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.

the orangery settrington wedding photography Yorkshire

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.



To veil or not to veil

anna 32 copy.jpg

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?!

karen fade to black small.jpg

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. 

veil close up.jpg

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.

_DSC4389 1.jpg
_DSC2162.jpg

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!

_DSC2919.jpg
DSC_0062.jpg

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.

anna 16 copy.jpg

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. 

_DSC4395 1.jpg
anna 14 copy.jpg

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.

Boutique bouquets - wedding florals

_DSC5601.jpg

The brides that come to me for wedding photography tend to be chilled. Their wedding-day-in-planning is destined to be relaxed and intimate. It will be a day without pomp, but chock-full of celebration and love. 

DSC_0493.jpg

No expense will be spared on the important items - an exquisite bridal gown, fabulous food and a half decent photographer, but neither will money be thrown out of the window like the proverbial baby with the bathwater. When it comes to the florals, my girls, being both classy and romantic, opt for understated and generally petite bouquets which enhance but do not overpower their look.

_DSC3326.jpg

In many cases I've noticed that my brides have chosen a single colour for their flowers, often just cream or white, and have added herbs and foliage to strengthen the design. Often it is the waft of these herby additions which out-plays the perfume of the flowers themselves. The bouquet above belonged to Frankie, whose bohemian Italian themed nuptials with Richard were inspired by the couples' engagement in Sicily. 

_DSC5675small.jpg

Elegance and romance appear to be the consistent watch-word, however. I have rarely had a bride who has thrown investment at great swathes of rose pergolas, or festooned the altar with six foot standing floral displays. They have selectively added their splashes of scent and colour in a discreet and well thought out manner, in order to optimise their impact whilst saving the bigger bucks for the real show stopping items.

Harrogate wedding blog Helen Spencer Photography993.jpg

A pink posy accompanied its owner, Tala, her hubby and their three children at their relaxed and gloriously summery, tiny family wedding. The occasion was less about big statements of ostentation, and more about the affirmation of their togetherness. The roses came along for the joy ride.

_DSC3976crop.jpg

The gents are never forgotten. These gloriously cute daffodil buttonholes which featured in the recent Easter wedding of Charlotte & Simon summed up the time of year perfectly. Little sprigs of rosemary and string ties added a rustic touch.

_DSC4084_harrogate wedding images.jpg
_DSC2840small.jpg
_DSC8709small.jpg

So when you're planning your big day, remember that size isn't everything. Spend it, but spend it well. The carefully curated selection of blooms you hold in your hands on the day you meet your man at the altar will most likely remain special in your heart for many years to come. Make sure you have them photographed.

_DSC2517.jpg

Inner City Pretty

If you're into alternative and atmospheric wedding imagery, then this one is for you.

_DSC8869.jpg

Last week was my birthday. Some people might treat themselves to a new frock on such an occasion, or a pair of shoes. I took a slightly alternative route and spent my birthday money on a full day's photo shoot with Photography Farm. This is my personal idea of fun. Me time. Utter selfishness. A day with myself, my camera and a delightful bunch of strangers in the inner city of Sheffield.

harrogate wedding images

Our venue was a the Abbeydale Picture House, 100 year old semi-derelict cinema. Magnificent in its shabby condition, the peeling walls were nothing if not an asset for the photographer's eye. We were spoiled by the addition of two professional (and totally sublime) bridal models from J'Adore Models and the experienced and thoughtful styling of Erica at Mr & Mrs Unique.

DSC_0609.jpg

Once I had overcome my fear of the dark (not, you understand, because I believe in ghosts, but because I know that to make photographs one requires light), and explored a bit, it became evident that the old picture palace (venue organised by Inner City Weddings and which is, incidentally, available for hire for weddings) was littered with pockets of natural light, eeking in to the building through tiny cracks and pores, and little port-hole windows. Perfection.

DSC_0924 copy.jpg

The shafts of light which pierced the darkness provided just enough drama to prove that you can make a beautiful bridal portrait just about anywhere. In the case of the image below this happened to be on an ill-lit, crumbling stairwell with wonky steps and splintered windows. The ancient walls retained just enough paint to add urban interest, complementing the softness of the incredible bridal gowns provided by the fabulous E&W Couture and Bowen Dryden

harrogate wedding images

The faces of the two beauties in frocks were both naturally magnificent, but were enhanced by the skills of professional Make Up Artist, Jenn Edwards. Further details and embellishments were contributed by Campbells Flowers of Sheffield, Halo & Co (jewellery), and Faber Novella (shoes).

_DSC9090.jpg
DSC_0499.jpg
_DSC9021.jpg

It was our privilege to be led by four aspirational pros for this romp in self-indulgence. It was as fascinating to watch and talk with them as it was to snap away in this masterpiece of a venue, so thanks indeed for the patience and tolerance of the following:-

Lisa Devlin, Jo from Enchanted Brides, Lee Allen and Lisa Jane.

DSC_0673.jpg

If you are interested in my wedding photography, please get in touch via email or my social media, or by using the contact form

Brand New Brothers

Meet Daniel. So new that he still carries that amazing post-natal 'fur' around his neck and shoulders. An absolute beaut.

And this is big bro Marcos. Equally awesome, but MUCH busier. They only met very recently, but I'm not sure Marcos has so far been still enough to fully make the new acquaintance just yet!

A tale of two halves, this shoot presented on the one hand the perfect subject in newborn D, quiet and still, contrasted on the other hand by a race around the house and garden pursuing lively M, and relying on fast shutter speeds to attempt to pin him down. 

To be fair, M has a right to be excited. He just became a Brother for goodness' sake, and the new guy is VERY cute.

The mission was to a) capture Daniel's newness, and b) to get some shots of the two brothers (together). That last word, small but vital, turned out to be the stone in my shoe. OK, so we managed to get one image of them both in the same room (ta da! below) which will henceforth act as evidence that they are actually related, but I left the shoot feeling that my task had only been  50% completed.

The one thing the boys have in common is the deepest, darkest of brown-black eyes. Impossible to discern where the pupils ended and the iris colour began, their beautiful big eyes and lashes drew my attention in a mesmeric way. 

Mum was relaxed and calm, clearly in deepest love with her new bundle, keeping him close and safe in her arms, stopping when required for on-demand feeds, between shots.

When shooting a newborn, this is how we work - slowly and calmly, letting mum and baby guide us. With the new family's comfort in mind, I always come to your home and maximise the available natural light where possible in order to bring out baby's best.

When the subject requires it and the weather allows, we also use the outdoor space. In this case, an active 3 year-old needed the space to be distracted and given the attention which, until recently all his, had so rudely been pulled from under his feet by his new sibling.

Strangely, not all dads want to get in on the act. The camera sets them scarpering to the four winds, making tea or taking important calls, or just keeping a low profile so mum can take centre stage, but thankfully, in this case, dad was on hand to share the love.

If you are expecting your second, first or fifth baby and would like some help capturing those early moments, please get in touch. It is my honour to work with families at such an amazing and emotional time in their lives, and I will always do my utmost to do yours justice.

 

Contact Helen 07957627217 eyesomephooto@gmail.com

Not me, just my baby.

_DSC5267.jpg

It would be a bloody miracle for a woman who is two to three weeks postpartum to feel at her best, so the idea of having your photograph taken with your beloved newborn can be unthinkable.

For the most part, in my experience, new mummies try to slide into the background, away from the camera, repeating a well-worn "not me, just my baby" mantra.

But no, say I. Your baby is not the only beauty here. Whilst, when you initially booked your photography session your primary aim may have been to capture the tininess of your new arrival's fingers and toes, I can tell you with great certainty that you will never look back and regret the presence of yourself in these images. 

_DSC5752.jpg

The brand new bond which you are forming in the early days of your relationship are irreplaceable. Not only is your cooing and nuzzling making your baby's brain grow, but it is a reminder that only a few days previously you were infact, one. You were physically and emotionally tied, and now that you are two, it is the intense chemistry of your love which provides the magic for my camera.

_DSC7205_harrogate newborn photography.jpg
_DSC7295a_harrogate newborn photography.jpg

No photographer worth their salt will ask you to do anything that you are not comfortable with, and the beauty of photographing baby in your own home is that you can both feel relaxed and stick to your normal routine of feeds and sleep.

So, please don't be worried about how you will look. You are magnificent because you just created the miracle of life. Throw a muslin over your shoulder, cuddle, and let the camera do the rest. 

_DSC5518.jpg

For newborn photo sessions, book well in advance, as the first two sleepy weeks of baby's life are the most effective time to shoot! eyesomephoto@gmail.com

Head over to Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest for more inspiration .