From posey-pose to ninja-like photojournalism with Philadelphia's Matthew Bender Photography

February 11 2014 | meggyfin
This business paid a fee to be listed on Offbeat Bride because they feel their products and services are a great fit with offbeat philosophies… and we agree. Learn more about our ads.

Matthew Bender is also featured in our Offbeat Vendors guide!
Do y'all ever wonder about what makes a wedding photographer turn to the offbeat side? Our sponsor Matthew Bender got super-candid with us about what it was like to be a one of those "classic" wedding photographers, and why he became an offbeat wedding photographer in Philadelphia.

Want an interesting insight into the world of traditional wedding photography? Then check out Matthew's story, and let's talk offbeat discounts and finding the right photographer…


I'm not really a traditional, conservative person, but I began shooting weddings with a traditional studio anyway. It was "classic," posey-pose type stuff. And while I have a very real appreciation for the technical knowledge and posing involved with that style, I got tired of treating the entire wedding day as something that needed to be manufactured. In my opinion, it didn't really convey the emotions present on a wedding day, and I rarely felt that I was telling an authentic story for the couple. You'd think that most of their guests spent the entire day following me around and smiling!

I decided to start looking for a different kind of client — a bit (or a lot!) quirky, with an artsy bent, who weren't afraid to let their wedding day be what they wanted it to be, and who had an appreciation for real, candid moments. When someone would rather have yet another photo of themselves looking into the camera and smiling than, say, being silly with undergarments, it's a sure sign that we aren't on the same page artistically.

Yup, once you get a taste of the awesomeness that is offbeat weddings, there's no turning back! Matthew's style now is firmly grounded in photo-journalism — when he's shooting your wedding, he totally blends in and focuses on documenting, rather than manufacturing. Though, while Matthew will do his best to maintain a constant ninja-like state of photo-journalistic sneakiness, he's also the type of photographer who's been known to joke with your guests, participate in a dance line through a party bus, and even ended up in a photo booth more than once. He's pretty much an awesome guy, as well as an awesome photographer.

Matthew is such an awesome photographer guy that he's hooking y'all up with a special discount…

OFFBEAT PROMO: Mention that you found Matthew Bender through Offbeat Bride, and he will include a FREE snazzy 16"x24" canvas with your wedding package, for free, when you book. As Matthew put it: "That's 384 square inches of yourself being awesome to hang on your wall. That's so many inches of you! Think about it!"

Still wondering if Matthew Bender is the right photographer for you? Then take this handy quiz!

Which moment are you going to want to vividly remember through your wedding photos in 20 years?:

  1. The two of you holding the knife together and smiling at your photographer before cutting your cake?
  2. Or the moments directly afterwards, when the two of you smashed cake into each others faces, and then had to spend two minutes clearing the icing out of your nostrils?

If you chose answer #2, then *ding ding ding* you've found the right wedding photographer!

  1. Well there are no comments here yet for me to THIS, so I shall use words instead 🙂
    Great photo's! I have only recently heard about photo-journalism and think it's an awesome idea.

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