Professional Business Branding with Suzy Mitchell Photography

Having your business portrait taken can be a daunting prospect but in the digital age in which we live it is increasingly important for business owners and entrepreneurs to have a fantastic photograph of themselves to use across all platforms.

An iPhone photo just isn’t good enough when you think of what you want your image to portray about you and your business.

The best visual version of you, well photographed in beautiful light and which simultaneously allows your personality to shine though is hard to achieve with an iPhone! In essence, it’s about achieving a natural, engaging portrait.

I have a documentary approach to photographing business portraits but before we get to the actual shoot I spend a little time engaging with my subjects; the most successful portraits are the ones where there is a connection between subject and photographer.

So, a few pointers which should help you get the best from your shoot:-

1) Leave plenty of time. Arrange the shoot for a time when you know you won’t be under a time pressure. Beforehand explain to your photographer what you will be using the images for and what you would like them to convey about you and your business

2) This brings me on to brand awareness. It’s a good idea to see the shoot as an opportunity to enhance your personal branding. This one needs some thought; a lawyer, for example, may approach this very differently to say an antique salvage business owner. Each will end up with a very different set of images, this is as it should be, one size doesn’t fit all in the world of personal branding.

Give a little thought to the way in which you dress and where the photos will be taken if this is to be a location shoot (sometimes the environment in which you set your portrait can help you tell the story of your business in a way that a simple shot against a white background will never be able to). All the elements in the portrait should gel, hence the lawyer will look right photographed in the library, in front of the court, with more sombre, muted colours in terms of clothing and buildings whereas the salvage yard owner could convey essential information about his business by being photographed in its midst. In this example he dressed to enhance his brand.

3 This is a big one! Ladies, especially professionals, book a hair appointment! Don’t do anything drastic as you need to look like you, but a finished polished look is what you are aiming for. Wear some make up too…this will help your photographs enormously. Remember your photographer can only do so much….they can put you in the right light, help with positioning of the body etc but they can’t overcome a badly fitting suit, poorly applied make up or a bad hair day.

This goes for the guys too….think about your suit, is it clean and well cut, and have a shave (if you are normally clean shaven) Again weigh up what you propose to wear, does it portray the real you and at the same time enhance your personal brand?

4 Find a photographer with whom you “gel.” Try to meet up beforehand or at the very least have a chat on the phone. Do they listen and are they receptive to your ideas? Are they willing to collaborate with you because at the end of the day you should see the process as just that, a collaboration.

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Merchant Adventurers Wedding Photography -Suzy and Alex-York Wedding Photographer-Suzy Mitchell Photography

So, this is a long overdue post…..Suzy and Alex’s wedding was held in York at the Merchant Taylors and Merchant Adventurer’s Hall back in June and was a highlight of this year’s wedding season.This was my first visit to the Merchant Adventurers, one of the oldest and finest Medieval guild halls in the country.

Finally, as we hit Autumn proper and wedding season is slowing down I am finding some time to write and update my blog.

Suzy and Alex were a dream to photograph and their ability to show emotion, and not be afraid of it, leant itself beautifully to my style of documentary wedding photography. My aim is always to tell the story of a couple’s day but in a natural way, with a minimal amount of posing and direction. In essence I see myself as an observer,in the background, always anticipating what will happen next. Suzy and Alex’s promenade down the Shambles, accompanied by their guests, was a wonderful opportunity for us to capture really authentic but entirely unrehearsed moments.

There was so much love for these guys and it showed; the intermittent rain didn’t dampen spirits and as we left,the dancing had begun in earnest and the party looked set to continue well into the night; There was something quite cool about this ancient building reverberating to the music of the noughties.

Posted in Documentary Wedding Photographer, Documentary wedding Photographer Ilkley, Documentary Wedding Photographer Yorkshire, Merchant Adventurers wedding photographer, Merchant Taylor's wedding photographer, Uncategorized, Wedding photographers Leeds, wedding photography, York Wedding Photographer, Yorkshire Wedding photographer | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Beautiful Marquee Wedding in the Cotswolds by Suzy Mitchell Photography

Marquee wedding photography ideas

At the end of July Helena and I sped down the M1 for the much anticipated wedding of Alex and Joe; this wedding had been on my radar for months, needless to say – it did not disappoint; I’ve known Alex through her family for many years, sometimes she used to wait outside reception class with all the Mums to pick up her little sister!  I was delighted when she asked me to shoot her and Joe’s wedding. So much thought and planning had gone into their wedding day and it showed. Alexandra and Joe combined their considerable skills with those of Hannah from All Things Borrowed to produce one of the most eclectic yet fabulous marquee interiors I have ever seen. It gave off such a relaxed vibe which was what Alex and Joe had wanted …a party atmosphere  in which to celebrate their 10 years together.

For me, the visual highlight was the interior of the little church, with it’s ancient soft pink murals on the walls; it almost felt as though we were inside a rural Tuscan church as opposed to one in the Cotswolds. Seeing emotions being expressed is beautiful and in the end all a photographer can do is capture, to the very best of their ability, what is happening around them, so from the antics of Joe’s Groomsmen, to the dignified and moving service, through to the tears and laughter during the speeches, it was an absolute pleasure to capture it all. Please click on the images below to see the full sized versions.

Alex’s dress

Alex’s Make up

Marquee Interior- All Things Borrowed

Florist-Flower Thyme Knyton

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Denton Hall Wedding Photography- Joanne and Adam’s May Wedding

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing this beautiful wedding at Denton Hall, this was a stunning affair but we had to contend with some epic weather…thunder, lightening and torrential rain showers occurring sporadically and at random! So, it was umbrellas up, then umbrellas down, groups coming inside and then outside to dodge the rain but we managed and I shot some great candid moments as well as some quieter, more documentary images throughout the day with very little posed photography at all which was very much the brief from Joanne and Adam.

There was so much loveliness at this wedding, Joanne and Adam’s little girls enjoyed the day enormously, and were perfect flower girls; Joanne’s 90 year old Grandma made it down from Scotland, and all present embraced the day and had a great party. I loved the silver vintage Rolls Royce and St Helen’s church in Denton is one of the prettiest churches at which I am lucky enough to photograph. Joanne dazzled in her Jenny Packham gown, as always the floristry by Leafy Couture was outstanding and the party was pulsating to the sound of the Chris Hilton Little Big Band when I left.

Thank you to Brooke and her team at Denton Hall and also to the Michelin starred Box Tree Events team. The dining room at the Hall looked particularly spectacular for this wedding.


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Chris and Tim’s Pre Wedding Shoot

This post is long overdue…what a super evening I spent in the company of these guys a few weeks ago and now it is only a matter of days before their wedding this Saturday. I have great vibes about Saturday’s photography as they were super relaxed and chilled in front of the camera and very much got the idea of collaboration ( which is something I bang on about a lot!) Here are just a few from their shoot; Excited to post their wedding images on here in a few weeks time.

Posted in Devonshire Arms Wedding Photographer, Documentary Wedding Photographer, Documentary wedding Photographer Ilkley, Documentary Wedding Photographer Yorkshire, Engagement photography, Ilkley wedding photographer, Wedding photographers Leeds, Yorkshire Wedding photographer | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Rise Hall Wedding Photography- Natalie and James May 2017


Many Congratulations to Natalie and James who held their reception at Rise Hall  near Hull a couple of Saturdays ago (having watched Sarah Beeney’s show featuring the renovation of the Hall I had been looking forward to this wedding for a while)…… from first meeting to their wedding day I knew this wedding was going to be a belter; Natalie is organised, she was adept at letting me know what she had in her mind in terms of photographs and she communicated it really well. I was then able to advise her and plan!  By telling me how important it was to her to have lots of photos with her parents I was able to ensure we captured all the emotion between her and her family. Natalie took great care in choosing her suppliers and ensured that her wedding was visually ” en point.” Selecting images for this post was tricky, there were so many that could have featured but in the end I want for the ones which best reflected my documentary, observational approach.

Black tie worked so well too as it tied in with my emphasis on black and white imagery.

Fellow photographer and friend, Susie Lawrence, came along to photograph the boys getting ready and assist for the day….with two Suzy/Susies no one had any problems remembering our names! Great fun too to spend the day with Mark Lenik of Lenik Wedding Cinematography

What a wonderful day we all had, it felt as though the stars had aligned photographically and even the rain which fell just as Natalie and James left Beverley Minster didn’t dampen spirits- I love the shots as they left the Minster- unrestrained happiness reflected their faces.

There is so much I could say about this wedding but I will let the photographs do the talking; However,  mention must be made of how stunning Natalie looked in her Rosa Clara gown, the friendliness of the guests, the fantastic organisation by Helen at Rise Hall (which made things run so smoothly), the divine three course dinner I enjoyed courtesy of Bon Appetite specialist catering and the thrill of photographing a wedding in the imposing and impressive Beverley Minster – having done it once I want to go back!

Thank you Natalie and James for booking with me…we have had a lot of fun!

A full list of the suppliers used by Natalie and James can be found at the bottom of this post.


Red Floral Architecture

Czerwik Fine Wines and Cheeses

Juniper Cakery

Hoults Wine Merchants

Harrogate Chauffeurs

The Event Music Company

Func on the Rocks

Cherry Williams Party Hire

Laura Maria Make up

Posted in Documentary Wedding Photographer, Ilkley wedding photographer, Wedding photographers Leeds, wedding photography, Yorkshire Wedding photographer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Devonshire Arms- A styled Shoot

I am always wary of shooting styled shoots which don’t have a real purpose behind them…they take way more planning, organising and time than anyone envisages at the outset BUT when done with a real aim behind it, as this shoot back in March at the Devonshire Arms  at Bolton Abbey hopefully demonstrates, the results are worth all the effort! The idea came from the Devonshire’s marketing department…they wanted a set of images which showcased the hotel’s quintessentially English Country gardens and which they could use in literature and on line for advertising etc. So, working together with the other recommended suppliers used regularly by the hotel and with the help of Lena and Harry our models we produced this set of images; Lena was perfect for the “English Rose” feel we were looking for and if you check out the out takes at the end of the post you can see it wasn’t all work- there was lots of banter!

My “real wedding” photography style is  more documentary than this but actually crafting the shots without time pressures and with the sole aim of making beautiful imagery was a luxury I cannot always afford when I am shooting commissioned weddings for clients.

How lovely it was to spend time with this group of creative, thoughtful and funny people…..not forgetting Monty the dog.


Vanessa at Wildflowers Ilkley

Donna at Ambience Venue Styling

Anita at Anita Massarella Design

Eric Spencer Menswear Ilkley

Amy George MUA


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Yorkshire Engagement Shoot on Ilkley Moor

So this post is long overdue, the sun is shining and we have been enjoying some proper Summer weather. Whilst going through my blog I noticed this post in my drafts folder (you can see how cold it was when Becs, Chris and I did this shoot!) and it does relate to a gorgeous wedding I shot in December at Ellingham Hall.So here it is, albeit out of season.


Engagement shoots are something in which I encourage my clients to invest….it’s more of a time investment than anything else but it can make such a difference to how we work together on your wedding day. My style of photography is “documentary”, in that I stand back, unobtrusively photographing as events unfold on your wedding day.

However, I will always have some time together with a couple to make some beautiful portraits in those magical moments immediately after they have got married. It is at this point that having had an engagement shoot comes in….I will never ask you to do anything which makes you feel uncomfortable, for most of my clients they have booked me primarily because they want my documentary non-posed style even when it comes to photos of them together and they generally want these to be as relaxed and as natural as possible. So, it is to this end that I work when we are on the engagement shoot itself. Simple things like walking, holding hands, doing natural things in a bigger environment, allowing the scenery and surroundings to make a statement. These are all things we can practise on your engagement shoot so when it comes to your wedding day you know what to expect and therefore relax.

It works as it builds the trust between us, we have each invested a little of ourselves, know a little more about one another, leaving us in a great place to shoot some fantastic couples shots on the wedding day itself. Job done!

A super by product of an engagement shoot is that a couple also have some beautiful images of themselves, taken in different surroundings and season to their wedding images but yet are another happy memory of a very special time in their lives.

Engagement photography- Suzy Mitchell Photography












Posted in Documentary Wedding Photographer, Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography, Engagement photography, Ilkley wedding photographer, wedding photography, Yorkshire Wedding photographer | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Devonshire Arms – Chloe and Adam’s April Wedding

Well what can I say about Chloe and Adam? Fun, compassionate, kind and smart are the first words which spring to mind….and so calm in the run up to their big day. The sun shone, guests broke out into their dresses and heels (well the girls anyway!) and all had a perfect day basking in the glorious April sun. From a photographer’s point of view there was almost too much of the orange stuff, but it made for some wonderful shadows on the front of the church and also allowed us to shoot later on into the evening. One of my favourite images from the day was taken as the bridal party and guests enjoyed the wedding breakfast and I walked around the gardens and spotted the hotel beautifully illuminated by the warm evening sun, turning the stone work a soft shade of gold.The Devonshire Arms set in the stunning Yorkshire Dales is one of my very favourite venues in Yorkshire.

Chloe and Adam were a delight to work with and really allowed me to “document” their wedding in my reportage, observational style…we shot a few groups and there was a little bit of guidance for their couple shots but other than that the day was captured very much as it happened, with me shooting away in the background.

From bridal preparations through to the first dance the day was a delight. I spent a really memorable day with you both and wish you the very best of times together in the future. Thank you so much for booking your wedding photography with me.

Flowers by Vanessa

Venue Styling

Wedding Cake

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Posted in Devonshire Arms Wedding Photographer, Documentary Wedding Photographer, Documentary wedding Photographer Ilkley, Documentary Wedding Photographer Yorkshire, Uncategorized, Wedding photographers Leeds, wedding photography, Yorkshire Wedding photographer | Leave a comment

Yorkshire Children’s Black and White Photographer

Posted in Bespoke Children's Photography Ilkley, children's portrait photography Ilkley, Children's portraits Ilkley, Fine art children's photographer Ilkley, Yorkshire Children's Photographer | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment