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Wedding portrait photography in Tanzania by Mark Hadden

Tanzania destination wedding photography

When a wedding photographer from Amsterdam gets asked to fly all the way to India to photograph a wedding he can’t say no! Aquil and Benazir’s wedding took place in Dar Es Salaam a beautiful city on the east side of Tanzania. Their wedding was filled with cultural and spiritual events and it I loved getting to experience it all.

Aquil and Benazir are very photogenic people so I want to share a small selection of portraits I took of them during the 3 day wedding.

If you want to see more just click HERE!

bruidsfotografie amsterdam by mark hadden

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Photography project: Life after prison

‘‘What is life like after you’ve gone to prison?’’

A few months ago we started a project, we wanted to know what life was like for people that have gone to prison in the Netherlands. We had a lot of questions: what brought them to this point in their life? Do people treat them differently? What kind of changes are they making in their lives to not end up back in prison? But most importantly we wanted to get to know them.

Below is our project book, here you can find more information about our thoughts behind the project and our idea’s…

(All images used in this post are curtesy of various different photographers and are used for the purpose of concept formalisation)

Long Term Project Book.jpg

‘‘To show the empathy and emotion of a subject through portraiture.’’


People usually see someone who has been to prison as a bad person, even though there are plenty of ordinary people who just made a mistake, did their time for it and are trying to move on with life again. We think it is interesting to share the stories of people who have been in a difficult situation and to see what it is like to reintegrate into society.

We have since started into a partnership with Exodus. Exodus is an organisation that tries to help these people overcome the difficulties with this process. 

Through this collaboration we came in contact with different people who would want to participate in the project. After meeting with everyone, we discovered that there is a lot of shame attached to being someone that has gone to prison. 

“What would the neighbours think of me if they ever find out? “ One of them said.

Therefore we think that it’s important to do this project, a mistake that you have made in your past should not determine your future.

Long Term Project Book5.jpg


For most people its self-explanatory to have a job, a house, you have stability. For people that have gone to prison it’s not like that, getting hired somewhere or finding a place to live can seem impossible. 

We want to show on the how people are trying to change their ways, their environment is an important part of that. 

Long Term Project Book8.jpg


We would love everyone to see what their life is like though their eyes. 
And we wanted them to be included in the process of the project as much as possible. 
We gave everyone a disposable camera so we get a look into how life is for them.

Long Term Project Book12.jpg



Beautiful wedding decorations that match your budget

Beautiful wedding decorations that match your budget

Everyone wants a picture perfect wedding, and decorations are a huge part of that but the costs of those decorations can add up quickly. Here are some budget friendly wedding decoration idea’s to make your special day one you’ll never forget…

Wedding Name Tags


Adding name tags is a great way to make your guests feel welcome and there are a lot of great ways to make them match your wedding theme. These are some examples from Etsy shops, click on the images for more information.

To add a more personal touch to your wedding you could also make some of the decorations yourself. Here are some creative and easy DIY wedding decoration ideas:

Wedding candles

Have a look through the amazing wedding photography we did for  Jelle & Meike.

Have a look through the amazing wedding photography we did for Jelle & Meike.

Candles, touches and lanterns can make any wedding venue feel cosier. If you’re going for a vintage look, try your local thrift store, some great one’s in Amsterdam are Kringloopwinkel Op Lokatie and Kringloopwinkel RataPlan. I’m sure you can find loads of cool candle holders and vintage looking wine bottles, add a coat of spray-paint and they’re good as new. Ikea is also a great place to look for cheap candles and holders of all shapes and sizes. Don't be afraid to mismatch them as this can look really pretty.

(Keep in mind whether or not children will be attending your wedding and if it would cause any issues to have open flames.)

Wedding flowers

Last year we got to do the photography for a beautiful wedding at  Hortus Botanicus  in Amsterdam. Have a look through  Inka & Gary’s wedding photo’s here.

Last year we got to do the photography for a beautiful wedding at Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam. Have a look through Inka & Gary’s wedding photo’s here.

Flowers are a major wedding expense, here are some tips to saving money on your flower arrangements:

Choose in-season flowers, while you may be able to fly in your favorite flowers it’s a lot less costly to stick to in season, locally grown flowers.

Use less but statement-making flowers, dinner plate dahlias are gorgeous, but a centrepiece filled with these flowers is going to be pricey. Instead, opt for one big flower and fill up the rest of the centrepiece arrangement with cheaper flowers. 

Re-use, if you use small, simple bouquets for your bridesmaids you can repurpose the flowers at the reception as decorations for the tables, restrooms, dessert table, etc.



Amsterdam Wedding Photographer - Pre Wedding Shoot - IKA + GARY

I love it when creative people choose me to do their wedding photography. Ika is a visual artist and graphic designer and Gary is a molecular biologist with a great eye for street photography so they both really know what they like. Next month they are getting married in the Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam and they decided to have a pre wedding shoot to get used to being in front of the camera. They had very specific ideas in mind about the location being not really recognisable and they like dark moody emotional photography. For a wedding photographer like me to have a shoot in Amsterdam with these guys is really a treat. Really right up my street!  The guys were so elegantly dressed, you can tell they think about the final photography a lot. Have a look and let me know what you think.



Amsterdam Trouwfotograaf - Pre Wedding Shoot Hans + Alina

Hans & Alina contacted me a few weeks ago because he and his fiancee were coming to Amsterdam from Singapore and wanted to do a love shoot so they have some photography to remember their trip before their wedding in 2019. They were happy for me to take the lead and give advice on locations so we set up a two hour shoot starting at the Rijksmuseum, then heading to the Magere Brug, and around some of the lovely canals of Amsterdam.  Below are some of my favourite images from the day. What a cool couple they are.



Editing Photos With Adobe Lightroom for Wedding Photographers

Recently I have been asked a few times by other wedding photographers about my process when it comes to editing on Adobe Lightroom. People ask "what presets are you using?",  "or how do you get that look?" etc etc. This is such a long answer but I am gonna try to break it down.  Its taken me a very long time and numerous hours on every project trying to get a look that I am happy with.

Before I get into it, if youre just getting started out or if you need some new inspiration for your editing process, this is a great article by the people at SHOOTDOTEDIT. You can see the article here: HOW TO EDIT WEDDING PHOTOS

I picked up a couple of tips from this article myself and it might be good to watch before you delve into what I have to say.

So lets get going and take a look at the following image and break it down. 

how to edit wedding photography images in lightroom with presets or not by mark hadden trouwfotograaf amsterdam

Click the image to open up the lightbox so you can see the lightroom basic panel a little clearer if you like.

You will notice that the contrast is super low on the main panel. This is because in the curves panels, that you can see below, there is quite a lot of contrast added in the RGB channel and also in each of the Red, Green, and Blue Channels. These contrast curves I inherited a long time ago when i was using  a Kodak Portra preset. The red, green and blue channel curves make a start to the colour tone of the image and i use these for almost all of my images.  The RGB curve has a very slight fade to the shadows, mid tones are brought up and the highlights are faded quite a bit to soften the overall highlights in the images. 

Capture 4 copy 3.jpg

The next thing to think about is global adjustments and more refined ones when it somes to dark and light in the images. The way I think of it is that the basic panel are more like global adjustments of brightness and contrast.  The adjustment sliders below the curves panel give a much more pleasing and controlling way to adjust the light, middle and dark parts of the images.  Look at the histogram of the image in the curves panel and you can see where the dakest and lightest parts of the image are. So you can adjust each of the 4 segments independently to further refine each part of the image, in terms of light: bring up the darkest shadows, crush the highlights etc.  See below image to show what I mean and pay attention to the adjustment points compared to the histogram.

Capture 2.PNG

The clarity and dehaze sliders also adjust contrast but in different ways so play around with minor adjustments to them and see how they affect the images youre working on.  I like to bring them down a little sometimes to give a super softness to some portraits for example, like in the image below. Clairty really affects edge definition and dehaze is I guess a bit of adobe magic with a special kind of contrast adjustment, but I like it. 

Ika Gary-017-2 copy.jpg


The next thing I look at is the split toning panel. Using this panel is a great way to add a bit of colour to the highlights and the shadows. For example you might want to add a bit of blue to the highlights and a bit of brown to the shadows.  This is what I did for the image at the top of this post. Here is the panel for that image below. Notice that its very small amounts of colour, very subtle in the final image. A great way to to try this out is to take an image with a bright soft white/grey sky and try to apply a subtle pink highlight tone with a value of about 350, then try with a blue highlight tone with a value around 200.. Play around with the amount but keep it subtle.

Capture 9.JPG

Finally there is the colour calibration panel at the very bottom.  This for me was also inherited a long time ago from one of the Kodak Portra presets. I just made some minor adjustments to get the colours more suited to my Sony A7Riii/A7iii files.


So the question: "what presets do you use?". The answer... I dont really. Except that some of my own were originally based on one or two that I liked the colours of. Now I just have a basic starting point for each image.. No image is a one click preset for me. Usually I make a starting point for an image set on one image I like and go from there.  The key thing for me is that the curves and calibration panels are mostly the same through all the work now. Everything else is adjusted per project. 

I hope this helps some of you out there and if there is anything that you want to add then please do so in the comments below.  




Pre wedding Photography Naarden, Amsterdam

When Inez and Hesse asked me to do the wedding photography for their wedding in Naarden we discussed doing a pre wedding shoot there so they could get used to being in front of the camera with me. It was actually a great way to get to know each other a bit before the wedding. This is really part of my process with couples anyway. Its really important for couples to feel super comfortable on the wedding day. There was lovely light on the evening we visited  and it made for amazing pre wedding photography.  So have  a look at the photos and let me know what you think. I love them.   Look out for the full wedding set of images soon. If you want to see more then do please visit the PORTFOLIO HERE ind have a look through all the recent weddings like this amazing wedding in the Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam

bruidsfotografie amsterdam by mark hadden amsterdam wedding photographer



London Destination Wedding Photography


Being asked to photograph one of the most amazingly themed weddings in London is always nice. I didn’t realise how fantastic it would be until I arrived on the day  I definitely got a bit of a Peaky Blinders vibe. I’m not sure if Andy and Gunta meant this or not but it really was amazing. What attitude from the kids.  Here’s a few of my very favourites below.  If you want to get more of a taste of the wedding photography from this day then have a look HERE


Amazing Destination Wedding Photography London and Amsterdam by Mark Hadden



Featured in the best Wedding Photographers at Junebug Weddings

So happy to let you all know that I am now a proud member of Junebug Weddings, and am featured in the best wedding photographers of the Netherlands. Please share with friends and family and anyone you know getting married. You can see the new listing HERE, Or by clicking the image below: 

Het beste bruidsfotograaf netherlands, amsterdam, utrecht, soest

Check out the best of the latest wedding photography in Amsterdam form 2017 and 2018 on the home page HERE:  or the portfolio page HERE



The Best Wedding Photographers of Amsterdam and North Holland

beste bruidsfotograaf amsterdam noord holland. best wedding photographers amsterdam and north holland

beste bruidsfotograaf amsterdam noord holland. best wedding photographers amsterdam and north holland

If youre looking for the best wedding photographers in the North Holland and Amsterdam areas then you came to the right place. Zankyou.nl (Zank You Weddings) consistently tell me I am one of their favourite photographers in the area and of course I say YES when they ask if I want to be included.!. I must be doing something right after all and am really proud to be chosen for this over the last 2 years. Of course it depends if you like the style of images I make. There are of course other photographers in the list but why not get in touch with me for a meeting. You never know... what you might find out. 

If you want to see more from the BEAUTIFUL destination wedding of Judith and Igor (photo above) the click here: AMAZING WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY IN TUSCANY





Upgrading to A7Riii from A7Rii. Wedding Photography & Custom Buttons Setup

I did an engagement shoot this week with my new A7Riii, (A7Rii as my second camera) and all I can say is WOW.  Some of my initial thoughts on the are below.

1. EYE Af

This really is like night and day compared to the "old-er" model. It really didnt matter where i pointed the camera, the eye and if not, the face was just on point every time. The A7Rii felt like a dinosaur in comparison. So much so i just didnt want to use it at all. I mean the faces were being nailed even when the couple were about 30+metres away. Hopefully the A7ii when it comes out has the same focusing system. If so this will be a hell of a combo for weddings. Honestly its amazing for me.

2 Custom Button Setup

I spent a bit of time setting up the custom buttons for my way of shooting and what a time that took. There are just so many possibilities. I analysed the features i used most in this years weddings and tried to make them work.  I tend to shoot with lenses at the widest aperture for much of a wedding day on AF-S (single shot) with flexible spot small focusing point. Eye AF is on the whole day. For processionals or wider shots it can be anywhere from F5.6 - F8 on AF-C (continuous) and Expanded flexible spot AF.  

With these 3 shoot modes as a basis for the day I had set up the A7Rii to hold these in the memory so I could recall them by switching the dial on the top.  The A7Rii is no slouch and served me well. You can see the last wedding shot with the A7Rii here: Amsterdam Wedding Photography: Judith + Igor.  So I dont want to say it didnt help me make images I love..It did!

The absolute beauty of the A7Riii is that i dont have to take my eye away from the viewfinder.  I dont have to think about anything but shooting! All three focus modes are within reach of my thumb by assigning each mode to a different custom button. 

You can see my custom buttons settings in the images below.

Recall Custom Hold

One of the great features for me is not just assigning diffferent focussing methods like eye-af and a standard focus mode, but being able to override them all with a "recall custom hold set". So if i am using Aperture priority at F1.4 on single shot AF I can go to expanded flexible shot, continuous AF and F5.6 (for walking shots/processionals etc with the press of a button and for as long as i hold it. As soon as you release the button its back to single shot AF or whatever mode youre in. So basically I have all 3 focus modes at the ready at any time. All this without even delving into the shoot mode memory recall at all (which I do need to for night shoots and architecture or studio work).  You can see how I set up the Recall Custom Hold Below and how many settings you can apply for each one.  There are three holds you can assign.

FN Menu settings

For all of the other features I need quick access to like pixel shift (for my architecture work), anti flicker, live view setting effect on/off (studio shooting with strobe), Crop mode, or focus peaking, I set them all in the function menu as you see below.

No more searching through the menus. Everything is only one button away. AND there is an option to have your own personal menu where you grab your most used menu items and have them in your own menu section. For now I have things like format, face registration,  and memory recall settings in there.  I am sure i might add a few, we will see.

This new model really is a PRO Tool. No need to worry about missing a moment or any shot from changing settings or looking in menus. You just know you nailed it because the functionality is right there.

3. Battery life

 Not as good as i thought it would be. Maybe because its such massive files or something but I did a 2 hour shoot and was down to 35%. Not as good as the A9 I suspect. Expensive batteries too.  I will do some experimenting to see how I can extend battery life. I suspect just switching off the camera when not shooting instead of letting it hang still running will make a big difference.

4 Memory Cards

I was using Lexar 32gb UHS-2 1000x cards, 150mbs speed. Tested at 135mbs ish write speed. Plenty fast enough for me and I never had any problems waiting for the buffer to clear even though I was shooting a lot of bursts just to test it out.

5. Is it worth the upgrade

All I can say is that if you are a working photographer who needs the efficiency and ease of use that the A7Riii Brings then yes, its definitely worth it.   If youre looking for only image quality performance then probably not.  The R2 is still an awesome camera as far as that goes. The A7Riii though, for me, is a work-game-changer.!

Now all i have to do is wait for the updated ACR so I can actually work on the files. So thats my two pence worth so far.  Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.


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Bruidsfotografie Amsterdam - Destination Wedding In Tucany

WOW! Is it really since July that I didnt post something here?  How busy a few months it has been. Wedding photography all over the world, Architecture shoots all over Europe and some portraits too. When its too busy to even think about photographing another wedding thats when I forget to post stuff. 

I love the Amsterdam wedding photographer "tag" that I have become known for, but I also love the Amersfoort, Utrecht, and Rotterdam wedding photographer "tag". Not to mention the Destination Wedding Photographer "tag". Thats what it has been like the last few months, literally all over Europe and the Netherlands. SO, just because you want to see how good a year its been, here are some of my favourite shots from the last while.  

Lets start with the latest wedding in Tuscany, Italy. Judith and Igor, take a bow. You were amazing. Full wedding here: Amsterdam & Destination Wedding Photography, Igor + Judith

For photographers: All images are shot with the Sony A7Rii.  If you want to see my first thoughts on the A7Riii then check out the next blog post above.

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Wedding photography in the Forest - Amersfoort

Utrecht & Amersfoort arent so far from Amsterdam so I wonder sometimes why I dont do wedding photography there more often. There are some amazing landscapes around the area including Soesterduinen and Utrechtse Heuvelrug.  I really love it around there, and this wedding is a great example .  Set in a forest near  Leusden, Lucie and Luuk decided to have the ceremony in the middle of the beautiful trees. WOW, how amazing is that?!.  Here is a small selection of images from the day below. If you want to see more from the day just click here: Utrecht, Amerfoort, Leusden Forest Wedding Photography


Beautiful Wedding Photography in Amsterdam // Robin & Gus


Beautiful Wedding Photography in Amsterdam // Robin & Gus

Wedding photography season is in full flow and I hardly have time to post anything so its been a bit quiet for a while. Finally I have a little space to make some posts so her we go with an awesome, if a little short, wedding in Amsterdam. The couple really wanted to focus on getting the most couple photos as possible. We ended up doing a few different shoots in a number of locations. First off was the Hortus Botanicus with its beautiful palm house, then we passed the Magere Brug, where apparently if you kiss then your love lasts forever. I also did another engagement shoot there a few weeks ago. You can see that one HERE. Finally the wedding happened at the Rosarium in Amstel Park and the ceremony was emotional and beautiful. Here is a small selection of images for now but you can see the whole day HERE.



Amsterdam Wedding Photography - Yun & Geert

Yun & Geert contacted me through a colleague to do the photography for their wedding day. We met first in Amsterdam and they told me all about the big day. It sounded like it was going to be great.  There was even an owl flying in with the wedding rings. I had to laugh at this: I mean, what an amazing idea. Believe me, trying to catch an owl flying into the ceremony isnt easy. In the end it was a fantastic wedding set in Amersfoort. 



Bruidsfotografie Amsterdam - Mr & Mr

Amazing wedding on the IJ in Amsterdam with Anthony and Sean. They contacted me last year and told me they were getting married and would love for me to photograph their wedding. When they told me they were in the USA I got super excited and thought, "wow, what a cool destination wedding".. haha. Well it wasn't to be in the states, but instead they were looking for an Amsterdam Wedding Photographer for an amazing boat wedding this April.  There were a few conversations in between and I got to know them a little by skype and we planned for the wedding photography in Amsterdam.  So last week the day finally came. It was great to meet them at last. What an amazing couple, genuinely really nice, and, friendly, people. It was a pleasure to meet all their family and friends from all over the world and be part of the big day. Congrats MR & MR.!!



Bruidsfotografie Amsterdam - Engagement on Magere Brug


The element of Surprise


Ross got in contact through my facebook page.  He planned to propose to his girlfriend Alexa in Amsterdam and wanted to make some photos of the occasion, so needed an Amsterdam wedding photographer. He said it was really difficult to surprise Alexa because she is sooooo organised that she always knows what is happening in her schedule. A planned meeting in Paris was given up, with the help of the parents, in favour of this proposal to the love of his life on the, Amsterdam.   I do love these surprise moments and always feel blessed to be part of them somehow, and this was no exception.  The legend says if you kiss on the Magere Brug (skinny bridge) then the love will last forever. There were many kisses so I guess they are set for life now!

Thanks again Ross for inviting me into your special event!!



Bright Blue Suits! No thanks.

Every year in the Netherlands I lok at the wedding photos of the year and am totally astounded by how many guys wear only the same thing: THE BRIGHT BLUE SUIT!  We dont all have to be the same. Here are some great ideas for you from Junebug weddings that will let the beautiful bride still take centre stage but have all you guys feeling super cool. Read the article about the images below.




Business Headshots at Serjeants Inn, London

Last April I got a call to do 80 business headshots in London for a group of barristers and needless to say I jumped at it. The only issue was that I would miss Kings Day in Amsterdam for the first shoot. All the way to London from Amsterdam for headshots? Well that wasnt good but the job turned out to be great fun. Over 6.5 days with the help of make up artist Oli Fowler of AOFM Make Up London we had a blast. Everyone worked well together from the clients, assistants, barristers and of course Oli.  Here are a few samples from the many shots we made over the last few months.



Bruidsfotografie Amsterdam - Destination Wedding Photography Glastonbury

When a wedding photographer from Amsterdam gets asked to go to Glastonbury in England to do the photography for the wedding of two creative and stylish architects how can he resist. Resist I did not.! The magical wedding of Cathrin and Michael took place on a farm near Glastonbury with 100+ guests, many of whom had helped create the fairy tale landscape that was the setting for the day.  Guests camped in tents and brought the food the day from all over Europe and was only supplemented by the Pizza van that arrived in the evening to feed the party goers. The couple rally showed what it meant having all their friends and family there for the day. You can really see it in the photos and I am really happy that I have been able to show this back to them to keep the memories alive forever. Have a look below at some of my favourite images from the day. If you want to see the a bigger selection, and you SHOULD, then check them out HERE.  Have a look at some more of my favourite images from this year HERE