The simple pleasures of shooting weddings on film.


So many downsides to this statement, I hardly know where to begin. When compared to shooting on modern digital cameras, film has well and truly been left in the dust. This is even more apparent when photographing weddings, especially in Cumbria with its random weather paterns and dark winter days. Shooting exclusively on film would put any photographer at a major disadvantage.

Its also a softer medium and often (compared to modern digital cameras) has more grain. In digital terms this is called noise, generated by more sensitivity and thus more heat passing through the sensor. There is nothing on a film camera up to using sheet film that digital cannot outstrip in terms of final image. Its just way more clinical. Cleaner – better – predictable – more control. Saving only two critical areas where film can still win: The organic look or natural feel that film gives and transition between light and dark. Film has a way of moving between light and shadow that is unsurpassed, it isn’t about dynamic range but more about how it is rendered.

Then there is the soul…






The decision to become a photographer, made in Portugal in 2001 saw me shooting on film, but using it now doesn’t make me nostalgic at all. Its more about how it captures images and embracing its organic qualities, how it can further enhance what I deliver as a final portfolio of photographs. Photographing weddings using film to compliment the digital images is a choice. The tonal range of film and its unique way of transitioning from light to dark means that it looks like nothing else. Digital can come close with the help of VSCO or Mastin but these are now matching tools for the digital files I produce more than anything. The organic look of images is important, Not to be mistaken with the faddy brown colour spaces that photographers are using on images currently. Like looking back at your parents wedding photographs, these will show their age in time.

Cost is an important factor as a roll of black and white Ilford film now would be around £5, colour film around £8 and professiona fujifilm emulsions costing up to £20. Its impossible now to cost effectively shoot an entire wedding on film and not charge clients upwards of two and a half thousand pounds for thirty or forty rolls and processing. So shooting three or four rolls at a wedding will give people a compliment to the digital images taken on the day, a hybrid of the two and something timeless, shot on a camera that often has manual focusing, produces square images instead of rectangular or even produces more than one image in a single shot.

Wigton Cumbria wedding photographer

Its also fun. There is an enjoyment to be had from working on film, seeing your images for the first time on a scanner bed or printing in the dark room. Not many photographers work with film now but for those who do it is incredibly rewarding. This brings me back to the soul, not just that film has the ability to make soulful images (great photographers do that) but more that its alternative, unique and good for the soul to work with.

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The links above are for some of my favourite emulsions and if you would like film shot at your wedding you need only ask.

Zena and Tim – wedding at Orchard House Rottington.. Whiskey Gingers :)

Okay, so this wedding being nearly six months ago now means I have sat on it for a while before blogging it. Some weekend weddings last one amazing day full of all the things you would expect from a wedding in the Lake District.

Then there are others.

Some weddings last two days.

Filled with all of the things you would expect and some you might not. A couple of days of real celebration pulling together people from far and wide to celebrate a union of two clearly very popular people. So the schedule was as full as it was detailed and I started…. Hang on… The images can tell you what happened and if there were ever a wedding that could do so, it’s this one. From the campers in the field to everyone crowded round chatting, the family atmosphere and the warmth of the summer air. You both did it right for sure.

Congratulations to both of you, it was amazing to come back to Orchard house for one last time. To be in amongst your incredible friends and family and capture something a bit special.


Hadrians Pizza

Stonehouse Smokery


Sean Webster Band

The Mustangz

Soul Junction

The Lake District wedding of Rachael and Russ at the Wild Boar.. Black Garlic Ketchup

Man this was a great day, a day of everyone smiling as two groups of family and friends got together to celebrate. Starting at Rachael’s mums house in Near Sawrey meant prep was a bit of a drive away from the Wild Boar, due to the Windermere Ferry being grounded. In the short time that I was there I managed to catch some great images of everyone getting ready. I love the challenge of being invisible in a small space with everyone around getting on with hair and makeup etc.

After a dash round the lake I headed to the Boar where most guests had gathered and Russ was already waiting in the bar. I even had a chance to photograph some of the amazing interiors there too. I have always loved this place.

After the ceremony we had the chance for some group images at the huge oak tree and then headed up to the tarn. Its great heading up there in the Defender and you always get a chance to get some really unique images at a place less photographed than most Lake District wedding venues.

Another great idea from the bride and groom was to include local relish company Hawkshead Relish as their favours. Suppliers or Russ’s beloved Black Garlic Ketchup. The table layout by the wedding coordinators, linked with the yellow and sunflowers theme was amazing too.

Congratulations both and enjoy your honeymoon 🙂

Suppliers from the day include:

Flowers by Valerie Ann

Dress by Coco and Lola in Perth AU

Shoes by Ted Baker

Jewellery by Selfridges London

Suits by John Lewis

Favours by the awesome Hawkshead relish

It’s been a while.

It has been a while but weddings haven’t stopped, just the time to do blogs has been taken over by the need to shoot and edit weddings. This year has been a blast so far. I have been all over the country and I have some amazing weddings to blog. I have also been humbled by the welcoming that I have been given at each, by some people who have become friends for life. So….. If you keep an eye on here there will be blogs from at least London, Manchester, Scotland and our own Lake District for everyone to see. I even have an absolute beauty from the newest and blingyest (is that a word?) Halston in Carlisle which I am dying to blog. I have also been included on a few more international wedding blogs and will post those once they are published. Keep an eye on Boho for more updates.Wedding photographers Cumbria

The wedding of Scott & Lynn at The Belsfield, Bowness on Windermere.

Some days are a little more than you expect and shooting at a venue for the first time is more than enough to get me out of bed at some ungodly hour. Scott and Lynn were looking for someone to photograph their wedding at the Belsfield in Windermere and I went down to meet up with them in Ambleside to talk through the arrangements. I knew that they wanted something different and like most of my brides and grooms, got me in to take the photographs because of that. Lynn is stunning…. Thats it really, she photographed every bit as well as I expected and some of the images with her were some of my favorites of this summers season. All of the guests were from the North East and after living there for 7 years I well and truly had my geordie accent back the next day. What a great bunch of people.

The sun shone all day really and after a few clouds after coming out of St. Martins Church the sky was nice and patchy (weather with options) which is just how I like it.

On with the photographs.

I like weddings that are all about the details and this was no exception. Lynn got ready at the Belsfield in a beautiful Lake View room.

Just a quick warning: This wedding is image intensive. I do this so that people get the best idea of how I photograph and approach a wedding but also to show the consistency of a body of work across a wedding day.

Scott and the boys getting ready. Scott did not have a lake view room 🙁
Polaroid, black and white film wedding photographers in the Lake District
I am getting slightly obsessed with polaroid, especially in the lakes.
Wedding details from the belsfields wedding photographer.
I love details like this on a wedding day. They really help to tell the story of the day. In the lakes it is easy to lose sight of this in among the search for an epic shot that may never present itself.
Moments before leaving for church in windermere.
I love this set. It really tells of the excitement of the wedding day.
details be lake district wedding photography
I loved the lanterns in St Martins. They really gave a nice glow to the aisle.
Wedding arrival at st martins church, loving this image of Scott looking pensive
People always take photographs of brides arriving at St Martins, Its like part of the wedding day itself.
Bridal entrance at St Martins Church bowness on windermere
Loved the kiss from Scotts best man as Lynn arrived.
St martins church has a spectacular interior.
A cheeky look back to the guests! Love this image.
photography in ambleside with windermere lake cruises.
A good first kiss too.


photograph of bride and groom coming out of a church in the lakes
It was a great wedding made even better by a lovely and understanding vicar.
nipping back into the church for a few bridal photographs
We headed back in after the confetti for a few photographs.
informal wedding photography in the lake district
What a great spot for formal images. The light in this church is excellent.
brides and grooms at st martins
The recipe on this image really gives it a faded summery look. Sorry folks, my recipes aren’t on instagram.
Vintage film wedding photographers in the lake District.
Can I squeeze one more in? Love this image of Lynn, with autumnal faded colour. Very vintage.
groups of people in a reportage style around the hotel in the lakes
Lots of guests milling around. I like to use this time to catch people smiling and chatting.
something a bit funkier than most wedding photographers.
Love this image. The only time really when the light was flat enough to take it.
through the trees in the lake district photography.
After a little recce I found a really nice view of the hotel and this was the result.
just a quick shot before dinner in the lakes.
Just came outside and when walking over the grass spotted this.
Lake district wedding photographers.
Just another quick shot before the meal. The light was great.
best mans speech in the lakes
8.5 for this speech. Just for the gangsta lingo that was used… respect…
Cocktails on the lawn at the belsfield hotel
On the lawn at the back of the hotel. The sunset was fabulous.
bridal silouette in the lakes
Love, Love this. The sun was so weak by this point I knew that the detail in the sky would be retained.
lift and bride in a lakes hotel.
The vintage lift at the Belsfield made a fitting backdrop.
beautiful dance images from a wedding in the lakes.
Some of my favourite first dance images are taken in mono. Everyone danced. Even me a bit!

Thanks again both for choosing me to take your photographs. I had a wail and got to know a hotel that I had never been to before. There are so many images I love from your wedding so get picking!

Bryan and Tori at Broadoaks Country House Hotel. Britain Vs USA…. A foregone conclusion.

On the very day that I should have been at the Rheged Wedding fair and left my stand in the capable hands of my wife, I was doing what all of the other photographers in Cumbria weren’t: Shooting a wedding. Bryan had a rather large support from his family who flew over from the states for the wedding at Jesus Church, Troutbeck. The “legendary amongst photographers” vicar there only lets photographers shoot from the back ( probably spoiled by a few amateurs) and it’s not particularly bright inside either, so long lenses and steady hands are an essential piece of kit.

It is a rather nice venue the Broadoaks. Loads of trees, hunting heritage, great views, friendly staff and even with a few fields between it and Windermere, they still seem to get the eccentric, creative types that tend to book me for weddings. I seem to find myself pigeon holed into photographing the weddings of designers, other photographers, artists and people coming from overseas. I can honestly say that I have never photographed a wedding for a dentist… Just thought I would throw that out there.. Tori and Bryan are half foreign and for honeymoon are going to sail a yacht to Africa, so they fit into the foreign (half due to Bryan being from the US)  and eccentric category. Basically I seem to do weddings for those people who want something a little more unusual than a template of images.

So… Last wedding before the new website is launched with the remainder of the 18 blog posts that I still have to show within it. New site, new start and for me, that couldn’t be more poignant. This website was created when my little girl Rose was born and now Samuel is here I have a new website on the way. Suffice to say, if i want a new site after this we may have to have another child. Maybe if we got a dog I could have a small site? Maybe?

Moment of the day goes to the young man who on the way up to the church said “Mom… Who’s that guy?” after I had been photographing him for the entire morning. Then Bryan asking a little girl if what she had on her head was a hat and she replied in perfect queens English “No, it’s a basket” (see photo below). Safe to say the whole day was a real giggle for all, with everything going as planned apart from the sky lanterns in the evil wind and rain last thing in the evening.


Great people, great friendships formed, really, really funny children and some images that will still look cool in decades time. So.. Here we go (With a look over my shoulder to make sure there is no Alexi Lalas to rain on my parade) with the wedding of Bryan and Tori, up a tree, next to an old barn and on a swing, in around and near the Broadoaks Country House Hotel.

Lake District Photography for weddings Lake District Wedding Photographers in CUmbria Broadoaks wedding Photographers Cumbria Photo Bridal I think this is called candy in the Us at a wedding in Cumbria The broadoaks fountain is awesome to photograph


Wedding planner ironing in the Lake District Broadoaks country house


Broadoaks country house, windermere.Bridesmaid prep in the broadoaks


Bride arrives at Jesus church, Troutbeck




The gate at Jesus church in Troutbeck for a wedding photograph


Tori in a door near the wedding venue




Britain vs USA wedding


Memories are forever in the Lake District.


Groom on swing in the Lake District.


Lake District Wedding Photography


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Well… I think that went well. A great first dance to finish off the evening for me, but I am sure things carried on until very late. There were so many images from this wedding, I couldn’t possibly post them all and some moments of prayer and silence that I captured which were so meaningful that I left them out on purpose. Thanks again both…

The wedding of Lauren and James at the Old England, Windermere… Darling this is love.

This is a great location for a wedding, it really is awesome. Throw in a lake Cruise on Windermere with Windermere Lake Cruises and you are set. Lauren and James Came through to Windermere from Thornaby, near where I went to university, so we could talk about the awful takeaways in Middlesborough and why the A19 is never busy. Also there to lend support with steaming dresses and giggles were her lovely bridesmaids – A right hoot on an otherwise pressured morning. The makeup on the day was the incredibly talented Jackie Brader who did makeup for my wife on our own wedding day and is without doubt my favourite makeup artist in the Lake District.

So. The wedding itself. A small affair with around thirty guests in total, just friends and family, but a really lovely atmosphere, which in many ways I really liked. It was a bit more about the two of them than the occasion or the venue, the food or the champagne. Really personal with small touches that bound the day together.

A small civil ceremony followed by a lake cruise and dinner back at the hotel with some great group shots on the lawn and a little jaunt under starling filled skys down to the Bowness marina at the back of the Old England. The starlings making a hitchcock esque backdrop for one of the final but personal favourite images of the day.

A real treat to photograph and a real treat to edit.

wedding photography at the old england hotel on windermere


Jackie Brader Makeup artist Windermere Lake District Wedding Photography


Wedding photography in the lake district and cumbria with windermere as a backdrop for beautiful images


Staggering pictures of a wedding from the Windermere marina wedding

Emma and Phil: Inn on the Lake… Kindly sponsored by Jägermeister

Wow, Emma can dance, a lot of the time it seems too. It also seems that the outside weddings at Inn on the Lake have really become popular. The pagoda come bandstand that Gary and the team have installed next to the Ullswater shoreline is fantastic. Not to mention the addition of a new Orangery, phase one of redevelopment at the Inn on the Lake which will make shooting weddings there much easier, as it is only for hotel guests not associated with the wedding, so no more ‘are they or aren’t they?’ at the wedding moments in the future.

Taking everything into account and reflecting on Emma and Phils’ wedding got me to thinking. Mainly about the people who I have photographed at the Inn before but also about the kind of people that Inn on the Lake may attract in the future. Every bride and groom there, have been easy going and relaxed on their wedding day. Now, I don’t know if this is down to the sort of couple that Inn on the Lake attracts or possibly some other phenomenon, (not barometric pressure or what they had for tea!) like location? There really is nowhere else like it and stacks of venues huddle into the Lake District and photographing at them is really amazing but Inn on the Lake seems to be the one that I come back to, like a worn in pair of loafers or my wifes’ spaghetti bolognese. Inn on the Lake is the only one where I compromise little and create lots.

Emma was slightly nervous on the morning and Phil was really really not. I wanted time alone on the morning of our wedding to take stock, but Emma and Phil wanted to be surrounded by those closest to them. Several events followed which made the day an awesome portfolio of photographs and a lot of fun to boot. To name but a few: An excellent best mans speech, a more than understanding registrar from the Penrith office, Some Jaegerbombs and a bride and groom who were as natural in front of the camera as they were with each other. Half way through the day I was happy with the results and by the end of the day I was ecstatic.

So… Emma danced lots, including as she was being married by the registrar. Everyone had an a-m-a-z-i-n-g time and confetti seemed to be thrown at every corner of the hotel. Phil got through his speech and the first dance involved everyone at the wedding and really made the walls of the Ramblers shake. Job done…

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