Igor Demba

A bride and groom walking with their backs to the camera through a desert landscape. Taken by Igor Demba.

"The first time I visited Morocco in 2017 I fell in love with the country and have been back many times since," says Canon Ambassador Igor Demba. "Captured on the last day of a three-day destination wedding, this image in the Agafay Desert has been an important one in my career." Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens at 1/640 sec, f/1.6 and ISO 100. © Igor Demba

"I love wedding photography because I love working with people," says Igor Demba. "For most couples it's the best day of their lives, and I get the privilege of being part of it. At the same time, I love to travel and discover different locations and cultures, so being a destination wedding photographer is the perfect job for me."

Born in Portugal, Igor lived in several countries around Europe with his parents, who were missionaries, before eventually settling in the UK. He first began shooting images – mainly street pictures and portraits – while studying graphic design at university.

Igor enjoyed the experience and delved deeper into the world of shooting weddings. "I was especially inspired by the work of wedding photographers in the US and Europe and saw it was a clear art form," he says. "Those photographers all had their own voices – their own clear identity and style."

He threw himself into wedding photography, made as many contacts as possible and, by the time he was leaving university, he was shooting 20-30 weddings a year. For the first few years after graduating he combined building up his business with working as a graphic designer, before taking the plunge and becoming a full-time pro wedding photographer in 2017.

A headshot of Canon Ambassador Igor Demba.
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

Specialist area: Weddings

Favourite kit: Canon EOS R3
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM

Since then, he has photographed hundreds of weddings in almost 30 countries and has won several accolades for his work. They include being chosen as one of Rangefinder Magazine's '20 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography' in 2016 and one of Harper's Bazaar's ‘Top Wedding Photographers in the World' in 2020.

A newlywed couple walk hand in hand down a wooden jetty, thatched overwater bungalows in the background. Taken by Igor Demba.

"Keeping things relaxed and fluid, together with well scouted locations, is a big part of my style," says Igor. This elopement image was shot in Bora Bora, French Polynesia. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens at 1/1250 sec, f/1.4 and ISO 100. © Igor Demba

Wedding guests process in a line through a desert landscape on the back of camels. Taken by Igor Demba.

Igor shot this image at a wedding in the Agafay Desert, Morocco. "The couple surprised their guests with a camel ride," he remembers. "While capturing this was challenging, running through dunes and racing against camels, it was completely worth it!" Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens at 1/5000 sec, f/1.8 and ISO 100. © Igor Demba

Although he thrives under the pressure of having the responsibility of capturing a couple's big day, he says he's "quite a chilled guy" by nature and his friendly, relaxed approach helps put people at ease.

"I don't tend to pose my clients," he says, "I give them general directions rather than telling them exactly what to do. By starting with the basics and letting people behave naturally, I capture details and intimate moments. At the same time there's always an aesthetic element – I love the fashion on show at a wedding and I also love incorporating architecture and landscape settings. I see lines and textures all over the place in my compositions."

A couple standing in the centre of a circular parterre, with trees and mountains in the background. Taken by Igor Demba.

"As soon as I arrived in Morocco's Ourika Valley to shoot a wedding I knew an image in the centre of the gardens of Kasbah Bab Ourika needed to happen," recalls Igor. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM lens (now succeeded by the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM) at 1/200 sec, f/1.4 and ISO 2000. © Igor Demba

A couple standing on a balcony with wrought iron railings on the side of a large stone tower. Taken by Igor Demba.

"Composition is an important aspect of my work, and this was one of those days, while photographing just outside of Rome, when everything fell into place," says Igor. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens at 1/100 sec, f/1.8 and ISO 100. © Igor Demba

Igor's business changed during the pandemic when "the whole wedding photography world was turned upside down" and he began sharing his expertise online. He also offers mentoring and workshops for other photographers alongside his destination wedding photography work.

When shooting weddings, Igor's ultimate aim is to produce a set of beautiful, creative, memorable images with a strong narrative element. "Once the couple press 'play' on their slideshow and view their images, the way I tell the story creates a narrative," he explains. "It's one that will transport them straight back into the day, whether they're looking at the photos for the first time, or many years into the future."

When you're going to a new wedding location, how do you scout it?

"I tend to travel to a location one or two days beforehand so I can acclimatise to the venue and general environment. I'm always looking for light, and I start creating a plan based on what time the light will hit specific places. I also have a backup plan if the light's completely flat on the day. Then I go into the architecture of the place and figure out compositions, trying to create a journey or path I'll walk with my couple for the portraits."

In what ways do you incorporate the location into the pictures?

"After selecting the locations, it's all about textures, really. I like to introduce little details that very much give a flavour of the place – it might be something as simple as a specific plant you only get in that region, or certain elements of the architecture that are unique to that particular place."

Do you shoot video at weddings?

"I have recently started shooting video at weddings. Our industry is changing so fast. If you don't learn video and adapt it will be detrimental to your business, so I'm working towards it in the future."

What's your favourite time of day to shoot?

"Golden hour is beautiful and pleasing to the eye and its warm tones create amazing pictures. But I also love to shoot in blue hour when you get the last remnants of sunlight. It interacts with skin tones in a different way."

One thing I know

Igor Demba

"As wedding photographers we are observers of the world around us, so having a strong sense of documentary and the ability to create beautiful images from any situation is crucial. When you're starting out, you have to develop that ability by shooting as much as possible with your family and friends, and learning from it. It's also important to train your eye by studying successful images by other photographers and understanding exactly what makes them so good."

Instagram: @igordemba

Twitter/X: @igordemba


Igor Demba's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

 Canon Ambassador Igor Demba's kitbag containing Canon cameras, lenses and accessories.


Canon EOS R3

With speed at its core, this is the camera that photographers have been waiting for. "The EOS R3 is perfect for hybrid shooters," Igor says. "The feel of it with its dual-grip, and second-to-none weather sealing makes it superb for wherever you may be shooting in the world. Weddings are fast-paced events, so having a quick and accurate autofocus system that also has Eye Control AF means the camera can truly become an extension of yourself."

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

This latest iteration of the popular EOS 5D series includes innovations such as Dual Pixel RAW and 4K video, making it a camera for all occasions. "This camera is very much an extension of me, and I've learned it thoroughly, so I know exactly what I'm doing," says Igor. "The focusing is incredible and I love the colour profile – it's so pleasing with skin tones."


Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

The professional's wide-angle lens with L-series optics and a fast f/1.4 aperture, making it ideal for low light. "Using this lens, when I shoot quite close to someone, I'm able to create a great sense of intimacy," says Igor. "It's perfect for shooting on the dance floor when I want to show more of the room and what's around the subject."

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM

A professional-grade wide-angle lens with a natural perspective, an f/1.4 aperture and low light capabilities. "I love this lens because it's so versatile – I use it for landscapes, documentary-style work and portraits," says Igor. "70% of my shots are taken with this lens."

Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8

A tilt-and-shift lens offering an angle of view similar to that of a 50mm standard lens. Tilt-and-shift mechanisms provide complete control over depth of field and perspective. "It's an unusual lens to use for weddings, but it has allowed me to create a dreamy look that's unique and recognisable," says Igor.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

High performance, f/1.4 aperture USM lens for general, low light and portrait photography. "I'd advise anyone starting out in wedding photography to use this lens because you can do so much with it," says Igor. "The bokeh you get from it is beautiful."

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

This lens offers a short telephoto focal length combined with a large maximum aperture and fast autofocus speed. "The EF 85mm f/1.8 USM is perfect for so many shots, especially portraits from a distance because it gives a beautiful compression between subject and background," says Igor.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

A professional telephoto L-series lens with wide f/2 aperture ideal for portrait and low light photography. "This is a tighter lens than the 85mm, but I use it in the same way, especially for the ceremony or the speeches where I'm able to focus more on emotions and expressions," says Igor.


Canon Speedlite 580EX II

"I have two of these Speedlites, which I usually use for shots on the dance floor," Igor says. "I tend to use them with the EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM and sometimes set the flash as if I'm shooting a lot tighter to create a vignette around the subject."

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