Interview with Wedding Photographer Patrick Schmetzer

Patrick’s work is bright and airy, showcasing a mastery of natural light to maximize atmosphere – in some cases quite literally, as haze and fog become recurring elements in Patrick’s compositions. His quick intimacy with new clients helps to create images that defy the innate voyeurism of photography – instead of simply watching these couples enjoy the happiest moment of their lives, Patrick’s photos invite us to take a seat, grab a drink, and celebrate along with them.

You can find Patrick on his own site at Patrickschmetzer as well as on Instagram @Patrick.Schmetzer.

Hey Patrick, can you tell our readers a bit about yourself, where you’re from and the kind of work you do?

I’m born in Mobile / Alabama USA. I moved to Germany when I was three years old, moved back to the States with 13. At the age of 17, I finally moved back to Germany again, which I missed a lot. At around this time, I finally found my passion for photography, which at first started as a hobby. I studied at the SAE Institute in Frankfurt, Germany. Which is a Private Media University.  It helped me be around artists 5 to 6 times a week, where I felt understood. At the end of my University, I started with my own business and went full-time right after I completed the SAE Institute.

How would you describe your style and approach?

My style is very low-key, and I firmly believe in capturing what I see, rather than trying to influence the day or create unreal moments. For most of the day, I quietly observe, predict moments, and position myself to wait for them to happen. This can only be achieved through experience. At other times, I will gently encourage and recommend places suitable for taking beautiful photos, but even so, once I know that I have a composition, I still hope that the couple will be themselves, which is very important. Over the years, I have learned that the photos that my clients like are their unexpected photos, and they are naturally at their best. Becoming a wedding photographer is exquisite art, and at the beginning of the day, you never know what photos you will take home, which is also an exciting part of the job.

What is your favourite part of the day?

Perhaps I should say that it is the moment when the groom looks back and the bride turned the corner, and they see each other for the first time. This is an incredible moment, guaranteed to bring a series of emotions to everyone including me, but it is close to the second time the couple spends time away from guests and in the beautiful afternoon sun, or if you are lucky, a perfect sunset. I like to take pictures in the distance and let the couple be themselves. This is usually the first time they are together as a couple and the first time they have the opportunity to say “We did it.” I really enjoy these moments. As a photographer, you can capture some truly memorable moments here.


What would you love to see at a wedding?

There is nothing specific here- I just like to see my couple’s style! When the personality of a couple shines in every detail, I like it. Although I do like the idea of dancing outdoors under the stars on a warm summer night.

Who, or what inspires you?

Most of my inspiration comes from the subconscious mind, from movies or art. It may be easy to be inspired by other photographers, but it is dangerous to copy what has been done before. When I see a great movie, I am attracted by cinematography and how to use light so carefully to add drama and dimension. Everyone likes a good movie, even if they may not pay special attention to film photography and the work in it, it is no accident. It is this kind of subconscious magic that I have been looking for, and the process of telling the story of the wedding day, and the various intertwined chapters.

If there is a place in the world, you would like to shoot weddings where would it be and why?

A difficult question, there are many, maybe it is the stunning Luskentyre beach in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, or the wilderness of Iceland, maybe under the northern lights, I like some amazing landscapes, I Think for me that wherever this couple has this motivation to do something truly different, be completely there, making their day truly unique and unforgettable. You can really get married anywhere, it all depends on how far your imagination can take you.

As a wedding photographer, what is the best moment you have ever experienced?

I will not say that there is a specific grand moment, but a collection of very delicate moments between people, and it is an honor to be able to participate in it.

Should I invest in a good wedding photographer?

Think about it-what will be your day’s record after 20, 30, or more years? That day will remain in your memory forever, but the records of this day will become photo evidence. These photos are a lasting and indelible record of this day and its events.

There is no doubt that you will take extra care and attention in every aspect of the day clothes, cakes, venue decorations, beautiful venues, food, wine, and guestlists. So why don’t you choose to invest in the most important aspect of today-heritage? What will you show your grandchildren in a few years? The Photographs.

Any top tips for couples planning their weddings right now?

I think as a photographer for many years, the best wedding is always when the couple considers the enjoyment of their guests throughout the day. They planned well and put a lot of effort and thinking in a day. However, no one is a slave to the plan on this day. Everyone just enjoys themselves, forgetting time schedules, spreadsheets, and planners-even though the plan supports the day subtly and invisibly. So, relax and have fun-this is the best thing you can do. The happier you and your guests are, the better memories you will create, and I will take better pictures for you

Thanks so much Patrick for taking time to speak to us and share some of your favorite photographs.