‘Put it There’ by Matt Reed

The family group shot is a compulsory – but not often creative – part of a wedding album. Sydney photographer Matt Reed’s in between moment defied convention and won third place in the 2013 Head On Portrait Prize (on display at the State Library of NSW until June 23). Matt Reed will take part in a guided tour of the Portrait Prize alongside Festival Director Moshe Rosenzveig on Sunday June 2 at 2pm. RSVP with a contact number to [email protected]. Spaces strictly limited.

The day was chaotic.

I was employed by Simi (the bride) to shoot the wedding. I have a very candid style. Simi was an art student and Josh is very cool and laid back so they gave me a free reign to shoot in this way.

Having said that their families wanted posed group shots and this ended up being the period during which Put it There was made. I really enjoy snapping some shots of between takes because I like capturing people being themselves.

I had just taken a posed shot of this group and said “Okay, I have the shot – thanks.” They all forgot about me and went about what they were doing.

I saw the grandmother go in for a big kiss on her grandson’s cheek and I just snapped it.

Simi liked the shot. Josh kind of liked it but was a bit bemused by it. I like the different stories going on in the image, the bride and groom at the back lost in their own world and a bit dazed. There are a lot of people trying to organise each other. There is the little girl on the right who is onto me and half amused and the bride’s brother with a baby who has realised from the flash that I have just taken a shot and is surprised.

It sums up the day in a way. After this was the dancing and was very energetic – just as chaotic.

Matt Reed will take part in a guided tour of the Portrait Prize alongside Festival Director Moshe Rosenzveig on Sunday June 2 at 2pm. RSVP with a contact number to [email protected].

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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage