county durham

Wedding Photography at Lartington Hall, County Durham by Simon Cardwell

Lartington Hall is a beautiful venue not far from my hometown of Darlington & it is always a pleasure to shoot there.

The bridal suite has lovely high windows that let in that natural light I am always looking for:

Lartington Hall
bride and bridesmaid
Lartington Hall

At this stage of the day I photograph largely in a natural style, occasionally stepping in for a posed picture when necessary:

Lartington Hall county durham
Lartington Hall county durham
Lartington Hall county durham
Lartington Hall county durham

I believe if you let the wedding unfold naturally, the best pictures are there for you. You just need to make sure you find them:

Lartington Hall county durham
Lartington Hall county durham
Lartington Hall county durham
walthamstow wedding photographer
walthamstow wedding photographer
walthamstow wedding photographer
walthamstow wedding photographer
walthamstow wedding photographer

It is a lovely ceremony room at Lartington Hall, & one I always feel comfortable shooting in:

walthamstow wedding photographer
walthamstow wedding photographer
walthamstow wedding photographer
walthamstow wedding photographer
walthamstow wedding photographer
london wedding photographer
london wedding photographer
london wedding photographer
london wedding photographer
london wedding photographer
lartington hall
lartington hall
lartington hall
lartington hall
wedding ceremony at lartington hall
bridesmaid at lartington hall
county durham wedding cars
county durham wedding cars
lartington hall county durham
county durham wedding cars
wedding speeches at lartington hall
county durham wedding cars
grooms speech at lartington hall
county durham wedding cars
north london wedding photographer
north london wedding photographer
north london wedding photographer
north london wedding photographer
north london wedding photographer
north london wedding photographer
essex wedding photography
essex wedding photography
essex wedding photography
bride and groom at lartington hall county durham

A recent wedding at Walworth Castle Hotel, Darlington, County Durham by Simon Cardwell

This week I would like to share with you a wedding from a few weeks ago at a venue I work at quite regularly. Walworth Castle is only a few miles outside of my hometown of Darlington & is somewhere I have been going since I was a child.

This is the room where the ceremony takes place, when I was younger I think this room was a bar:

Walworth Castle Hotel Darlington

When a picture like this presents itself you have to be quick to grab it:

pageboy at a wedding at Walworth Castle Hotel Darlington

I didn’t photograph the full getting ready on this occasion so we are onto the ceremony quicker than usual:

Walworth Castle Hotel Darlington
Walworth Castle Hotel Darlington
Walthamstow Wedding Photographer
bridesmaid during a wedding ceremony
Walthamstow Wedding Photographer
Walthamstow wedding photography
London Wedding Photographer
East London wedding photographer

This completely unexpected photo turned out to be my favourite of 2019 so far & one I plan to enter into the Wedding Photojournalist Association monthly photo contests:

children riding an ice cream cart at a wedding
Walsthamstow Wedding Photographer

It was an extremely windy day so the bride & groom portraits mostly took place indoors. Luckily there are enough places at Walworth Castle to do a full shoot:

Walthamstow Wedding Photographer

Although I did persuade the couple to nip outside for a couple of shots:

Walworth Castle Hotel Darlington

East London Wedding Photography

I thought long & hard about photoshopping out that Fire Exit sign. Ultimately I decided to leave it as it was, because that was how it looked on the day:

East London wedding photographer
Lorraine & Paul, Walworth Castle, 8_3_19_300.jpg
bridesmaid at a wedding at Walworth Castle Hotel
East London Wedding Photographer
East London wedding photographer
children playing at a wedding in London

Please take a look at my main gallery to see more of my photographs.

A Winter Wedding at Bowburn Hall in County Durham by Simon Cardwell

I usually work at least a few weddings around Christmas time & this year was no exception. This wedding fell the day after boxing day at Bowburn Hall Hotel in County Durham.

The venue is only about a 20 minute drive from my parents house where I had spent Christmas so it worked out nicely.

An element of my job I really enjoy is how I get to meet such a diverse mix of people, in this instance the brides had been together for many years but had decided to have a wedding & make it official.

On this occasion their dog Betsy was a bridesmaid & made for an interesting subject:

dog at a wedding
dog at a wedding as bridesmaid
Bowburn Hall Hotel

This elegant moment proved to be one of my favourites from the day:

Essex Wedding Photographer
dog in a wedding dress

A quiet moment with the mother of the bride:

mother of the bride before the ceremony
Walthamstow Wedding Photographer

Onto the ceremony:

brides at a female civil ceremony

Betsy watching proceedings:

dog in a bridesmaid dress
lighting candles at a civil ceremony at Bowburn Hall Hotel County Durham
dog bridesmaid at a wedding
brides during a civil ceremony wedding
signing of the register at Bowburn Hall Hotel

This was another I particularly liked from the day:

Walthamstow Wedding Photographer

The natural moments in-between the poses often turn out to be the best:

two brides wedding portrait

Their dog Betsy remained the centre of attention:

bride with a dog at a wedding at Bowburn Hall Hotel

The first dance came at the beginning of the evening reception:

first dance at Bowburn Hall Hotel in County Durham
Walthamstow Wedding Photographer

Are you getting married at Bowburn Hall? Or at another venue? I work anywhere so please contact me today to discuss your wedding day.

Wedding Photography at the Radisson Blu in Durham by Simon Cardwell

The Radisson Blu in Durham is set in a beautiful location on the banks of the river in the city centre.

Unfortunately on this occasion there was extensive building work going on nearby, so we were largely limited to inside the hotel & just outside:

Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Simon Cardwell Wedding Photographer
Simon Cardwell Wedding Photographer
Simon Cardwell Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire

A photo the bride may not necessarily even want me to take can sometimes turn into a unique photograph. I always try to get something in a lift if I can:

bride getting in a lift Radisson Blu Durham

On this occasion there were no photos allowed during the ceremony so I could only get the bride’s entrance:

Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire
Wedding Photographer London
Wedding Photographer London

Outside the hotel a practical joke led to one of my favourite photos of the day:

Wedding Photographer London
Wedding Photographer London

The bride & groom being introduced into the room is one of my favourite parts of any wedding day:

London Wedding Photographer

Onto the speeches:

London Wedding Photographer
London Wedding Photographer
London Wedding Photographer
London Wedding Photographer
London Wedding Photographer
Kate & Stephen_0487.jpg

The gap between the end of the wedding breakfast & the start of the evening reception can be a quiet time, but on this occasion it was very lively & produced some good photographs:

Hertfordshire Wedding Photographer
Hertfordshire Wedding Photographer

Signing off with a couple from the evening reception:

Hertfordshire Wedding Photographer
Hertfordshire Wedding Photographer

If you have a wedding coming up, please contact me today to discuss your wedding day.

Wedding Photography at Walworth Castle, near Darlington by Simon Cardwell

Just a short selection for you today from a recent wedding at Walworth Castle near Darlington.

I didn’t shoot a lot of the bridal preparations on this occasion but I didn't manage to grab a couple when I first arrived:

Walworth Castle, near Darlington
Wedding Photography Walworth Castle

I have worked at Walworth many times over the years & It is a beautiful ceremony room with lots of natural light.

Here are a few highlights from the ceremony:

Wedding Photography Walworth Castle
Simon Cardwell Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photographer Walworth Castle
Walworth Castle wedding
Wedding Photography Walworth Castle
Wedding Photography Walworth Castle Darlington

I’m going to leave you with this shot today, mainly because the boy in the photograph is playing with an X Wing Fighter from Star Wars:

Star Wars Wedding Photography

Are you getting married at Walworth Castle? Please contact me today to discuss your wedding photography.

Wedding Photography at Wynyard Hall by Simon Cardwell

Not a long post from me today, just sharing a few from a wedding at Wynyard Hall with you.

The bride & groom were not keen on the idea of posing for photos & the emphasis was very much on a natural & relaxed style on the day. Which suited me down to the ground as that is how I like to work.


Wynyard Hall is one of the more impressive buildings in the north east of England, and it makes the perfect backdrop for the arrival of the wedding car:

Wedding Photography Wynyard Hall

Rather than a posed shot in the wedding car as you may be accustomed to seeing, on this occasion I just let the moment happen & I photographed around it:

Wynyard Hall Wedding Photography

It makes for a much more genuine end result:

Simon Cardwell Wedding Photography

This area outside the chapel at Wynyard Hall always seems to generate some good pictures:

Wynyard Hall Wedding Photography
Wynyard Hall Wedding Photography

I did persuade the couple to get a few posed photographs taken at the front of the venue:

Simon Cardwell Wynyard Hall
Wynyard Hall Wedding Photography

This is a group shot of everyone at the wedding, sometimes a tricky thing to get right & I often end up hanging out of a window or balcony. On this occasion I was able to get everyone in shot with the venue behind me:

Wedding Group Photo Wynyard Hall

If you would like to view more of my wedding photography please have a look at my main gallery.

Bride & Groom photo session at Aykley Heads Registry Office, Durham by Simon Cardwell

Sometimes I only get a very small window in which to take as many photographs as possible. 

It can be for a variety of reasons, venue restrictions, timings on the day, inclement weather. 

On this occasion we had about 5 minutes spare outside the Aykley Heads registry office in Durham. So that was my time window to get photos of the bride & groom. 

This is what I managed in that time, I hope you like them. 

Do you have a wedding booked for 2018 or beyond? Please contact us today to discuss your wedding photography. 

 

The Speeches - Whitworth Hall, County Durham by Simon Cardwell

Any regular readers of my blog will know the speeches are one of my favourite parts of any wedding. I find some of the most genuine & unguarded moments are found during this time, and this wedding at Whitworth Hall proved no exception. 

Whitworth Hall Wedding Photography
Whitworth Hall Wedding Photography
Whitworth Hall Wedding Photographer
Darlington Wedding Photographer
Simon Cardwell Photography
Whitworth Hall Weddings
Whitworth Hall Wedding Photography
Durham Wedding Photographer

Are you getting married at Whitworth Hall? Please contact me today to discuss your wedding photography. 

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 - Headlam Hall, Darlington by Simon Cardwell

This was one of my last weddings before the dark nights & cold weather kicks in, so I was hoping to make the most of the beautiful grounds at Headlam Hall. Sadly it rained most of the day, so we had to take the majority of the photos indoors. 

We did manage to get outside for some group photos & a few of the couple. Other than that I worked indoors, & was asked to take mostly natural photographs with minimal posing.

Are you getting married at Headlam Hall? Contact me today to discuss your wedding photography. 

Wedding Photography at the Morritt Arms, County Durham by Simon Cardwell

This was a very enjoyable wedding - full of happy people & just generally a pleasure to be there. Taking place at the Morritt Arms, which is a lovely venue at Gretna Bridge, near Barnard Castle here in County Durham.

I have worked at The Morritt in the past but this was my first visit since moving back to the north east earlier this year. It's a lovely presented & nicely sized venue, which means less grounds & corridors to walk down & more time to take photographs. 

As usual the coverage starts during the bridal preparations: 

The Morritt Arms
Morritt Arms weddings

The ceremony took place in a beautifully lit room with natural light coming in, which always makes for nicely lit photographs: 

Darlington wedding photographer
bride walking down aisle
bride laughing wedding
darlington wedding photographer
County Durham wedding
Morritt Arms County Durham
The Morritt Arms
Simon Cardwell wedding photography
North Yorkshire wedding photographer
darlington wedding photographer

The beautiful grounds at The Morritt make an excellent backdrop for the traditional group photographs: 

north yorkshire wedding
wedding group photo
bride and mum
bride and bridesmaids

Couples that book me don't typically want to spend too long posing for photographs on their wedding day, favouring a more natural approach, yet we usually do a handful of posed pictures around the grounds of the venue: 

the morritt arms
morritt arms wedding photos
bride and groom

Fantastic natural light coming in again allowed for beautifully lit photographs during the speeches: 

morritt arms wedding photos
the morritt arms wedding
morritt arms wedding photography
Simon Cardwell photographer
morritt arms wedding photos
North Yorkshire wedding photographer
Fanhams Hall Hertfordshire
Hitchin Priory weddings
Pendley Manor Hotel wedding
London wedding photographer

Children are an important part of most weddings I attend, and are usually much less guarded than adults, which works perfectly with my natural style of photography: 

morritt arms wedding photography
morritt arms wedding photography
the morritt arms
darlington wedding photographer
buckinghamshire wedding photographer

choosing wedding album photos is so hard when you love them all! You haven’t made it easy for us!
The Priory Hertfordshire
The Priory weddings

If you have a wedding booked at The Morritt Arms please contact me today to discuss your wedding photography. 



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

Wedding Photography at Swinton Park, North Yorkshire by Simon Cardwell

I recently photographed a wedding at Swinton Park in North Yorkshire, below I will share a few of my favourite photographs from the day.  

This wedding was a little different as it was the wedding of a very good longstanding friend & his fiance. I have known the groom over 20 years so this was a day I'd had marked in the calendar for a long time. 

Swinton Park North Yorkshire

As usual I started the day in the bride's room photographing her & the bridesmaids getting ready. 

Darlington wedding photographer

Luckily the ceremony took place in a room with fantastic natural light (the main thing I look for when taking photographs). This ended up being among my favourite pictures from the day as a result:

Swinton Park North Yorkshire
Swinton Park weddings
Swinton Park photography

We headed into the pretty vast grounds of Swinton Park to photograph some portraits of the bride & groom. 

I like it when we bump into passers by when doing this, as it usually provides a good & different  photograph:

bride and groom funny

This was the first time I tried this straight on portrait idea, & I think it definitely worked (it's made the cut for the wedding album). 

I hoped it might make for a slightly different photograph so I was pretty pleased with how it came out (I've used it a few times since too). 

bride and groom
Swinton Park North Yorkshire

Again the light in the room made this picture taken outside the main reception room: 

North Yorkshire wedding photographer

I had contributed a few stories for possible inclusion in the best man's speech in advance so I had a feeling it would be very good. It ended up being one of the best speeches I have seen at a wedding: 

bride speech wedding
Swinton Park North Yorkshire
weddings Swinton Park

The first dance:

Swinton Park North Yorkshire

I stayed at Swinton Park the night of the wedding, so I was able to take pictures of the evening reception too, this was the last photograph I took at the wedding, a nice way to end a great day: 

Swinton Park wedding

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


Welcome To My Wedding Photography Blog by Simon Cardwell

Hello & welcome to my new blog & website.

simon cardwell wedding photography

Hello, my name is Simon & I am a documentary wedding photographer.

For the last 10 years I have been based in London, these days I'm spending most of my time in the north east (Darlington). I work everywhere & over the next few months will be photographing all over the UK & further afield. 


From now on I will be using this blog to share with you my recent photographs, showcasing some of my work from past weddings & generally doing what I love to do: talking about & looking at photographs. 

I will show you how I work & why, give you FAQ's on what to look for & what to avoid, show you some of the best venues I have worked at, recall incidents (both good & bad) from years of personal experience & also show you some of my non-wedding work along the way. 

So please watch this space for updates.