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The Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel – Katy and Ben

It’s always a delight shooting a wedding at the The Devonshire Arms…it’s the quintesensially Yorkshire Country House Hotel and popular with so many of my brides. It has that super mix of old world but sophisticated charm inside, much of the artwork within the hotel coming from the collection at Chatsworth House and all set in fantastic grounds within the MOST gorgeous English Countryside. Perfect for a wedding!

Katy stole the show in her beautiful gown by London designer Naomi Neoh

We had sunshine on and off throughout the day but we contended with rain, thunderstorms and a high wind but thanks to careful planning and foresight we managed most of the photography outside in the hotel’s beautiful grounds. Just take a look at the skies during the “wellie wanging” though and you’ll see just what we had to work with!

This was a super wedding, Katy and Ben were a joy to work with, their friends and families great fun! A great team of bestmen and ushers too!

I think the party really got started after the first dance…thanks to Munch!

Many thanks to Louise at Yorkshire Bridal Hair , Louisa at Make up Elegance

Gorgeous floristry as always by Vanessa at Wildflowers

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Bolton Abbey and Sperri Wedding

What a wedding…..and such a dream to shoot,surrounded by stunning countryside,fun people and a great sense of Joie De Vivre. Hannah and Will booked me to photograph their wedding last year and I had been awaiting it with anticipation.It did not disappoint.Their wedding day was the only time I’d seen the farm and river bathed in sunshine – a serendipitous choice of date! There is so much I could rave about with this fantastic wedding but I think the photographs convey more than my words. Many congratulations guys and looking forward to working with you on your wedding album.

Wedding Dress:- Caroline Castigliano
Flowers:- Susie Hart of Hart Company
Make up:- Mel England
Videography:_Ray McShane Films http://www.raymcshanefilms.com

All images copyright Suzy Mitchell Photography

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Vijaya and David- Bolton Abbey Wedding Photographer

“Sensational!”That is the word which comes to mind when I look at Vijaya in her stunning Roland Joyce wedding gown and judging by the many sidelong glances David gave her I am absolutely certain that he thought so too!These guys were a joy to photograph, they seemed to get the whole photography thing by osmosis with very little guidance whatsoever- naturals before the camera! After the beautiful service at Bolton Abbey Priory we went for a wander around the ruins of the Priory in the idyllic surroundings, took in the views and shot some photos….Vjaya’s radiant smile would have warmed the coldest day and their happiness was a joy to see even prompting an elderly lady to tell Vijaya that she too had wed at the Abbey 50 years ago! Vijay and David held their reception at The Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel just down the road form the Abbey. Glorious sunshine for the drinks reception and the opportunity to take some extra photos of Vijaya on the country lane behind the hotel so we could take advantage of the warm early evening light. A great day!

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Engagement Shoot on Ilkley Moor

This was our third attempt to get up and running with Jess and Chris’s pre wedding shoot….inclement weather had got in the way twice and even last Friday, despite the gorgeous sunshine all day long, we were dogged by rain which started to fall just as Jess and Chris set off for Ilkley. We were not however deterred! The dark skies made for some moody shots and we even had a spell of warm sunny weather on top of the Moor when Jess and Chris posed on the “sand dunes.” How deceptively balmy it looks!Loved the skies and the colours of this shoot….the neutrals all fitted with the rocky outcrops, stone slabs etc of the Cow and Calf. What a fabulous location!
My wedding photography is pretty much documentary, meaning that I photograph couples as their day folds with the minimum of intervention or direction. The only part of the day I like to direct a little is the few minutes I have alone with my clients to take some beautiful images of them together as newly weds….. this is where a pre wedding shoot can come in helpful. I can show you a few of the ideas I will have on your wedding day and let you have a little practice so that it is more seamless and less stressful on the actual day. Equally importantly it is a very useful opportunity for us to get to know one another ……

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Middleton Lodge Wedding

Louise and Rees came to see me last winter with their little girl and told me of their plans to marry at Middleton Lodge. The Lodge is a Georgian Country Estate set in it’s own stunning grounds near Richmond, North Yorkshire and incorporates the Coach House which is where Louise and Rees held their wedding breakfast.The ceremony was held outside in the grounds of the main house and the drinks reception and dancing were inside. I loved Louise’s Boho vibe for the wedding; she had made great choices about her style of dress, the flowers and the decision to keep the detailing relaxed but yet so well coordinated and consistently carried through to the styling at the outdoor ceremony and the Coach House. Emma from Emma Taylor wedding and Events provided the MOST gorgeous bouquets, the floral details in the Coach House were exquisite and the flowers decorating the arbor for the ceremony were simply stunning.

The thing I remember most about these guys were their smiles…they wore them all day long! My favourite set of images were taken of Louise and Rees during the speeches, the light was behind them and their laughter so natural and spontaneous; these are the images I love to capture.. This was an intimate wedding with around 6o guests but the impression was very much that all of these people meant a great deal to Louise and Rees, there was an awful lot of laughter and banter; thank you for including me so fully in your day and also for feeding me so well! A wonderful wedding with the loveliest of people and one which I shall remember for a long time.

Dress by Rembo Styling
Flowers by Emma Taylor at Emma Taylor Wedding and Events
Acoustic Singers Georgia Dee and Michael Mulholland http://www.michaelmulhollandacoustic.com

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Story Telling- the Documentary Way.

I love a full on styled shoot as much as the next photographer, in fact I revel in them, getting all creative, playing with ideas, being adventurous, shooting to a theme- all fun and VERY fulfilling, all fine “arty” with washed out soft greens and whites. Completely Gorgeous……..but somehow it’s not quite me. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place in my portfolio for this kind of shot, I often take soft, romantic shots of a couple together at their wedding, just the two of them away from the bustle of their guests but I have a feeling these aren’t the shots they book me for.

My 2016 wedding season starts next week and I was thinking about the up and coming weddings,the couples who have entrusted me with capturing such an decisive day in their lives and how different they all are but how there was one common thread in their discussions with me, particularly at their initial appointments, which was along the lines of we want very natural images, “We don’t want any of this posed stuff,” “we don’t like having our photo taken,” “we came to see you as you don’t do weird skies.” Often they cite images they have seen on my web site as what they are looking for. So, when I am tempted to stray from my documentary style I pull myself back to my observational role and do what I enjoy doing most, capturing “everyday” people at their best, having the most fantastic time, in the most natural way so that when they see their images they are transported back to that moment, remembering how they felt, what had made them laugh or cry….

A couple of years ago I was having a creative wobble. It’s so easy to be influenced by other photographers’ work and think you have to emulate the current visual trend. A friend of mine who is an artist said something very perceptive when I was chatting to her about it,”But everyone loves your photos because they are so natural… you must see my wedding photographs.” Laura’s wedding had been photographed a decade earlier by French photographer Fred Marigaux. There, in front of me, was the proof of the timelessness of the black and white photograph. So little was posed. It’s true to say that this was the moment when I realised it was just fine to take the images I wanted to take and after that the whole style thing just took care of itself. Looking at the photos I selected to illustrate this post I can see they are consistent in feel and it’s this consistency which I think has helped me to have booked out the whole of this wedding season ……I make no excuse for the colour image, it just didn’t look quite as summery in BW!

Among my favourites are the late guests with the bridal car fast approaching, the bride and her father on the church path yet she is smiling in the rain and the selfie kiss which was completely spontaneous!

For all the weddings I shoot images are supplied in both Black and White and Colour so I can give my couples choice, but I know, from keeping in touch with so many of them, that it is the black and white photographs which resonate the most; It is just so much better at cutting to the core, showing the emotion and editing out the extraneous.

I am so excited to see what I’ll shoot this year but I know it’ll be in the documentary style!

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New Blog!

Despite my love of the documentary wedding style it is sometimes really fun to work with other suppliers, share ideas, explore new locations and actually direct as opposed to anticipating and reacting which tend to be the norm when I shoot a “real’ wedding.So, when I joined my old friend Andrea Pickering at the Belsfield Hotel in Bowness last Autumn we set out to create some beautiful imagery and enjoy ourselves in the process. Here are a few from that day. Great fun to work in collaboration with Elizabeth at Meers Ghyll Bridal Rooms and Megan at Typical Type

 

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Winter Wedding at the Devonshire Arms

Harriet and Lee got married a week ago…a mild Winter’s day with no rain, so lucky! This wedding has been such a pleasure, relaxed all the way through from first meeting Harriet and Lee at The Devonshire Arms wedding open day about 12 months ago. When Harriet showed me her dress on her phone at their wedding consultation here at the studio I knew she was going to look a complete knock out! This was such a beautiful wedding, so much thought having been given to the colours and little details, but above all it was Harriet and Lee’s families and friends who made this day so special, lots of hugs, kisses and laughter from such a warm, fun loving group of people. I love to take photographs which give a narrative and feel to a story; It’s the happiness, friendship and love which unite a group of people which make for the best wedding photographs……

All images are copyright Suzy Mitchell Photography

_MG_8438_Suzy Mitchell Photographyportrait photography- Fine art wedding photography Ilkley- Yorkshire Wedding photographer- Devonshire Arms Wedding Photographer

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2015 Straight out of my Head!

My top ten of 2015! Actually that was impossible but it’s near enough… I set myself a little exercise yesterday morning as I walked Oscar; without looking at my computer and just using the back catalogue of my mind I came up with a list of the images which for one reason or another I particularly remembered, loved, got an award for etc… I then took out any which were from the same shoot. There is also a shot in here which I wished I had taken, and I include it because it was taken by a fantastic photographer who stepped into the breach as a second shooter at the very last minute- love the balance of the composition, Lee Jones (MacDonald Jones Photography).

So, here they are… Some are included simply because they make me smile, others because they remind me of the best of times, some because I was rocking my wedding work, the jewel colours sparkle in another and one because happiness triumphed over adversity for one of my brides on her wedding day.

2015 was a year of highs professionally, in particular being awarded The Guild of Photographers’  Documentary Wedding Image of the Year, finding out this week that I have made the final again this year, the love of my family, amazing holidays with Andrew, Helena and Liv and great times with friends various but for those that know us as a family we have also had our fair share of tough times. So, here’s hoping that 2016 lives up to and perhaps even surpasses 2015.

Happy New Year!

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Above, my gorgeous God daughter with Harry the rabbit.

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The Star at Harome-Katie and Richard’s Winter Wedding

What a fantastic end to my 2015 wedding season…The Star has been on my wish list of venues for a while now so I was delighted when Katie and Richard got in touch in the Spring. I got to know them during their pre wedding shoot with me in September so we were all good to go for the wedding on the 20th December. I had planned for rain given the atrocious weather we had been having but the sky was blue, it was fairly warm (for December) so the brollies stayed in the car!

Katie chose a stunning Jenny Packham gown and gold Jimmy Choos whilst Rich and the boys looked cool in navy suits. Our main concern were the timescales when put in the context of the falling off of natural light as we were shooting around the shortest day of the year! Every moment mattered after the service but the shots at dusk around the Millpond and church in the village, which were lit by video light, are amongst my favourite couple shots from his year! Many thanks to Tom, one of Richard’s two best men, for his patience and willingness to develop new skills as my lighting assistant by keeping Katie and Richard illuminated correctly as I photographed!

This was an intimate wedding full of warmth and love….this was particularly reflected during the speeches. Wedding photography isn’t merely about documenting the day,  it is also about showing the relationships between those involved, not just the bride and groom but others close to them. One of my favourite shots from the wedding came towards the end of the day as Katie embraced her Father following his speech.

A beautiful wedding in the most picturesque of locations…..Katie, you looked sensational!

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Posted in fine art wedding photography, Ilkley wedding photographer, Uncategorized, wedding photography, Yorkshire Wedding photographer | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments