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Back to Our Roots.

We’ve been talking about this for a long time, we know it makes sense but it felt like a huge mountain to climb. Anyway, we are nearing the summit now.


Wedding photograph hand printed from black and white film negative

The picture above is from the last wedding we shot completely on film in October 2006.


In March 2013 we opened The Alchemist’s Workshop in Grizedale Forest. It’s a gallery where we show Steven’s personal work but it’s also a traditional wet darkroom. There is a huge interest in film photography again and there is nothing quite like a beautifully made, black and white silver gelatin print. Steven has always been a black and white printer, he says it was seeing his first ever print emerge in the developer when he was an Art Student that got him hooked on photography in the first place. Steven is also an Ilford Artisan Partner there are only 11 in the world. Ilford are the leading manufacturer of black and white film and darkroom materials. They have appointed the Artisan partners (all knowledgeable and experienced photographers and printers) to teach the craft of the darkroom. Steven runs workshops at The Alchemist’s Workshop site and all of his personal work is made on Ilford black and white film and hand printed by himself.


Up until the October 2006 that was also the way we made wedding photographs. At that time it looked as though film’s days were numbered we were among the last wedding photographers to go digital. Even then though the hand made prints Steven made were special. In the decade or so before the digital revolution most wedding photographers had their films processed and machine printed by commercial labs. What Steven did then, and still does now is make black and white prints that are closer to what you would find in a gallery or museum. Steven teases the best from every negative and then processes, washes and dries them using scientifically devised archival methods so the the prints will long outlast any individual depicted. The prints are beautiful, like nothing else you will see on a computer screen or reproduced in a book.


Silver Gelatine hand prints of wedding photography.


Like thousands of other wedding photographers all over the world by 2007 we had fully embraced the digital revolution. We have a long list of very happy clients over the last 7 years who have beautiful albums of wedding photographs we made for them from digital files. We also know there are thousands of our clients who have even more beautiful albums of sumptuous black and white prints we made for them before 2007. Working in this very “hands on” craft driven way takes time, effort and very special skills. We also realise that a wedding is a once in a lifetime event that needs to be expertly recorded. We, along with lots of others, can do that using the latest technology and the result is more than acceptable to most people’s eyes.  We got thinking though. We have those craft skills and the facility to carry them out, as a wedding is so very special it deserves the best possible record shouldn’t we offer a privileged few the opportunity to have the best possible presentation?

Wedding photography on film

During 2014, of the 30 odd weddings we documented we offered a few the chance to have some of their pictures made on black and white film and hand printed by Steven in the darkroom. It went really well, we made some beautiful prints. In August we covered one wedding in Liverpool completely on black and white film in this way. Most couples will want some colour pictures as well and we did those digitally. It helps that there are always two of us at every wedding, back in the day Steven had to switch cameras often to make two versions of the same picture now one of us can shoot the black and white film while the other can work on colour digital.

Analogue wedding photography

We love the results of what we have been doing and our couples do as well. Here are a few images from the prints we made in Liverpool in August. There was also a film crew with us who documented us documenting the wedding. The film of us at work, on the wedding and in the darkroom will be put online in the coming months.


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When you are looking for a wedding photographer, you may use websites like this one to help you choose. If you want your pictures recorded digitally, what you see on the site represents very fairly what you will get delivered. If you would like us to make a set of hand prints for you however, our site, these scans of the prints, only tell a tiny part of the story. If you want to see just how beautiful these  really are you are going to have to make a date to meet us.

Lake District Wedding Photographers in London

Last Saturday we documented a wedding in London, we often do. Last week though was a bit special because we had met Nancy and Simon before. They are great friends and neighbors to Toby and Lusha who we photographed way back in 2010. Toby and Lusha got married in the village where we lived, Rusland, deep in the English Lake District and down the road from Grizedale Forest where we have our gallery. They chose Rusland because Lusha’s grandmother had a house in the village and Lusha spent happy childhood holidays there.

Anyway, we have Toby and Lusha’s wedding on our home page but meeting them again on Saturday stirred the memories and we thought we would like to share it again here.

Nancy and Simon, we are working on your pictures as we speak.

Hindu wedding at Thornton Manor.



One of the great things about being in a collective like Prime is that we all know and trust each other enough that when we get an inquiry for a date we already have booked we have no hesitation in recommending one of the collective. That’s how we first heard from Sam and Shree. Fellow Prime photographer David Murray was booked so he sent them to us, and we are really glad he did.

Over the years we have documented all sorts of weddings, only a couple of Hindu ceremonies though. As documentary wedding photographers we were in our element at Sam and Shrees colourful wedding. There is so much going on at a Hindu wedding, so many things to see and record. Even though we are most well known for our black and white photography colour dominated this document.


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Wedding Photography Lake District.


Lake District Wedding Photographer

At the end of the first quarter of this year, while the Forest floor was carpeted in Bluebells, we documented the wedding of Nicola and Kevin. We’ve been all over the world to photograph weddings, even Australia but this beautiful country wedding was right on our doorstep. Literally just down the valley from our gallery in Grizedale Forest and in the village of Rusland where we lived until 3 years ago.


The Wedding was in Rusland Church, where Arthur Ransome the author of “Swallows and Amazons” is buried. The Church sits on top of a hill and the field below is the obvious place to form up the big group picture.


After the wedding it was back to Crosslands Farm, Nicola’s family home, where teepees had been erected to house the party.



It’s the Lake District so it rained, but nobody bothered about that.


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Wedding Photography, New House Farm, Lorton… And a New Years Eve Party.

Happy New Year… I know but we are craftsmen and some things should not be rushed.


So, Georgie and Aaron had a wedding and a fantastic New Years Eve party. We’ve been to New House Farm up in Lorton a couple of times, it’s proving to be a popular, if remote wedding venue. The house itself is beautiful but not big enough for a wedding what they do have there is a gigantic barn that is just perfect. It was great to work with Annabel from Weddings by Annabel again.


Georgie and Aaron live in London, although Georgie was brought up in the Lake District, apparently of all of the guests only Georgie’s mum lives in Cumbria the rest of their guests came in from all over the world. They were not just cosmopolitan, they were talented as well. The bridal processional was accompanied by a “flash mob” style rendition of “Only You”. Strategically seated members of the congregation gave their line of the song and the last line was triumphantly delivered by Aaron himself. During the signing of the register there was more singing, each section of the Church sang their own line of “The 12 Days of Christmas”.


It was a 4.30 ceremony on the last day of the year, so when the newly married couple emerged into the darkness there was only an opportunity for us to grab a couple of quick, flashed pictures before we boarded the vintage buses back to the barn. We’re photographers so we love great light and when we got into the barn, that’s what we had supplied by Fluid Productions, we’d like them to be at all of our weddings. The flowers were by Rob Van Helden

Part two of the day was the New Years Eve party. We think the pictures give a hint of what that was like…

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