Jane & Tom's humanist Orangery wedding at Settrington, North Yorkshire

Well, a week ahead of the big day the forecast had been determinedly spiteful in its threat to give us rain. By mid-week it had softened and offered a mixture. The cats, but not necessarily the dogs. By the time Friday arrived (Friday being the new Saturday in wedding-land), the gods had relented and the clouds were politely and conveniently moved on to t’other side of t’Pennines. As they say in Yorkshire - champion.

Yorkshire wedding photographer, Orangery Settrington

It all began with this incredible engagement ring from Tomfoolery. Its snug companion, about to be worn on that fourth finger, left hand for the first time, is from Kendalls jewellers.

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Only the most petite of figures can be bold enough to wear this sexy pink underweae by The Lingerie Room, Harrogate (for after the after-party presumably), let alone the cut away sequinned dress which Jane slid effortlessly into. Tom’s contrasting black dinner suit was a Paul Smith, super smart and elegant.

the orangery settrington wedding
the orangery settrington wedding
the orangery settrington wedding

The joy of a humanist wedding seems to be that the tone of the day is super-relaxed. Or maybe that’s just my incredibly cool, uber-fit, easy-going couple. The ceremony was a common-sensical, love filled, non-denominational Humanist one. My first, infact. I found it to be thoroughly refreshing and celebrant, Ewan helped proceedings along nicely with his humour and joy, and all nerves were calmed by the time the deed was actually done.

Bride Jane was sickeningly gorgeous in her low cut gown from Ghost Orchid Bride, Hull, and with hair and makeup by friend Lauren, as well as the delicate gold choker she wore from OnFoundations, there was a cool and unconventional twist to her styling. The colour scheme was monochrome, and simplicity itself. Fresh flowers are beautiful enough, so orchids and sumptuously-scented Lily of the Valley were simplistic and abundant, accompanied only by black ribbon, white balloons and greenery. All courtesy of Kymm Queen.

The Orangery is without a doubt amongst the prettiest of settings I have ever experienced as a wedding photographer. I’m used to scratching around in alleys and dark rooms hunting for reasonable backdrops and chinks of daylight with which to construct some ‘magic’ for my clients. I had not expected to have my senses bombarded with options at the turn of every corner.

Yorkshire wedding photographer, Orangery Settrington

Take this by way of illustration. It’s a cottage which is allocated to the bride for her pre-nuptial overnight stay, and provides a very cool location for the girls and their ‘getting ready’ shots.

In every direction, more surprises and aesthetically pleasing views. Yes, of course, there is the well-utilised stone ‘folly’ with its arches, lawn and fountain, but there is also a shady woodland, acres of cow parsley (or daffodils if you marry in early Spring), a vine-wrapped pergola and a glorious yellow love seat. See what I mean?

It is also well-managed, and the organisational expertise of Karen and Sara ensured that drama was absent throughout.

The interior of the Orangery is expansive and barn-esque, in a sophisticated kind of way. Our bride and groom, (being fit as butcher’s dogs) selected a Tour de France theme, complete with a ‘tandem’ DIY photo booth and cycling related table settings.

Even the guests were beautiful, it seemed. If the sunshine and surroundings weren’t enough to keep them happy, the champagne and percussionist duo, InPulse, certainly did the trick.

The Orangery Settrington wedding, Yorkshire wedding photographer
orangery settrington wedding
The Orangery Settrington wedding, Yorkshire wedding photographer

The perfect summer evening eventually moved indoors for further entertainment (mainly at the groom’s expense), cake (always a bonus) - in this case skilfully crafted by Rachel Duffy, and a smidge of dad-dancing.

orangery settrington wedding

This was an understated, gloriously happy day, fuelled by late May sunshine and Thai street food. Pretty damn perfect. Congratulations Tom & Jane.

the orangery Settrington wedding Yorkshire photographer

For wedding enquires, contact Helen at eyesomephoto@gmail.com or 07957627217.

2018 wedding gallery

As always, 2018 was a year of select weddings.

I don’t do many, but actually it rather suits me to keep a nervous edge. I still feel the need to prep every single wedding and I also reserve the right to lose sleep the night before. It’s just who I am.

We all care deeply about our clients, of course, but my need to balance family life with a brood of 6 kids ranging from 6 to 30 means that keeping the numbers low is partly essential, but also allows me the capacity to work with the luxury of time and attention, and to never lose the thrill.

Here’s a round-up.



Autumn in Miniature

This is the most popular time of year for family photo shoots. It’s the perfect setting, all that leafy colour, and the perfect timing to create something worthy of Grandma’s festive stocking.

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It’s also my favourite time of year for Mini Shoots with kids. Helpful for me because I can fit several shoots in to one day, and helpful for the families who only have to afford the £99 shoot cost in order to have the raw material for some awesome Christmas presents. It’s also only half an hour to hold your breath and hope the kids behave in front of the nice lady with the camera.

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E arrived on a pastel pink and blue scooter. I didn’t get the memo, but she decided to let me be her friend anyway. Gorgeous AND forgiving.

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Harrogate’s Valley Gardens was our meeting place, and its multitudinous nooks and crannies provided us with lots of opportunities to mix it up.

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When the low autumn sun refuses to play ball, and the late afternoon throws you only dingy shade, the mood of a shoot changes. No bad thing, though.

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Frankly, E and I had a rather lovely time hiding in dark corners and exploring the park whilst mum and dad looked on.

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Choose a photographer who is comfortable and experienced with children. A mini shoot rarely lasts more than 20-30 minutes, and as such there is little time to waste on acclimatising or gently growing a child’s comfort in front of the lens.

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My 30 minute Mini Shoots are available now and include 5 free high resolution digital images and a half-size online password-protected gallery.

Contact me at eyesomephoto@gmail.com or on 07957627217

Denton Hall wedding shoot

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Denton Hall is a 2500 acre estate in the beautiful Wharfedale countryside near Ilkley, North Yorkshire. I was chuffed to be invited to capture some images to represent both the epic-ness of this place as a potential wedding venue, as well as the work of a number of local wedding suppliers who were gathering for a day of nuptial creativity.

The first of these clever peeps was hair and make-up stylist Chrys, whose transformation skills are legendary, and who carefully and lovingly embellished the already-exquisite face and hair of model bride, Christy.

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Wedding details come in many forms. In this case, many of the artistic accompaniments were created and curated by Natalie, a local wedding stylist who showed her flourish with this set of delicate stationery and table settings, as well as a fabulously charming ladder altar. See more of Natalie’s work on Instagram at HandMaid.

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A short photographer’s ‘reccy’ stroll around the immediate surroundings of the Denton Hall estate presented a number of appealing spots for photographic opportunities; none more eyesome (see what I did there?!) than the frontage itself. I’m a sucker for symmetry, so I was practically cock-a-hoop when I saw the proportions of those great stone columns on offer.

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“What are those CAKES?” I hear you cry. Pretty huh? All crafted by the uber-talented Gayle from Where The Ribbon Ends. Check out her mad, mouth-watering creations and fabulous handiwork, you won’t regret it.

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Our groom was suited and booted by the trendiest menswear store in the Dales, Jenson Samuel of Skipton. Modern, mix and match check suits with beautiful details and complementing waistcoats/accessories, spoiling groom George for choice.

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The elegant autumnal florals were all created and designed by Leeds-based wedding planner Gillian from Planned with Gill.

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Amongst some of Denton’s lush features is a pretty, winding staircase - a florist’s dream for embellishing. It’s customary during Denton Hall weddings to host the cake cutting ceremony underneath the staircase, and guests have been known to gather up, over and around, in order to observe and throw confetti. Epic.

The epitome of elegance, this beautiful crossover lace-and-bead gown is from Rachel Allan Bridal’s Lo’Adoro range. Fitted to the hips, it then spills down into a soft tulle full length skirt with a lush train.

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One of Denton’s most elegant features is the enormous stone carved fireplace, in front of which the team set out the table with all its settings. Burgundy, green and orange were the perfect tones to usher in an early autumn, complementing Natalie’s hand-crafted menus and name cards to a tee.

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The delicate rose gold jewellery pieces worn by Christy were all created and provided by So Belle Jewellery of Skipton. Stunning.

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If you haven’t found your photographer yet, 2019 and 2020 wedding dates are still available. Contact Helen at eyesomephoto@gmail.com or on 07957627217. Tell me a little about your big day and we can go from there.

To veil or not to veil

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Long ones, short ones, thick ones, thin ones, or no ones at all. To veil, or not to veil on your wedding day? The veil has been around for centuries and historically signified the bride's modesty and virginity. Her unveiling, at the end of the marriage ceremony was said to represent the husband's gaining of paternal permission to enter in to conjugal relations with his new wife. Perhaps this is the reason that modern weddings rarely employ this tradition - after all, how many 21st century couples can say that they have abstained from their conjugals before the day of their wedding?!

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From a photographer's perspective, a veil provides a number of creative opportunities. There is the chance to add texture to an image, whether shot in close-up or to be appreciated in full length. 

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A partially concealed face can be beguiling, and just as appealing as full flesh and make-up. There is a certain mystique about an anticipatory bride-to-be making last minute adjustments to her headwear and moving her fingers beneath the lace of her veil. Poetic, methinks.

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One thing to bear in mind is the location and conditions in which you are expecting to be married. A clifftop, whilst the epitome of romance, is rarely without a breeze; ditto the beach, so watch out for windy days...even a short veil will take off if the conditions are blustery!

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Heavier fabrics and longer, cathedral lengths can give a vintage impression. The almost impenetrable mesh of a classic, old fashioned veil hides the bride's beauty until the second of the great reveal, and the mystery of her virtues remain intact until that moment, helping to create an early 20th Century feel. It is said that a veil was once also designed to actually prevent the bride and groom from seeing each other before they were married, so heavier fabrics were a necessity.

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A well-timed breeze can definitely be a benefit in other ways, however. A half-caught glimpse of a bride's eye beneath her billowing veil can be a very romantic treat. 

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Whether or not you are planning to be veiled on your big day, consider the pros and cons. Yes, they add a certain coquettish charm, but they also require careful handling and need to be matched with your headgear and hairstyle.  Try on several in different styles before settling, and since you've gone to all that trouble, ask your photographer to capture your careful choice on film.  

For wedding photography enquiries, please contact me, Helen on 07957627217, or at eyesomephoto@gmail.com.