest, our Lily, who's now fifteen, and who kindly photographed me for this page, and she has an eleven year old sister, Clara. We can't now imagine not living near the sea (and the beach!). They would all say I'm still getting used to being the minority gender in the house, but I think this is just a bit unfair. It has meant I feel very at home around brides and bridesmaids as they prepare on the morning of a wedding day - but you might be the judge of that? As a photojournalist I've learnt it's all about the care with which you interact with people, and I've discreetly worked within so many situations that I've found I can just fit in and find pictures really quickly without causing any disturbance.
Lastly, I did intend for this page to include just one small picture of me. But being photographed by our lovely talented Instagram queen Lily was so fun that it easily produced this set of portraits which she thought helped to show me more honestly than if we'd just used the first one. Thanks Lil x.
Pictures by Lily Scott-Joynt