Dave & Hannah's wedding at the Lingholm Estate, Keswick | Previews | Mattyy Simpson Lake District Wedding Photographer

Early on in 2017 Hannah rang me to discuss her wedding photography, the wedding was to take place at the Lingholm Estate which looks over Keswick, Derwent Water and the surrounding fells, an excellent setting for a Lake District Wedding!

We arranged a date to meet up at the Cafe on the estate to go through the details of the day and to have a walk around the grounds to get a feel for photo opportunities especially as it was my first wedding at this particular venue. They both explained how they got engaged at Friars Crag which is just across the lake and when we were down at the jetty discussing how we could incorporate that into their day the idea of trying to get a boat across on the day was put into the planning. Other areas of the estate tied in perfectly with Dave & Hannah, there was even a pond in the garden in the shape of a “B” as Hannah’s name was going from Barnes to Black.

There were many other features which make this perfect for wedding photos, in the house you have a large wide staircase, big open stone fireplaces, high ceilings with crystal chandeliers not to mention the expansive terraced garden area!

Fast forward to the middle of 2018 and the wedding was getting nearer, I received a message from Dave & Hannah about photos and that they were wanting to feel more relaxed whilst in front of the camera so we organised to meet up and go through posing techniques that I may use on the day but more importantly getting them both feeling comfortable with having photos taken.

We met at Dancing Beck which is close to Keswick, the garden was full of colour and made a great addition to the photos. The pre wedding session really helped Dave & Hannah feel more confident in front of the camera and you could see it in the photos, the laughs and natural smiles were coming out and you could tell that these two were madly in love with each other!

15th September came around quickly and the weather forecast was for rain but as friends and family of Dave & Hannah know, when they visit the Lake District it doesn’t rain even if it’s forecast to!

I met up with Hannah and her bridesmaids as they started to get their hair and make up done, Hannah was so calm and even if she was nervous you couldn’t tell. After capturing the bridal prep and some detail shots of the dress I met up with Dave and his groomsmen down in the grounds for some photos before he was called in for his interview with the registrar. I went back upstairs in time to grab a shot of Paul (Hannahs Dad) seeing her in the dress for the first time, very emotional, but one very proud Dad!

After the ceremony and formal photographs the guests sat down to eat followed with speeches from Paul, Dave and Richard (Dave’s Best Man). Hannah had slipped in to her walking boots before the speeches so after Richard had finished his last sentence she was ready for the boat adventure across Derwent Water. Dave, Hannah, Laura (bridesmaid), Me and the band got into the boat as everyone waved them off from the jetty whilst the band played “Sailing” by Rod Stewart. Their dream was becoming a reality with huge smiles on their faces as we raced away across the choppy water to the opposite shore.

It certainly was turning heads when we disembarked and made our way to Friars Crag, many people stopping to take photos, it’s not every day a groom and his bride in her walking boots is seen taking a stroll along Derwent Water shore! When we got to Friars Crag the skies were dark and moody, almost as if it was going to rain. After a few photos facing towards Borrowdale there was a break in the clouds with a burst of sunlight coming from over Lingholm Estate so I quickly relocated Dave & Hannah for a photo and looking down at the back of the camera I was in awe, the photo was just magical…

The golden light disappeared as fast as it arrived and so we packed up and decided to head back to the boat and get back to Lingholm for their first dance and the evening reception.

On the boat trip back the band were discussing with Dave & Hannah about having the first dance outside on the terrace and as we got back to the venue the light was fading but there was just enough light to be able to get focus on the couple. They danced to “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede and Dave definitely had been practising his dance moves for this one compared to his shapes he was cutting later on on the dance floor! The images again were just amazing with the orange outside lights from the venue mixed with the blue night sky (clouds) contrasting very well.

This kicked the evening reception off and after moving back inside there was some incredible music played by the band and some very good dancing by all guests young and old! All the preview photos are below along with links to the other suppliers who helped make Dave & Hannah’s perfect wedding day <3

Hair Stylist - The Hair Shop
Makeup Artist - StarBeauty Keswick
Dress - Celebrations Bridal House
Flowers - Evergreens Florist
Venue - The Lingholm Estate
Caterers - FELL AND DALES CATERING
Band - Rock My Reception
Transport - Keswick Launch Company

Mike & Kate's intimate wedding at Brackenrigg Inn, Ullswater | Previews | Mattyy Simpson Lake District Wedding Photographer

I met Mike & Kate in March for coffee and to go over what they had planned for their wedding. They wanted an intimate wedding with their closest family and friends at the ceremony and then wanted to head off into the Lake District to get some photos taken before they have the wedding breakfast. They were unsure if it was too low key but it was perfect, smaller weddings can sometimes mean a lot more and can be very emotional for all involved.

Fast forward a few months and their big day was here, both sides of the families meeting outside Penrith Registry Office whilst Mike was pacing up and down worried where his best man was whilst also being called in for his interview with the registrar.

Just around the corner in the George Hotel Kate was getting ready with her sister and her two bridesmaids. Kate was turning heads when walking down the street in her wedding dress, it's not something you see every day on the streets of Penrith!

After the ceremony Mike & Kate went to visit an elderly family member who couldn't make it to the ceremony and then headed down to Ullswater to have some photos by the lake. A surprise bottle of champaign was brought out to allow them to celebrate becoming Mr & Mrs Wildman with a drink.

Drinks and formal photos were taken at the Brackenrigg Inn which has amazing views overlooking the lake and the surrounding fells creating a beautiful backdrop for the photographs. After I left them to have their wedding breakfast I headed onto their evening reception venue to grab a few photos of the cake which was created by The Nocturnal Baker.

The wedding was just what Mike & Kate had wanted when they first met with me and I look forward to delivering them their photos as these two just couldn't stop smiling and laughing away which is always nice to see in wedding photographs, enjoy these sneak previews of what is to come!

One step at a time, or 5!

Just sitting outside trying out the sparklers I just got for the wedding next month and this little man popped up out of nowhere. It was really fluffy, but he doesn't seem to have a face, how do they see 🙈

Strangely enough I loved his orange markings, probably to warn off birds and other bug eating animals but didn't stop me snapping away to try and get a nice photo 🤓

Meeting Dave & Hannah 😍

Dave & Hannah have been booked for some time but with them being from down south we had never met. I organised to meet them both so they could get to know who I am and they suggested what better place than the cafe at Lingholm where they're getting married.

 First time visiting the estate for myself and so I was on the hunt for little locations for some portraits on their big day, the gardens are gorgeous and there's also a very cool and pretty bridge on the footpath leading up to the house,ideas are already being though about! 

 After talking to them both about their day, the timings and who is where for what time we took a walk down to the jetty. Another wedding was already in full swing so we couldn't visit the main house, but we got a glimpse of it from the walk down to lake. It was a year since Dave proper to Hannah so I took a quick snap of them, framing up friars crag behind them as that's where they got engaged. Lovely couple and I can't wait for their wedding next year, it's going to be amazing! 

Sunset Orange

Went up to Hartside this evening to meet a friend and whilst waiting I noticed the sky was really misty. The sunset was either going to be really dull or something epic. As the light began to fade the sunset colours started to creep into the sky and I was still waiting on my friend so I decided to set up an off camera flash and get some shots of my car. 

 The sunset was throwing yellow & orange into the misty air and with the car being orange too it suited the shot really well. If only it wasn't really windy up there as I would have loved to add a reflector to the right hand side where the shadow is, it would have just made the shot a little more dynamic but I'm still happy with what was just a quick set up and snap! 

Swedish Family Photowalk

I was asked by a friend if I would be up for a photoshoot but on a lake district walk. The idea was her parents were over from Sweden for the mums birthday and it's not often the family get together.

I was up for the challenge and the day couldn't have been better, no cloud in the sky and the sun was lovely and warm with a slight breeze. The walk that had been chosen was cat bells, lovely views from the top and not too difficult. When we got half way up the wind had become very strong so we decided to not go to the summit but walk back down the front side and along the lake shore.

 One final image was an experimental photo down on the shore of Derwent Water, usually panoramic stitching of photos is used for still subjects for example landscapes but rarely used for moving subjects. It allowed me to get a shallow depth of field but because it was a larger photo after the stitching it's kept the separation of the family from the background and gives the photo some depth which I think looks pretty awesome! 

Autumn Leaves = Stunning Photos

This photoshoot has produced some of my favourite client photos of 2016. I was contacted asking if I could photograph some small children on a frosty morning in some red autumn leaves which worried me considering the weather we had recently had. I thought there wouldn't be any leaves left or should I say, no more crunchy pristine leaves that could add to a photo! 

I was wrong, so wrong. Up at Brampton near Carlisle there is Talkin Tarn and there was so many leaves it was amazing. We all took a stroll around the tarn to see where was best and we were spilt for choice. The piles of leaves were endless. Eventually we came to the end of the wooded section and decided to set up a mini studio on location, attracting attention from passers-by as the sleeping baby was blissfully unaware of how much attention he was getting. 

End result was some fabulous photos of deep red leaves against some equally bright colourful baby clothes 😍

Another book, but not the last!

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Another photobook from my sisters wedding arrived today, this time it was my mother's. Made and bought for her birthday present, she had picked the photos she wanted and in which order before I created it and had it printed. I've started to really enjoy making and receiving these books, there's something about opening a newly created book and turning each page to see each image professionally printed over two pages, it's amazing!

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Last minute plans to go to a local bike event near Penrith tomorrow has brought back memories to last year when we went to the Scottish downhill races. The night before would be a scramble to clean lenses, pack the bag, methodically lining up batteries to be charged and making sure memory cards are formatted. This is all part of what I enjoy about my work, the organisation of camera gear! 

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Die No More EP Launch

It's been a while since I photographed a live music event and so I asked the local band to Penrith, Die No More if they minded me coming along to snap some shots of their EP launch at the Brickyard in Carlisle. The night included a couple of support bands including Hellion Rising who are another local Carlisle band.

It's weird how doing more and more photography work throughout the years makes you more confident at capturing great images even if you don't get to practice that particular type of photography. For me in the early days I wanted to be a full time music photographer but quickly realised that it doesn't pay well, most bands are on tight budgets and aren't willing to shell out much money for photos when the next guy gives them out for free. Music photography was put on the back burner, I got the odd job here and there from bands wanting promo shots but nothing major.

 

Other than Keswick mountain Festival I haven't been to many live music events but festivals aren't nearly as challenging as darkly lit clubs. It goes to show that photography skills apply no matter what environment and no matter what the talent it be it a bride in a dark room lit by a slither of window light or a guitarist swinging around on stage with a single red spotlight on half of his face. It's knowing how to use that available light to capture truly amazing images.

Enduro at GNAR Bike Park

Sunday was a first for me, travelled to the new (yet in my opinion no where near finished) GNAR bike park near Penrith for a Hope PMBA Enduro. It's a small wood on a hill half way between Penrith and Carlisle, it has a steep entrance drive which was shut due to weather and making it impossible to get any vehicle up. Alternative parking was half a mile up the road in the camping field but again due to weather it was a bog, Mark was definitely not parking in that, roadside it was. Hordes of riders were gearing up and hooning it down the road to get practicing as soon as possible. 

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As we made our way to the sign up tent riders were scrambling for their number boards, sign on and get up the tracks to see what GNAR had to offer. 

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The track leading up to the stages was a taster of what was to come, thick sticky mud which filled new tyres to make them look like slicks, this was going to be one of those races! I set off into the thick woods and paired up the 5D with the 24-70 and soon realised, it's very dark in these woods. I was pushing the camera to the limits, wanting a fast shutter speed but also a big depth of field in a situation like this is difficult. I needed to find light, an opening. 

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Stage 6, the first major obstacle I found and felt images were to be made. A deep muddy bog. For most this was a "go as fast as possible and try to reach the other side" challenge but for a select few, they stopped, annalised and realised if they took a high line on the drop in they could swing further right and around with no penalty on time.

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The second location I liked was the gap jump on stage 5. I made a new 4 legged friend, a sprocker, who loved sticks and there was no shortage to throw for the little scamp! Riders were flying thick and fast over the gap, it attracted a few spectators, hecklers and more photographers. Time to find somewhere different... 

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I found it. Lying down between two trees and framing the riders between some fern and twigs as they were riding down into a pool of light, golden light, the best light. The flow of riders slowed down, and with no idea why I headed up to the top of the hill to find out. 

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A rider unfortunately had come off on the gap jump on stage 5 and was being treated by paramedics, and because the riders had to ride each stage in order there was a huge backlog for stage 5. The air ambulance was being called and the rider was taken off to hospital, and as I type this I've seen he was able to blog his whole experience so at least he is in good health. 

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Whilst waiting in the queue Hope Tech rider Katherine Sharp realised her front brake was leaking, but team mechanic/rider Doddy was on hand to fix it, if only he had the right sized spanner... Katherine had just that to his amazement! The stages opened and the racing got under way again and that is when I made quick exit. The time we had sat around was over an hour and as I wanted to get photos edited before going out for a meal I needed to get going. It was a nice event to cover I just felt the venue was very lacking, it needs a lot of work doing before being a worth while visit in my opinion. The track was breaking up in parts which isn't a good sign for a newly made park, maybe this event may help it grow and it gets the maintenence it needs, who knows! 

Bunny photoshoot & more photobooks!

Today another photobook came, this time for Mags & Ben's wedding. It is another A4 book with 26 pages, it is again a lay flat with numerous double page spread photos that look gorgeous on the thick matt photo paper pages. The quality of these books is amazing and I love seeing my photos in large print being enjoyed by couples.

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Tonight I had a quirky assignment, get clear sharp photos of a pair of baby bunny rabbits. These two curious creatures move fast in a dim room of their new families home. They are in quarantine until they've had all their vaccinations so aren't able to be moved to a more well lit part of their house. The challenge was on to photograph these little thumpers as previous attempts from their new mummy came out blurry as they were that fast. 

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