Adam Trzcionka

Four members of a wedding party in a line, each adjusting the person in front's clothing. Taken by Canon Ambassador Adam Trzcionka.

"When you let things happen instead of staging or directing, you can be surprised by unexpected situations," says wedding photographer Adam Trzcionka. "This is how I imagine wedding reportage: openness, commitment and vigilance rather than controlled poses." Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (now succeeded by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV) with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens at 1/250 sec, f/2.5 and ISO 3200. © Adam Trzcionka

"Photography seemed inspiring and easy," begins Poland's Adam Trzcionka, who dreamed of being a journalist before becoming a wedding photographer. "Instead of writing for hours, I could just press a button and have a finished picture. In the first part, I was correct. In the second part, I was terribly wrong."

Adam's journey into photography may have been unconventional – pivoting from writing about events to capturing them on camera – but while his newshound days are behind him, his ability to weave a compelling narrative is not. Blending a candid documentary style with rich poetic nuance, the Krakow-based photographer has cultivated a signature look that not only tells the viewer a story but also makes them feel it. "I feel deeply about everything I photograph, I put so much emotion into each shot, and there hasn't been a single day when I've felt burned out," he says.

Living by the motto 'a few photos can tell many tales', he adds, "in my opinion, that's what documentary work should be. I approach every wedding as if it were a documentary. I search for narrative textures, background stories and more than one thread. So, with a single photograph, I can tell more than one story."

Adam has specialised in weddings for 15 years, capturing the special days of ordinary people as well as celebrities. His career-changing moment came after encountering the renowned photographer Tomasz Tomaszewski, who not only broadened his perspective on photography but on life as well. "Tomasz is a legend in Polish photography; his workshops literally opened my eyes to everything," says Adam. "I realised that the eye is like a muscle: you must constantly stretch and train it. He also taught me that for your photography to mature, you must consider all aspects of a scene – large and small – and often this is happening in the background. He taught me the value of looking deeper, beyond what's right in front of you."

A headshot of Canon Ambassador Adam Trzcionka.
Location: Krakow, Poland

Specialist areas: Documentary-style weddings

Favourite kit: Canon EOS R3
Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM
Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM
A groom reading his vows to his laughing bride, with a smiling young child leaning against his legs. Taken on a Canon EOS R3 by Canon Ambassador Adam Trzcionka.

"For me, the ceremony, and especially the vows, is the most important part of my job, and as such requires the greatest concentration," says Adam. "At this stage I prefer to use a zoom lens, which allows me to instantly change the way the scene looks." Taken on a Canon EOS R3 with a Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM lens at 63mm, 1/320 sec, f/2.8 and ISO 100. © Adam Trzcionka

After saving up enough money to buy his first camera, Adam became a man on a mission. "In the beginning, I photographed everything I found interesting," he reflects. "I still do that now; I just have better equipment and more skills." Today, Adam typically takes two camera setups to a wedding shoot: a Canon EOS R3 paired with a Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM lens, and an EOS R6 Mark II mounted with either his Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM or RF 85mm F1.2L USM lenses.

"I look back on the work I did during the early days of my career with a little embarrassment," he admits. "They were not very good photos. But I simply decided to be the best photographer I could be and worked hard. I continue to work hard to make that happen – even after 15 years in this business, there is always more to learn.

Members of a wedding party walking with umbrellas through a rain-drenched garden. Taken by Canon Ambassador Adam Trzcionka.

"Between the ceremony and the reception, the weather suddenly turned, resulting in a storm and a huge downpour," says Adam. "The guests' arrival was delayed by over two hours. The young couple, clearly worried, are walking around the wedding marquee. Then the sun came out, and I witnessed one of the best weddings ever." Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens at 1/250 sec, f/2.8 and ISO 100. © Adam Trzcionka

"For me, photographing weddings is an incredible source of adventure; it gives my life meaning, and each one is a blessing. It's a beautiful job, and when past clients tell me that my photos have become even more important to them, well that's the most rewarding feeling in the world."

What do you do to keep your photography skills sharp?

"I try to go to the city as often as possible to practise street photography to train my eye. To become a better photographer, you need to practise. You won't learn just by watching social media videos. I live and breathe photography. I read, obsessively browse websites such as Magnum Photos, and strive to find inspiration beyond the wedding photography sphere."

What are some of the obstacles you've faced in this genre?

"Once, due to a groom's health issues, I had to photograph an entire wedding without flash – and it was autumn in a very dimly lit venue. Another time, I photographed a wedding in the mountains and had to climb for three hours to reach the location with a backpack full of equipment. Often, aside from time pressure, the biggest challenge is the forest of guests with smartphones you must navigate through – a sign of the times. Sometimes, my clients are fellow photographers, which presents a different kind of challenge."

What makes a good wedding photo?

"One that doesn't bore. For me, it should exhibit four key elements: the moment, the frame, the composition and the aesthetic. People and the relationships between them are what's most important, and you must be able to convey that. It's not about exotic locations or spectacular backgrounds. I prefer to focus on intimacy, the meeting of two people, and the emotions between them."

How do you typically prepare for a wedding?

"Preparation is like a ritual for me: charging batteries, checking memory cards, cleaning lenses. Ensuring I haven't forgotten anything. When it comes to my mindset, I try not to prepare with set patterns or ideas. I prefer improvisation and interpretation. I don't have mood boards, cheat sheets, or ideas for shots and frames prepared. I worked that way in the beginning. Now, I trust myself and my intuition more. As a result, I create different photos each time, even though they share common elements. My clients come to me for that very reason."

One thing I know

Adam Trzcionka

"When I began, even a day before a wedding or photo session, I knew what kind of photos I would take. I created easily predictable, schematic photographs because I arranged, set up and controlled everything I could. Eventually, when I fell in love with the documentary style, I broke free from that. I also stopped believing that sharpness is the most important aspect and found that noise can add a touch of nobility. I know now that it's valuable to make all the mistakes I made. Above all, I learned that investing in my skills and knowledge is far more important than relying on tricks and trends; these come and go, but your instincts – both natural and honed – remain with you and in your photos."

Facebook: @Adam Trzcionka Fotografia

Instagram: @adamtrzcionka.fotografia


Adam Trzcionka's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

Adam Trzcionka's kitbag containing Canon cameras, lenses and accessories.


Canon EOS R3

A camera that lets you photograph like never before with 30fps continuous shooting and advanced connectivity. "This is my workhorse, with outstanding autofocus and an incredible sensor," says Adam. "It's just so fast, reliable and durable."

Canon EOS R6 Mark II

Stills or video, action or portrait – the EOS R6 Mark II’s blend of performance and image quality lets your creativity thrive. "I tend to use this more for my sessions with couples or when I'm shooting portraits," says Adam.


Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM

A super-fast and bright 28-70mm f/2 L-series lens that gives stunning results even in low light. "Optically this lens is just phenomenal; it's a very fast workhorse," says Adam. "I don't take it off the EOS R3, which makes for a perfectly balanced set. It has the image quality of a prime lens, but it's a zoom with a great range. It's an amazing tool."

Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM

A prime lens for supreme sharpness, plus remarkable low-light performance. "A bright lens, with fantastic imaging and great colour and contrast, without aberration," says Adam. "This is my number two lens, which I use wide open in parallel with the 28-70mm."

Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM

Uncompromising sharpness for portraits along with superb low-light performance and creative potential. "I use this lens when I need to work from a distance," says Adam. "Optically it's phenomenal, much faster than its EF predecessor."

Canon RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM

A fast aperture lens for wide-angle perspective and close focusing. "This is a backup lens for me, but I like to use it, for example on the dance floor," says Adam. "It is light and has good geometry. I mainly use this lens for street photography."

Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM

A compact, quiet and lightweight lens, with a wide f/1.8 aperture, perfect for harnessing your creative vision. "This is my everyday lens," says Adam. "I use it at home, in the garden and when I'm walking the dog."


Canon Speedlite EL-1

An advanced Speedlite that delivers superb reliability and advanced high-speed performance in a tough weather-resistant body. "I use this for formal family shots or when the lighting is unfavourable," says Adam.

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