Richmond wedding photographer

I was privileged enough to be invited to photograph a small part of Catherine and Pauls day in Richmond a few weeks ago.  It seemed like fate as my name is Catherine and my husband is called Paul, so I knew it was going to right up my street.  I wasn't disappointed as this small and perfect little wedding was at such a great venue and I had a great tim producing some of my favourite portraits I've done in a while!  Great day to be a Richmond wedding photographer.

The wedding ceremony was at the registry office and just a short walk from the amazing Millgate house.  Here's just a small selection from this great venue to be Richmond wedding photographer and I hope you enjoy them!

A fantastic dress and lovely details just finished off a great afternoon.

Smiles with your family are one of the best things about weddings and Catherine and her sister were no exception.

So huge congratulations to Catherine and Paul, what a perfect day and thanks very much for inviting me along!


The wedding photographers kit bag

I get asked quite a lot by potential clients if I have the right equipment to photograph their wedding, especially when it comes to the UK weather.  So I thought I'd put together a little post whilst it's sunny in the garden about what is in my kit bag and why it is in there.  So if your already a client or your thinking about becoming one you can see exactly what I carry in my bag of tricks, hopefully explained without too much technical jargon and camera wizardry!

This is what I turn up with on my back for most shoots.  I have a few little other emergency items which stay in the back of the van but the small person with the huge heavy bag on...that's me!

So open it all out and it looks like this. 2 digital camera bodies, 5 lenses, 3 flash guns, 3 radio transmitters, 2 memory card cases, batteries (lots of), 2 honeycomb flash adapters, 3 flash diffusers and feet, 2 flash clamps, 2 flash stands and umbrellas and my Granda's old film camera!

The first and I guess most important piece of kit I carry are my 2 Nikon D600s. A perfect wedding photographers camera, full professional capability contained within a small discrete package. Why 2? In my opinion every wedding photographer should carry 2 cameras as a matter of course.  The most important reason is just in case 1 goes wrong.  As annoying as it would be for me to have to change lenses all day long it's not going to be as bad as you missing out your wedding photographs.  The second reason is the extra versatility it gives me with lenses.  I can have two different lenses fitted meaning I can be photographing the same part of the day with lot's of creativity and variety.

Lens choice is something that is personal to every photographer and there is no right or wrong answer as to which ones to use.  Some choose to shoot on 'prime' lenses only with no zoom and some can shoot the whole day on just 2 zoom lenses.  After a bit of experimenting I find a combination of the two approaches works best for me.  I find when things are a bit more static in the morning of a wedding I get the most out of my prime lenses (an 85mm 1.4 and a 35mm 1.4 if your photographically inclined) which give me the chance to capture both candid and portrait work in pretty much any space and light. Once things start to get a bit fluid then the versatility of the zooms is usually what I'm craving and I will almost always swap over to them from the ceremony onwards. (70-200mm 2.8 and 17-35mm 2.8, if your interested!)  I can now let the camera do a lot more of the moving for me so I can be discrete and a bit more flexible as people move about. So that only accounts for 4 of the 5 lenses.  The 5th is my macro (makes little things look big), something which I guess I could manage without if I wanted to.  However, it's something I choose to carry even though it only ever takes those few shots every wedding, the details just wouldn't be the same without it!

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So let's talk light.  There are purists out there that won't use flash, it would be great to take the moral high ground and only use natural light, (my kit bag would be half the size and loads lighter for starters!) but I'm afraid sometimes it gets a bit dark and rainy in this country and with the best will in the world I can't control the sun (however much dancing I do). So even though I do prefer to use natural light whenever I can sometimes there is no avoiding it, I have to get a bit flashy!

I carry three flash guns.  One I use on my camera and two of them to use off camera.  As well as the need just to light things in a simple and effective way because it's just a bit dark or there aren't any windows taking the flash off the camera means I can get a bit creative with it as well. That night time shot, with the rain drops all lit up? Thats off camera flash.  It's all done through the magic of Pocket Wizards, unfortunately I don't carry a miniature Gandalf around with me to ward off demons, just some radio transmitters to fire my flashes.

I also like to make use of some honeycomb grids to keep the light going just where I want it too. Spillage is just embarrassing!  With my stands and clamps I can pretty much put my flashes wherever I want them so if you see me standing on chairs clipping things to window frames and curtains that's what I'm doing.  Last but not least a couple of umbrellas come in handy on rainy days just to make sure everything is nice and bright when the photography has to move indoors. Nobody wants a dull group shot after all.

There's a few other emergency items in the back of the van, real umbrellas (not flash ones) to keep off the rain, great if your willing to embrace the weather and go for a rainy shot. A blanket for you or sometimes me to sit or lie on and lot's of spare batteries on top of the ones in my bag, you can never have too many! 

So if you were wondering if I had all the right equipment to photograph your day, whatever the weather then I hope you will agree with me that the answer is yes I do.

Harrogate wedding photography

I was lucky enough to be invited to photograph the wedding of Donna and Benoit recently at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate. Firstly I love Harrogate and secondly Donna and Ben are a super fun and relaxed couple to be around so I knew the day was going to be fab!

As I drove towards Harrogate in the morning though the weather took a pretty nasty turn and the rain was coming down!  So that left me hunting round the hotel for indoor spots to capture the dress, shoes and all the other vital Bridal details.

I have to confess I normally only whisk away the brides shoes but at a special request from Donna I roped in the help of flower girl and top assistant Letecia and went off with lots of sets of boxes under my arms.

The smallest shoes here belonged to Georgiana, Donna and Ben's daughter.

The girls got ready at the hotel and I had my first experience of airbrushed make up.  I tell you what ladies it's worth considering for that extra special touch on your big day.

Before Donna got into her dress there was time to dash off for a quick portrait of this handsome bunch, enjoying my Harrogate wedding photography out in the rain whilst the boys stayed dry!

Although the dress shop had warned Donna it might take 45mins to get into the dress her bridesmaid Adele made light work of it so she didn't need to stand around for quite so long.

Georgiana had spent the night with her Dad and arrived just in time to get all dressed up and have a picture with mum.

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The flowers came out the fridge just in time for their close ups as well.

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The ceremony took place downstairs in the Rose Room.  The registrar was an old friend of Donnas and that added a real personal touch, she had a tear and a tremble in her voice by the end.

The rain was still coming down after the ceremony so we grabbed a few portraits indoors and kept our fingers and toes crossed that the forecast was right and we were due for some sunshine later on into the evening.

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The reception and speeches are always one of my favourite parts of the day. I get to capture things as they happen and see everyones smiles and laughs.

Ben didn't disappoint with his speech and he had laughs and tears from pretty much everyone.

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And then the sun came out for some fantastic Harrogate wedding photography.

Like all good wedding it was ended with a stonker of a party.

Huge congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Lockwood and well done on a fantastic day x

Brimham Rocks wedding photography

After being rained off a few times in May it was great to finally get together with Claire and Phil at Brimham Rocks for their engagement shoot.  I love Brimham Rocks, there are so many interesting shapes and such amazing scale to play with when it comes to photography.

Claire and Phil are great fun to be with and we had a great laugh jumping around the rocks.  Claire even got brave and got up a bit high sometimes, worth it for some of the lovely shots.

It was great to be able to convey the sense of scale that really hits you at Brimham Rocks.

Although they started out feeling a bit awkward I think they relaxed as we walked around and had some fun with the shots.  It's clear to see how close these too are and what a great pair they make.

Can't wait for the wedding in Dalby Forest in August this year.

Handmade Albums

I have been thinking for a while about how to make what I offer you guys completely unique.  Something that caught my eye was making my own albums.  I really wanted to be offer my customers something a little different that is completely personal and unique.  So I set about learning how to make albums.  

I tried several different methods but I settled on coptic binding as the first technique that I would master.  The main reasons being how flexible it is a way to bind books and also how versatile it it allows you to be.  It was originally used by monks to bind bibles and histories before modern binding techniques were developed, so I love the fact that I'm also using a traditional craft and keeping it going in todays mass produced world.

I've been practicing behind the scenes making simple notebooks and fun items for kids. It's been a steepish learning curve and theres been a bit of cursing and lots of tangled binding thread!  However, I decided to get my first album underway using some reclaimed wood to make the cover.

Here's what I started with....

First job on the agenda is folding and shaping the card.

Once thats done and I have created my 'signatures' or pages for the album they need to be stitched together.  I decided to twist up two different threads for a more decorative finish.

Stitching in the first signature to the cover with the aptly named 'cover stitch'!

Some time and some stitching later.....

The next element to think about for me was how to make it personal by adding names, text or decoration to the covers.  I decided in this case to use some pyrography! That basically involves using a heated metal pen to burn your chosen design into the wood very much along the lines of branding.  It means that I can do any text or design on the computer and then transfer that with a steady hand and some patience to the wood itself.

As I will be using this first handmade album to display some of my family photography I decided to go with a phrase that's the cornerstone of my photography in general and how I try to think about life.

I'm really pleased with this technique and the finish it gives to the product, it's a bit nerve-wracking putting the final designs into the wood because there is no going back if you get it wrong.

All thats left to do after that is mount the photos.  There's plenty of options for how to do this.  I used a few different ways with this album.  Filling the whole page to make it flush mount.

Using  a bit of negative space to show off the images.

Or maintaining the flush mount look by pre designing the layouts and printing up flush.

So there we go, my first handmade album. I'm now going to embark on a range of different designs. There are so many different materials and stitching patterns that can be created.  I kept this first one pretty simple but I'm excited about making them more decorative and coming up with new stitching patterns.

What's going to be best of all is working with families and wedding couples to create something completely unique that reflects them.  Theres so much you can do with this and things that you can include, I hope that my photography clients will be equally as excited to have me design and make them something handmade, personal and high quality!

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Silver and Stone Jewellery

I don't very often do commercial or product photography, I'm all about the people really, but every now and again it makes a nice change! I was happy to help out fellow wedding supplier Helen Drye and showcase some of her handmade jewellery for her new webpage.  Here are just a few of the shots.

If your looking for some jewellery for your wedding, or just for yourself for that matter then give Helen a call. Having seen and photographed the vast majority of her work now I can vouch for it's high quality and Helen's care and attention to detail are obvious! Drop her a line at info@silver-stonejewellery.co.uk or 01757 248283.

Beverley Family Photography

I had the chance to get back in the studio recently to get some shots of the Crawforth family for their daughter, Pippa's 2nd Birthday.  This also gave me chance to get my hands on the new bubble machine and have a play!

Everyone's invited to tea!

Pippa decided it was time for Mum and Dad to go to sleep!

Bubbles!!!!

Thanks very much to Gemma, Rich and Pippa for a fun hour in the studio doing some Beverley family photography. We plan to get a few outdoor shots on a nice day soon with little Pippa so you will be able to really see the difference between studio and location Beverley family photography.

So the sun finally came out for Rich, Gemma and Pippa so we hit the park for the outdoor half of our family photography.  

You have to start on the swings right!

I'm a big fan of just getting outside and having fun on a family shoot, I think the natural, relaxed and unforced images speak for themselves! Thanks again to the Crawforth family  for a great session and what a fantastic and photogenic little girl they are blessed with!

Some old family black and whites get a polish up

I got time to tidy a few old black and whites for my dad today.  I wanted to share them just because I really like the tones and colours.  It's nice to see some old photos that can be improved with some modern technology and not new ones that have had filters applied to make them look old!

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My Granda Tom, who would have approved as he loved to see technology in action!

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My Granny Margaret looking beautiful in the window. I can certainly see myself using these pictures as some inspiration for an engagement shoot! Maybe I'm just being a bit sentimental, but it's nice to think peoples families might look back on photos I've taken with the same good memories that these will bring my family.

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Just to embarrass him there's my dad in short trousers in between my two aunts!  Well it was nice to clean up these pictures for my family and to see some proper old black and whites get a new lease of life. Looking forward to seeing them up on the wall when I'm round at the olds in the future!

Messing about in the studio

I needed some new pictures for my website but at the same time it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make some silly faces, so I did!

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A big thank you to my husband Paul for pressing the shutter, I will make a photographer of you yet ;-)

Yorkshire wedding photographer - Win your wedding photography in 2014 or just claim a great discount!

Hi all, I'd thought I would share my competition for one lucky couple to win their wedding photography in 2014 right here on my own blog.  It also gives me a great chance to share some of my favourite images from 2013 all over again so it's a win win for me, and maybe a win for you too! If your getting married in the North in 2014 simply visit my Facebook page and post a picture of you and your intended and I will pick my favourite on the 22 Feb 2014.  So go on get posting….

One of the best parts of the competition is that all entrants will get 10% off my full wedding package whenever or wherever their wedding is 2014 or beyond.

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One of my favourite images from 2013.  I love the colours of Autumn it's a great time to get married and a blessing for any photographer.  Natasha and Karl are a real love story as well.  They are both in the military, Tash in the UK and Karl in the US. They met serving on operations in Afghanistan.  That's a proper love story!

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I love to see smiles and laughter in my pictures, I don't know what Karl was saying to Tash here but it brought a smile to her face :-)

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Kerri and Andrews wedding meant a trip up to Glasgow but we were treated to some lovely Scottish summertime weather so it was all worth it.

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It's all about the smiles and the fun with me so if your going to post a picture then make it fun and that will help you to win!

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If you want to read a little bit more about me then take a look at this post on the Brides up North wedding Blog. It's a little bit about me and why I got into the photography game.

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Beverley studio photography

I recently spent the afternoon venturing in to the world of Beverley studio photography.  Up until now I have always used outdoor locations and made use of the natural light that was on offer to me.  Although I still love and will continue to do this as my real passion I thought throughout the winter months it would be nice to offer a nice warm dry studio as well!

So with some very willing volunteers I fired up the lights, fiddled with some dials and flicked some switches.  First up were Helen, Andy and their fantastic twins Elsie and Beth.  It didn't take long for the girls to warm up and get their 'model' on!

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Although they are twins you can see two very different personalities from under the hoods of their onesies!

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In fact as far as Elsie and Beth were concerned, onesies were the order of the day. I'm a particular fan of the minnie mouse combo myself!

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My next volunteers were little Isla, Kirsty and her mum.  It took Isla a while to find her bearings and get used to the bright lights of the studio but with some time and patience she settled in and we got some lovely shots of her with big grins all round.

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Last but certainly not least were Claire, Steve, Harrison and Fraser.  Fraser arrived fresh from a power nap an essential element to any models daily routine. So while he freshened up and prepped we got started with big brother Harrison.

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Now that's one cool dude.

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Fraser got in on the act and was keen to demonstrate his press up technique, exercise being another key part of any up and coming models regime.

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Come on lads better let Mum and Dad in on the act.

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It was certainly a fun afternoon, if you think a session of Beverley studio photography might be for you then get in touch and we can come up with something that suits you and your family.  In the meantime keep an eye out for some bespoke studio packages and offers to make their way onto my website in the near future.

Thanks guys, Cat x

Yorkshire family photographer - An afternoon at Cat Babbleton

I wanted to share this shoot with the fantastic Buckton family to show how much you can get out of a few hours family shoot and how much fun you can have whilst your doing it.  Getting the family together for an afternoon of photography doesn't have to be a chore!

I usually ask people to have a think about why they want from their photos a little bit in advance of the day just to make sure I can plan to fit everything in and make sure I get the right location.  In this case Caroline and David's farm made the perfect location.

We started with some formal family group shots, the guys wanted to get dressed up to have some photos to remember their parents Golden wedding anniversary.  The view over the wolds certainly gave us a great backdrop, a great day to be a Yorkshire family photographer.

It was then time for costume change number one and everyone dressed down and comfy into their casual looks! I'd spied a nice tree which was looking fantastic in it's Autumn colours so we started there and got some lovely natural images of the whole family. 

Although I have to say I'm a real fan of this one of Tom and Rebecca, they were my little assistants all afternoon! Especially Tom who was on call to make people laugh anytime!

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We were lucky enough to have several great spots out a Cat Babbleton (what an ace name for a farm!) so we moved around a bit to mix up the selection of images that the family would have to pick from. We decided to go on the wall instead of off!

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Then it was time for costume change number two! This time Pete, Katie, Rebecca and Tom were keen for some pictures in their sports gear.  With a bit of open space and some amazing autumn light we got down to a bit of action photography.

Another quick costume change for Rebecca into a favourite dress to take advantage of the stunning autumn afternoon! Love this shot x

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We had retired inside for tea, cake and a pat on the back for a job well done when the sun started to set and was shining through the trees.  The romantic in me thought it might be nice to have a golden photograph for a golden wedding anniversary.  50 years of marriage is a fantastic achievement and If I can be anything like as happy as Mr and Mrs Buckton Snr still look together in 50 years I will be over the moon.  Well done folks x 

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It's difficult to moan about my job as a Yorkshire family photographer.

Hessle Foreshore Engagement Shoot

It's nearly time for Sarah and Antony's wedding so I thought it was a great time to share a few of their engagement photos.  Although it can be a bit windy Hessle Foreshore makes for a stunning backdrop to photos. The Humber Bridge is one of those structures than can make you feel really small, especially when your stood underneath it!

I'm looking forward to their wedding at Brantingham Church in early December, I might even have my fingers crossed for some snow ;-)

 

Amy and Jonathan

A few months Amy got in touch and asked if I could do a few photos with her and husband Jonathan for their 10th wedding anniversary.  So we went back to East Park in Hull where they had their original wedding photos taken.  She asked for something a bit different and creative which was great and they were both really good fun to work with.  Happy anniversary guys x

Natasha and Karl - a very special relationship.

Natasha is an old Army buddy of mine which does make me sound a bit like a crusty old veteran but hey!  She met her husband Karl, a US Army officer, on operations in Afghanistan and a fairytale romance across the pond blossomed from then on.  Although it was a small wedding I have to say they both looked amazing and the Autumn treated us to the best colours we could have asked for. 

I spent a good few hours with the Biernis ladies and co in the morning and we had a right good giggle.  I learnt all about 'spanks' and very much enjoyed the mini doughnuts, thanks girls!

Heres a few of the details from the day.  A lot of which Tash put an fair amount of effort into herself., well done that lady.

The lovely autumn colours and the even lovelier people speak for themselves here I think. 

Yorkshire Family Photographer - Lincoln and Louie

Here is one of my favourite family mornings from a few months ago.  These two little chaps were an absolute pleasure to photograph.  It made me chuckle that Lincoln had commented that even though it was during the holidays he had got up even earlier than school to come down to meet me!  Well thanks Lincoln, I think most people would agree it was worth it for a clear play park and some lovely morning light.