Darlington

The Ceremony - Blackwell Grange, Darlington Wedding Photography by Simon Cardwell

Today I would like to share with you some photographs from a recent wedding at the Blackwell Grange in Darlington.

This is a venue I like to visit, I used to visit the Blackwell as a child so its always nice to go back.

Here are some photographs from the ceremony part of the wedding:

Blackwell Grange Darlington
Wedding Photography Darlington
Blackwell Grange, Darlington
Blackwell Grange, Darlington
Darlington Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Darlington Wedding Photographer Simon Cardwell
Simon Cardwell Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Blackwell Grange, Darlington
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire Essex
Wedding Photography Blackwell Grange, Darlington
Darlington Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Annie & Mark, Blackwell Grange, Darlington, 29_7_17_274.jpg

Are you getting married at the Blackwell Grange hotel? or anywhere else for that matter? If you would like to discuss your wedding photography with me, please contact me today for more information.

Headlam Hall, Darlington - Wedding Photography by Simon Cardwell

Here is a selection from a wedding at Headlam Hall near Darlington, County Durham.

It was a bit chilly outside so much of the photography remained indoors. Luckily at Headlam there are overhead skylights in the main room which provides beautiful light into the room.

I always prefer natural light over using flash & luckily there are plenty of windows & light sources.

As usual I started with the bridal preparations:

Headlam Hall Wedding Photography

Then caught up with the groom downstairs:

Headlam Hall Wedding Photography

I always try to get at least a few pictures of the room before guests have arrived:

Headlam Hall Darlington

Then its back up to the bridal suite for the final preparations:

Headlam Hall Wedding
Simon Cardwell Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photographer Darlington

On this occasion the bride requested a photo of her & the groom on each side of a door, before the ceremony. Which I thought made for an interesting & unique photograph:

Darlington Wedding Photography
Headlam Hall Wedding

Headlam Hall Wedding
Headlam Hall Wedding Photography
Headlam Hall Weddings
Simon Cardwell Photographer
Simon Cardwell Wedding Photographer
Headlam Hall Darlington
Headlam Hall Wedding
Headlam Hall Weddings
Headlam Hall Darlington
Louise & Paul, Headlam Hall, 23_10_16_195.jpg
Headlam Hall Wedding Photographer
Headlam Hall Weddings
Headlam Hall Wedding
Headlam Hall Weddings

The time between the formal photographs & the wedding breakfast is one of my favourite times to shoot. Everyone is there & you can capture some lovely candid pictures if you’re paying attention:

Headlam Hall Wedding
Headlam Hall Wedding Photographer
Headlam Hall Weddings

Headlam Hall Weddings

On to the evening reception:

Darlington Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photographer Darlington

Are you getting married at Headlam Hall? If so, please contact me today to have a chat in more detail.

Photo Friday 14 - The Blackwell Grange in Darlington by Simon Cardwell

This weeks photograph comes from a winter wedding at the Blackwell Grange in Darlington. 

This venue is very close to my house & it is also somewhere I visited regularly as a child, so I love going back here for weddings. 

Blackwell Grange Wedding

Please visit the main gallery to see lots more wedding photographs. 

Whitworth Hall Wedding Photography - the groom & ushers by Simon Cardwell

At this wedding the groom wanted a number of different pictures with his best men, ushers & mates. As a result we did a few more posed photos than I would usually do, but I was glad we did. 

I usually manage to get plenty of natural pictures in the spaces in-between the posed photographs too: 

Whitworth Hall Weddings
Whitworth Hall Wedding Photographer
Simon Cardwell Photographer
Whitworth Hall Weddings
Whitworth Hall Spennymoor
Whitworth Hall County Durham
Whitworth Hall Spennymoor
Whitworth Hall Weddings

You can see a more extensive gallery of my wedding photography on my website

Wedding Photography at the Blackwell Grange Hotel, Darlington by Simon Cardwell

Here are a few photographs from a Christmas winter wedding at the Blackwell Grange Hotel in Darlington. 

This is a hotel I visited often as a child with my family, so its always good to go back to shoot a wedding. 

Blackwell Grange Darlington Weddings
group photo wedding
bride and groom wedding
Blackwell Grange Darlington Weddings
Blackwell Grange Weddings

are you getting married at the Blackwell Grange Hotel? If so, please contact me today to discuss your wedding photography. 

what makes a good wedding speech? by Simon Cardwell

Have you ever given a speech at a wedding? Or do you have to give one at an upcoming wedding? For some this aspect of the day is very nerve wracking & can cause all kinds of anxiety in the build up to the day. 

Over the years I have seen every kind of speech from the brilliant, to the funny, awkward & slightly embarrassing. 

My advice is don't go too long or too short (10 minutes or so is probably about right) & don't load it up with jokes you found online. If you're making a speech you should know either the bride or groom very well, so you can't fail to be sincere, which is all you need to do. 


It is one of the key times of the wedding day for me as it allows me to get lots of good photographs of guests & family, with no one paying attention to me. So if the speeches are either very short or not very good, I end up with less photographs from that part of the day. 

Luckily at this wedding the speeches were firstly good, and secondly long enough to allow me to get a great range of photos of guests:

Wedding Photographer Buckinghamshire
Simon Cardwell Photographer
Wedding Photographer Buckinghamshire
Wedding Photographer Essex
Essex Hertfordshire
Wedding Photographer Buckinghamshire
Wedding Photography Stevenage
Wedding Photography Stevenage
Wedding Photographer Hitchin
Wedding Photographer Hitchin Priory Hertfordshire
London Wedding Photography
Wedding Photographer Hitchin Priory Hertfordshire

If you are looking for a photographer for your wedding & would like to consider me, please contact me today to discuss further. 

Photo Friday - Part 2 by Simon Cardwell

I usually leave a wedding shortly after the first dance, however on this occasion I knew several guests attending at Solberge Hall, so I decided to stick around. 

The latter stages of the evening reception can gift you unusual photographs you would never usually expect to see. In this case, a conga line provided a funny & unusual photo:

Wedding Photographer Hitchin

Is there a venue or area you would like to see featured on Photo Friday? Contact me today & let me know. 

Wedding Photography at Durham Registry Office & The Black Horse Inn, Spennymoor by Simon Cardwell

On this occasion the couple had decided to have a registry office ceremony, followed by a wedding breakfast in a pub close to their house, & then an evening reception in a local club in Spennymoor. The bride & groom are regulars in both, so I liked that personal touch to this wedding. 

Brides & Grooms I speak to often feel obligated to do certain things on their wedding day, the advice I always give them is to make your wedding day exactly what you want it to be. Do what you want to do, & don't let any bossy relatives talk you into changing what you want from the day. If you can't dance, you don't have to have a first dance. If you have a fear of public speaking, you don't have to make a speech.

The best weddings I have attended have always had a personal touch that allowed you to see the character of the bride & groom. 

 

When I first arrive at a wedding, if the bride is not ready for me to start photographing, I often end up interacting & photographing children, who are usually already ready. My style of photography is to observe people & to photograph them without posing them:

Durham wedding photographer

but when a post happens naturally it always ends up a far better photograph than it would be had I set it up: 

county Durham wedding
simon cardwell photographer

Burloes Hall Hertfordshire
essex wedding photographer
Hunton Park Hertfordshire
Buckinghamshire wedding photographer
essex weddings

another unplanned posed picture makes for a great photo of the groom & his best man: 

groom and best man

when it rains at a wedding it usually provides me with a couple of memorable pictures, this was no exception & these are some of my favourites from the day: 

durham wedding photographer
Hunton Park Hertfordshire

This was a family oriented wedding, and as is often the case the couple did not want to pose for too many pictures, so I photographed as many guests & tried to capture as many moments as I could throughout the day:

West Lodge Park Hotel weddings
West Lodge Park Hotel Hertfordshire
London wedding photographer
simon cardwell photographer

Sometimes a run of images comes together that will make a nice series to give to the couple:

Rothamsted Manor Hertfordshire
Rothamsted Manor weddings
Micklefield Hall Hertfordshire

wedding photography Micklefield Hall
Needham House wedding photos
Needham House Hertfordshire
Shendish Manor Hertfordshire

If you are engaged or have a wedding coming up & think I may be suitable to capture your day, please contact me today

Grinkle Park, North Yorkshire Wedding Photography by Simon Cardwell

At the beginning of a wedding day, during the bridal preparations, as the photographer it is important to not be invasive & to get the key photographs while not intruding on the moment. At this stage I don't usually take a lot of pictures, it is usually a quiet time & in order to respect that I grab the essential pictures but I'm not snapping incessantly by any means. 

I hear a lot of stories about invasive wedding photographers who have not had the etiquette for the situation or day. Over the years I have heard this from friends, family, clients, vicars, & venue employees. With that in mind I always try & stay aware of the unique nature of a wedding day & conduct myself accordingly. 

grinkle park weddings
grinkle park north yorkshire
Aubrey Park Hotel Hertfordshire
Simon Cardwell weddings

This was my first time photographing a wedding at Grinkle Park in North Yorkshire & I must say I was very impressed with the venue. It is located in between Saltburn & Whitby & is in a beautiful secluded location. 

Grinkle Park photography
grinkle park north yorkshire
Rothamsted Manor Hertfordshire

The conservatory setting for the ceremony gave beautiful natural light (something I always look for): 

Simon Cardwell photography
Coltsfoot Country Retreat Hertfordshire

Formal family photographs are an essential part of any wedding day & are one of the few points of the day where I pose people deliberately. They are important photographs to have as they document who was there for posterity & is a record of your family for future generations. 

I am very fast at taking group photographs & usually have them all done in 15-20 minutes. I try not to make them too rigid & try to make it a fun process: 

Ponsbourne Park Hertfordshire
Micklefield Hall Hertfordshire
Micklefield Hall weddings

Again this wedding was another where the bride & groom did not want to pose for many couple photographs, so I just ensure I have a couple of simple & timeless images & leave them to enjoy their day: 

Micklefield Hall Hertfordshire

If you are planning a wedding at Grinkle Park, or any other venue & would like me to photograph your day, please contact me today to discuss further. 

The National Wedding Show - Manchester Central (G Mex) by Simon Cardwell

Tomorrow I will be exhibiting at the National Wedding Show at Manchester Central (G Mex). It is the largest wedding event in the north of England & you can find any kind of wedding supplier imaginable. 

I will be on Stand C101 so come & see me if you plan to attend. My stand will feature a range of sample albums & books & there is no better way to get a feel for a wedding photographer than meeting them in person (more on that on the blog next week). 

bride with umbrella rain

You can find more of my work here


Wedding Photography at The Quality Hotel, Boldon by Simon Cardwell

This was my first opportunity to photograph a wedding at The Quality Hotel, in Boldon. 

It is a recently re-opened hotel close to South Shields & I pass it regularly on the way to my Grandmother's house in Cleadon Village. 

The Quality Hotel, Boldon, near South Shields.

The Quality Hotel, Boldon, near South Shields.

The weather on the day was damp & drizzly, in addition neither the bride nor the groom were keen on posing for photographs, so it was decided that we wouldn't venture outside onto the grounds & would do all of the photographs inside. 

 

I began the day in the bride's room, I don't often stage many photographs, so it was a case of photographing people undetected, it's usually easier with children than adults:  

Essex wedding photographer
Buckinghamshire wedding photos
pageboys wedding photos
North Mimms Park Hertfordshire

The room used for the ceremony like several other new hotels in the area, is indoors with minimal natural light, which provides a few technical challenges to a photographer. Luckily the registrars allowed me to use my flash on this occasion (something I avoid at all costs):

walking down the aisle, Quality Hotel, Boldon.

walking down the aisle, Quality Hotel, Boldon.

Shendish Manor Hertfordshire
Fanhams Hall Hertfordshire
Walking up the aisle at the Quality Hotel, Boldon.

Walking up the aisle at the Quality Hotel, Boldon.

There was no first dance & the cake cutting was before the meal, so I rounded off the day with the speeches. Chris's best man was probably the youngest I've seen, not that you could tell by his speech:

Buckinghamshire wedding photographer
groom during speeches
Buckinghamshire wedding photography
Micklefield Hall Hertfordshire

And seeing as I visited her immediately after this wedding & it's round the corner from her house, here is a picture of me & my 86 year old Grandmother:

Micklefield Hall Hertfordshire