Katarzyna Brońska-Popiel and Jakub Popiel

A couple exchange vows at Warsaw’s Ujazdów Castle while many guests watch on. The large, extravagant room is filled from floor to ceiling with white flowers. Taken on a Canon EOS R6 by Malachite Meadow.

This photo from a wedding ceremony at Ujazdów Castle in Warsaw was captured just after the vows. It's an example of how rapidly the wedding industry in Poland is growing, with productions becoming increasingly elaborate and extravagant. "The cost of flowers and decorations at this wedding could have bought an apartment in Poland," says wedding photographer Jakub Popiel, who, together with his wife Katarzyna Brońska-Popiel, runs the company Malachite Meadow. Taken on a Canon EOS R6 with a Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM lens at 35mm, 1/160 sec, f/3.5 and ISO 1250. © Malachite Meadow

For Canon Ambassadors Katarzyna Brońska-Popiel (Kasia) and Jakub Popiel (Kuba), a passion for telling stories and an ability to form relationships is central to their work. This, combined with a desire to share knowledge and build a community among wedding photographers, has made their company, Malachite Meadow, highly respected in its field.

Connection is important for Kasia, who was born in Kalisz, Poland, and moved around frequently as a child. She believes this experience, along with her second job – as a psychotherapist – has influenced her ability to connect. The human element is what links the two professions, she says. "My psychological background helps me recognise critical moments or emotional shifts during weddings, providing inner calm and, somewhat unconsciously, creating a support system for couples."

Kasia first started photographing people aged 12, using a basic compact film camera. "I always wondered who they were, where they were going, what stories they carried with them," she says.

This interest in stories is reflected in Kuba's early passions growing up in Kraków, where the two are now based. "For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by cinema and stories," he says. "As a teenager, I consumed them almost addictively." During this time, Kuba had his first experience with traditional analogue photography, which he describes as "magical and profound".

Kuba went on to study at Krakówskie Szkoły Artystyczne (KSA), specialising in creative photography. "It was a time of intense work, seeking inspiration, but also training in reportage and portrait photography, as well as working on fashion photography," he remembers.

A headshot of Canon Ambassadors Katarzyna Brońska-Popiel and Jakub Popiel holding Canon cameras.
Location: Kraków, Poland

Specialist areas: Wedding photography, street photography

Favourite kit: Canon EOS R6
Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
A black and white image of a bride-to-be grimacing as her veil is adjusted by a bridesmaid while her mother watches on. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III by Malachite Meadow.

"We love capturing real emotion in photos, and we know that's why our clients choose us," says Kasia. Here, bride Lourette is running late, and her mother and bridesmaid try to get her ready as quickly as possible. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (now succeeded by the 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 1/125 sec, f/2.8 and ISO 1000. © Malachite Meadow

Taken from above and with a black vignette added, a seated bride and groom embrace lovingly at an elaborately decorated table. Taken on a Canon EOS R6 Mark II by Malachite Meadow.

Kasia and Kuba regularly conduct wedding workshops to share their knowledge and skills. "The opportunity to educate others makes the wedding photography industry better and more professional," says Kasia. "The profession is gaining status and becoming a prestigious occupation." Taken on a Canon EOS R6 Mark II with a Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM at 28mm, 1/250 sec, f/2 and ISO 3200. © Malachite Meadow

Kuba started his career working as a photojournalist on a local newspaper, while Kasia's first paid assignment was a friend's wedding. The pair then started working as reporters for the Moje Miasto Kraków portal. "We enjoyed it, because at that time our photography focused on different aspects, which resulted in a very cohesive and extensive reportage," says Kasia.

Her interest in wedding photography led them to take on a joint assignment, before setting up Malachite Meadow in 2010. The name was inspired by a poem by Polish poet Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński. "It resonated as a symbol of liberation in wedding photography, moving it into the natural world and the lightness that comes with photographing such events," explains Kasia.

"In 2010, wedding photography was quite different from today, unfortunately often associated with kitsch," Kuba says. "We wanted to approach it differently, with class and elegance, drawing on our previous background.

"A wedding is the perfect opportunity to utilise our favourite photography genres," he continues. "There's always an opportunity to capture beautiful portraits, take a fashionable look at the attire, and the reportage almost creates itself."

A black and white image of the side profile of a bride silhouetted against a stained glass window with a crown on it. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III by Malachite Meadow.

A creative approach in wedding photography is often necessary. This photo was taken in an uninteresting hotel, but an interesting element was the stained glass window with a crown. "The bride is the queen of the day on her wedding day, so we think metaphorically, not just focusing on the surroundings," says Kasia. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens at 1/125 sec, f/2 and ISO 800. © Malachite Meadow

Today, the company is a huge success, and the pair photograph weddings on their own and as a duo in numerous locations – Italy is their favourite, particularly Lake Como. They also run workshops, through which they have trained more than 400 photographers. "We wanted to build a community that would support and inspire each other," says Kasia. "We started by training people in self-care and combating professional burnout, which often occurs in artistic professions that involve extensive interaction." With a background in philosophy, Kuba has found mindfulness and meditation "absolutely essential and enriching in both photography and interpersonal interactions".

They have since expanded their offering to include training in wedding photography and marketing, and organised a conference called 'Believe you can' in Warsaw, Poland, in October 2023. "It was a large, unifying event featuring leading Polish creatives from the wedding industry, combined with Canon equipment presentations," says Kuba. "This fills us with immense pride and further fuels our passion for what we do."

Connecting with people and telling stories is important in your photography. Are there any memorable shots that stand out?

"One photo that has stayed with me and always brings a smile to my face is the image of Loretta putting on her veil during the preparations [see second image]. I love it because of the authenticity of the emotions the bride was experiencing," says Kasia. "Elaborate hairstyles and accessories can look stunning, but the preparation can sometimes be painstaking and uncomfortable. Delivering such photos to our clients gives us a sense of artistic freedom, a willingness to showcase the day filtered through our sensitivity and sense of humour."

You travel for work and pleasure. Do these experiences inspire your photography?

"Two trips to the United States had the most significant influence," says Kasia. "We saw images that we were familiar with from street photography classics come to life. It was an incredible experience to view New York through the eyes of our favourite photographer, Saul Leiter, attempting to find similar frames, a similar atmosphere, in our photos. We also explored the small, sleepy towns of the Midwest and the Western United States, searching for inspiration from Robert Frank."

What is it that attracts you to street photography?

"Capturing light, multi-layered perspectives, shadows, reflections, people and the vibrant life of cities," says Kuba. "Street photography teaches humility, intuition, hones the eye, and helps us better understand and connect with people. We've already taken photos in places like New York, Bangkok, Sydney, as well as in Vietnam, the Dominican Republic and Singapore. Our next dream destination is Tokyo."

What other plans do you have for the future?

"We aspire to create a place, a photography house, where exhibitions, lectures, workshops and training sessions will take place," reveals Kuba. "It will be a space for collaborative creative initiatives, bringing together people from various industries and interests. Additionally, we want to dedicate ourselves more to studio, fashion and commercial photography. Film has fascinated us throughout our lives, and it will likely be another branch of our activities and work with imagery."

One thing I know

Katarzyna Brońska-Popiel and Jakub Popiel

"The path to success and fulfilment in this profession is long, and one should be prepared for a marathon rather than a sprint. It's essential to wisely distribute your time, take care of your resources, and avoid burnout. Having a diversion, other hobbies, not letting your passion consume you entirely is important because only when you have other aspects of life developed can you truly think outside the box. Also, seize the opportunities that almost 'pull you by the sleeve'. Find the courage to say 'yes' and accept that even the most bitter failure is a building block for something bigger and lasting."

Instagram: @malachite_meadow_photography

Website: Malachite Meadow - Ponadczasowa Fotografia Ślubna

Katarzyna Brońska-Popiel and Jakub Popiel's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

Canon Ambassadors Katarzyna Brońska-Popiel and Jakub Popiel's kitbag containing Canon cameras, lenses and accessories.


Canon EOS R6

Whatever you shoot, however you shoot it, the EOS R6 lets you be creative in ways you never thought possible. Both Kasia and Kuba currently use this as their workhorse camera because of its "flawless autofocus, wonderful sensor, and reliability," says Kuba. "Now I know that I can tackle even the most challenging photographic tasks, and the EOS R6 will assist me in achieving them."

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The successor to the camera Kasia and Kuba favour is a beautifully engineered and thoroughly accomplished all-rounder. "This is absolutely one of our favourite DSLR cameras," says Kasia. "I love how accurately it reproduces skin tones."


Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM

Put yourself in the picture with this fast, affordable, ultra-wide EOS R System lens. "This is a small lens for special occasions, especially when we photograph the majestic villas around Lake Como," says Kasia. "We also use it for shooting intricate wedding scenes."

Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM

The RF 50mm F1.8 STM is a small, light and affordable lens with a fast f/1.8 aperture, ideal in low light and great for creative depth-of-field. "A fantastic travel lens, especially for destination weddings," says Kuba. "The Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM delivers excellent quality and is very compact, making it easy to carry everywhere."

Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM

The RF lens that sets new standards in photographic performance, delivering supreme sharpness, extra creative control and a low-light performance that's simply remarkable. "This is my favourite lens, especially during the golden hour," says Kuba. "The quality and sharpness it produces at fully wide aperture settings are exceptional. I always have it with me during wedding sessions."

Canon RF 100mm F2.8L MACRO IS USM

The world’s first AF macro lens with an incredible 1.4x close up magnification for superb images. "This lens is always in my bag during wedding preparations. The macro mode is so precise and offers such significant magnification that details like wedding rings are always captured spectacularly," says Kuba.

Canon RF 70-200mm F4L IS USM

Capture the world with L-series quality with a compact, lightweight telephoto zoom. With the flexibility to "capture various situations without interfering because I'm far away" and catch "unique and unposed moments," Kasia is a big fan of this lens. "Plus its compact design enables us to carry it all day without any issues," she adds.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

A high performance, f/1.4 aperture USM lens for general, low-light and portrait photography. "Over the past 12 years, I haven't grown tired of this lens, and it has become a recognisable and characteristic part of my equipment," says Kasia.


Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R

This adapter allows EF and EF-S lenses to be used with Canon EOS R System cameras. "My beloved lens, purchased for the Canon 40D [her first Canon camera] and still in use today, is the Canon 50mm 1.4." says Kasia. She is able to continue using this with her EOS R System camera thanks to the Mount Adapter EF-EOS R.

Canon SELPHY Square QX10

Print, collect and creatively share your precious memories. No leads, no cables, no fuss. Just printing with pleasure. "This is the portable printer we carry with us to every wedding," says Kasia. "Our clients receive high-quality prints with excellent colours on the very day of their wedding. It's a great idea to surprise the young couple and give them a beautiful gift."

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