Ilo Krisz wedding 40
tattooed arms in a wedding couple portrait session at Budapest


documentary wedding photographer

I’m Eszter Szalai.

The photographer behind Emerald Photo UK!

I’m so excited to have you here! I’m a documentary-style photographer and artist who lives in Bristol, UK, with over 12 years of experience in the field, and I love what I do!

My favourite mornings are when I can enjoy the morning rays with a mug of coffee as they stream through the window. It helps make it feel like this will be a wonderful day.

If you are a coffee or tea lover, grab a cup of tea or coffee and read my story and what you can expect from me as your photographer!

Eszter Szalai, documentary-style photographer, the owner of Emerald Photo UK

Who I am

facts about me

Emerald Photo UK turquoise logo variation

I’m obsessed with turquoise colour – it’s calming and vibrant. I love being outside and going for long walks in nature. Family is everything to me, and capturing moments of love and connection is what I live for.

I also love meeting new people and exploring the world. Life is full of joy and beauty, and I’m always smiling because of it!

If you’re looking for a documentary-style photographer who’s passionate, joyful and loves capturing tiny vital details, let’s chat!

the beginning...

I think I’ve had a penchant for creativity since I was a kid; on the one hand, my mom was a designer in her youth, and my dad has always been a jack of all trades. He can fix everything and put together practically anything. I have always been obsessed with the creation process.

Why photographer?

So, photography downstairs is my refuge. At first, I didn’t even think I would get there with it to get a master’s degree. I loved learning. I kept wanting to know more and more about what I love to do. So, for the first time, I just started to take an interest in it, did a 2-year entrance school, learned the basics, and started working for a newspaper as a photojournalist. Photography got me more and more interested.

Then I enrolled in undergraduate education at the university, in parallel with which I started working for other newspapers as a photojournalist. I loved that my work was so varied that I observed new and new things every day, went to take photos at different locations and kept getting to know people and building relationships.

After my undergraduate degree, I felt even more excited about photography, and I couldn’t stop. I wanted to study even more, so I also completed my master’s degree in photography. To this day, I have not stopped learning. I am constantly looking for different challenges in photography and have also started to be interested in digital and social marketing.

The value of a picture is hidden behind the details and the real, honest moments.

Create your perfect loving intimate memories

The way how you want to remember with no hassle or boring posed pictures.

# Why Me?

Somehow, I never liked taking pictures of myself. I have always felt like a stranger, and I often did not feel comfortable. For a long time, I didn’t understand why most people think this too, but I increasingly felt it had to do with trust as I got older. For the past couple of years, a series of photos of me have been taken every year from the angle I saw myself as me, and the reason was that it was taken by people I trusted. So, I realised photography is based on a matter of trust.

I have always loved unplanned and unexpected events and captured moments that express one’s actual self and have nothing artificial but sincere and authentic emotions with raw moments in the in-betweens. Where the real excitement is. I always wanted to capture something different. There is always something that anyone who lives their daily life does not notice—the emotions, feelings, moods, and moments hidden beneath the surface. And how can we reveal these moments?

With trust. So much trust.

Due to my photojournalism work, I learned to react quickly to my surroundings and people’s different personalities. I found myself in positions outside my comfort zone, so I learned how to deal with them. Whenever anything happens out of the blue, I enjoy it more. What makes these captured moments the most exciting is the opportunity for a photographer to turn them into art.

Are you tired of posing for traditional images? Because I am. Are you more interested in a photo session with real feelings and emotions and seeing yourself from an artistic perspective?

Let’s tell your stories about how you will not forget them, how proud you can be of them, and how you don’t have to deal with anything else; be yourself and enjoy the result.

Be Creative. Unique. Yourself.

Kind words

From some of the most amazing people who I have already worked with me

This is how I do it

Behind the scenes werk photo from a woman photojournalist in Budapest with the Parliament building in the background


Essential parts of my projects are capturing moments without modification, showing the natural beauty of the emotions, and showing the little unmarked details that seem irrelevant to anyone. I want to show the real you, the raw feelings, the actual moment without any unnatural posing.

Before the photoshoot

I believe a good photo doesn’t exist if you don’t understand the person you are working with, so before any photo shoot, I would like to have a conversation with the client about their imaginative expectations.

wedding photographer in Bristol taking photos about a kissing couple on a lake wedding
wedding photographer during a wedding portrait session with a veil

During the photoshoot

During the photo shoot, I always bring a positive vibe, and the other most crucial thing is to communicate with the couple, the model, or if it’s a food or product photo, then with the client during the whole photoshoot.

Photo Editing

Natural and every features are made with care

I’m not an express admirer of over-retouched images. I love reality-reflecting pictures more but at the same time contrasting cosy photos. I use Photoshop and Lightroom to retouch my images, but at the same time, my goal is to create a unified style. I prefer to set my idea on the spot rather than post it artificially on the image.

Natural, real retouching 0
artificial, oversaturated colors 0


Most of the time, if it’s unnecessary or does not give any more layers to the pictures, I take my photos in natural lighting. If additional lighting gives more to the subject, I have a wide range of studio equipment and off-camera lights.

photojournalist photographer on a studio food photography session at Ritz Carlton
documentary-styled photographer at work on the street

Delivering the photos

I usually hand over the pictures on a flash drive or as an online gallery (which can be password protected) within a maximum of one month from the photoshoot.

Further options

After the images have been transferred online, it is still possible to make physical proof of the photos in any size or make a photo album. If you have any other ideas about how you would like to see your pictures, I’m open to discussing them with you.

Werk photo from a woman photojournalist photographer

Take the first step

Contact me here if you have any enquiries

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    The value of a picture is hidden behind the details and the real, honest moments.


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