My Film Crew!

Mr Leica Blog – Leica Photographer – About

Summary  – As at 2018

Hi I’m Matt.  I started this blog page in March 2013 after my Flickr followers keep asking me to share some of my thoughts. To give you a brief background, my photography began in 2008 after getting a Panasonic Lumix TZ5 for Christmas.  Today I have a lot of cameras and offer Photography Tuition to those who often get paid for their work. Besides teaching, I shoot as a Wedding Photographer and Model Photographer.  I am 100% self taught so thought a blog would be a great way to share some of the things I have learnt so far.  At the end of 2012 I started to develop a passion for Film Photography and in the summer of 2013 I bought my first Leica camera.  I am now officially a Leica photographer and Leica nut and use a digital Leica CL, Leica M240 and M8 plus Leica M3s, M2, M4-P and M6 film cameras for most of my photography.  This includes Leica wedding photography, Leica lifestyle photography and Leica fashion / model photography.  I also enjoy using medium format film cameras such as the amazing Hasselblad 501C 6×6 camera (my main medium format film camera), Fuji GF670, Rolleiflex SL66E, Mamiya RZ67 Pro2 to name a few and 4×5 large format film using a 1947 Pacemaker Speed Graphic and Sinar F2.  In 2014 I started to teach portrait photography and lighting in London running monthly group photography workshops. Currently I teach photography on 1-2-1 basis providing 1-2-1 photography tuition (normally with a model) on location, often in London if on location and in the UK, from my Coventry UK studio or overseas such as New York, Zurich and Amsterdam.

My Track Record (More Detail)

(As documented in the Yashica MG-1 post) 

2010: First film camera

My first taste of film photography in the digital era was in 2010 after recently joining Flickr and having purchased my first ‘real’ digital camera with interchangeable lens, the M43 Lumix G1.  Knowing my new passion for photography, Dad dug out his late father’s (Grandpop’s) pride and joy, a Yashica MG-1. Grandpop was a huge inspiration to me and shaped me to be how I am today. I didn’t even know he liked photography but he seems to have passed on that trait to me too. What I now had was a 1970s fixed 45mm f2.8 lens 35mm rangefinder camera.

2012: First roll of home developed B&W film 

December 2012 and I had now purchased all I needed to develop my first batch of black and white film. I knew I still had the 35mm Ilford FP4+ finished film in my Yashica so I thought that would make a good test roll. Forgetting how to use the Yashica I opened the back to find the film had not been rewound letting some light in. It was now an even better test roll! I will discuss developing your own black and white film using a Paterson tank in a separate review but here are the photos that followed from that first test roll. I expected to see nothing on the film as just assumed I’d wrecked it letting light in or messed up my developing method despite trying to follow instructions posted by others on YouTube! I was like a big kid and there was much whooping when I saw the results. It had worked!

Post 2012 – Things just got crazy!

2010 was the beginning of a very very addictive slippery slope.  Now in 2018 if you visit my Film Photography blog section you will see just how many different film cameras I have accumulated and use. Half frame 35mm, full frame 35mm, medium format 645, 6×6, 6×7, 6×9 and 4×5 large format cameras!  Everything from multiple Leica film cameras, Hasselblad, Mamiya, Rolleiflex, Fuji, more Nikon SLRs and then all the lenses for each camera system!  I moved from the Nikon D800 and now shoot with digital Leica cameras.  I still teach, I still do weddings, I still fly all over the place searching for the most beautiful girls on the planet to photography and I still shoot and develop my own film (now both B&W film and colour film!).

2018 – The camera gave me my voice and improved my life for the better

The last 8 years of my life has been quite a journey (in terms of non stop cameras, photography and learning) but I’ve loved every minute.  Photography has opened so many doors for me and given me so many opportunities.  Having a camera has given me a voice (literally).  I barely dared to look up when walking in the street let alone try to make eye contact with a pretty girl before.  Having a camera slowly built my confidence enough to now approach these same girls and engage in conversation.  Why?  Because I knew if they would let me take their picture they would like the photos and then in return would be happy to be around me.  It sounds very shallow but this increase in general confidence then slowly improves all other aspects of life and I feel I now enjoy my life more than ever before.  It sounds cheesy but it was the camera that gave me my voice.

Types of Photography I Enjoy:

Destination Leica Wedding Photographer

Leica Wedding Photographer offering desination Wedding Photography both in the UK and overseas. Natural documentary style wedding photography fused with stylised wedding portraits.  As a Leica photographer I like to work quietly as an observer in the background and photograph by available light where possible.  I use both digital and film Leica cameras but my passion is film photography.

Traditional Film Photographer Wedding UK

Film wedding photographer that still prefers film cameras in the digital era.  I use 35mm Leica film cameras, medium format Hasselblad cameras and large format film cameras.  If you appreciate film photography as much as I do then I would be delighted to cover your wedding.  You may have already booked a wedding photographer but like the idea of a few special images shot on film?  I would be happy to oblige!

Engagement Sessions

Engagement photography is very rewarding and I enjoy working with a couple to create natural yet stylised images using a aray of cameras to give you as set of unique looking images.  E-sessions are invaluable for giving couples experience in front of the cameras ahead of their wedding day and it gives us a chance to get to know each other too.

Large Format Portrait Photographer

Large format camera portrait session that gives one of a kind photos.  4×5 format sheet film images and instant Polaroid photos.  I fuse my model photography experience with my passion for film photography.

Leica Lifestyle Photographer

I have realised from how I direct my model shoots that I am in fact a lifestyle photographer.  Posing often everyday people in everyday situations to look very natural.  I have not yet branded myself as a lifestyle photographer but it may be a route I take in the future as this style comes very naturally to me and I find it easy to work closely with my clients to get the best from the images.  If you are looking for new and creative photos for your social media site, blog, website or business then do get in touch.

Model Photographer

Studio based model photographer in Coventry specialising in black and white female portraiture using both digital and film cameras.  I help new models build a model portfolio and regularly collaborate with model agencies and published models in the UK, Europe and the US.

UK Photography Workshops

I provide 1-2-1 photography tuition and lighting workshops from my Coventry studio and on location.  I will help you to understand light and your camera to enhance your photography. Through 2014 I was running London photography workshops teaching small groups of photographers how to work with a professional model on location.  Currently I focus on providing 1-2-1 tuition rather than teaching groups both here in the UK and overseas.


6 thoughts on “About”

  1. I wanted to say your photography inspires me and also relate that I am in a similar boat deciding between D800 and M9. I’ve been recommended the Otus since I complain about other lenses not being sharp. But the thing weitghs a lot and I dislike manual focusing on a modern DSLR. I prefer micro prism focusing and range finders for manual focusing. I’ve read your posts about using your leica more and more. Have you missed your D800?

    1. Thanks Erick. Do I miss the D800? Well I still have it for freelancing for DSLR wedding teams but otherwise it may as well be sold. I’m not going to pretend the M9 is gods gift to cameras. Yes I like the high ISO and 36mp of the D800 but not enough to ever use it over the M9. The only thing I like more than the M9 is film but that is not practical for everyday shooting for clients. Cheers Matt

  2. Just stumbled upon your website Matt, I have had 2 M9’s in the past and stupidly let them go. I am now about to pull the trigger on a used M9 to go with my 25mm Zeiss Biogon. This for me produced some of my best work and that is after using my 5D mk2 which I have now sold. Yes Leica are not perfect but the joy of using rangefinders over bulky heavy DSLR’s wins for me.

  3. I had 2 M9’s which i begrudgingly sold. I am now about to purchase a used M9 to go with my 35mm cron and excellent 25mm Zeiss biogon. Really miss the rangefinder experience and in a photographers hands the files it produces are just stunning. I do not miss my 5D mk2 at all.

    1. Thanks Matt, yes I struggle to get excited by non-rangefinders now. Yesterday I did a Leica wedding with 2 M9 bodies. A first with 2 M9s and I really enjoyed the experience of 2 identical M bodies. Follow up post with thoughts to follow. Cheers Matt

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