Derbyshire Diaries - The Great Big 2017 Round Up!

Derbyshire Diaries - The Great Big 2017 Round Up!

In which I am very thankful for an amazing year

Over the course of 2017 I started a new feature on my blog. Every other month I have been writing blog posts about what I've been up to... sharing work, music and stories from my life. I'm so excited to do the same throughout 2018 as it's been so helpful putting together this post... there were so many adventures that I almost forgot about, photos taken, films crafted and memories made. 

Sheffield Wedding Photography & Video | Sam & Roxy

Sheffield Wedding Photography & Video | Sam & Roxy

Lakeland Vibes and Confetti Chaos

It's time to blog another wedding! I have a wonderful collection of weddings from last summer to share with you over the next couple of months and I'm making a start with Sam and Roxy's colourful and sparkly celebration. It definitely cemented my love of confetti cannons and it was wonderful heading to the Lyceum theatre for their first look

10 non-cheesy wedding readings that you might not have heard before


Camera Hannah aka Hannah Millard is a wedding photographer and filmmaker from Derby, UK. She's not sure why she's writing this in the third person.

Wedding readings are a fab way to make your ceremony more personal... but do you ever get the feeling you've heard them all before?  This post is a collection of alternative wedding readings. From short but sweet quotes to poems and lyrics, pop culture, saucers, skeletons... not one, but two Garfunkel and Oates songs... here's a few you might never have heard of that might suit your ceremony. Add your favourite readings in the comments below! 



"The rest of the evening is like the end of a film. The entire cast is dancing. I play 'Got To Get You Off My Mind' by Solomon Burke, and everyone has a go, just out of duty, even though only the best dancers would be able to make something of it, and nobody in the room could claim to be among the best dancers, or even among the most average. When Laura hears the opening bars she spins round and grins and makes several thumbs-up signs, and I start to compile in my head a compilation tape for her, something that's full of stuff she's heard of, and full of stuff she'd play. Tonight, for the first time ever, I can sort of see how it's done."




The highway is full of big cars
going nowhere fast
And folks is smoking anything that’ll burn
Some people wrap their lies around a cocktail glass
And you sit wondering
where you’re going to turn
I got it. 
Come. And be my baby.

Some prophets say the world is gonna end tomorrow
But others say we’ve got a week or two
The paper is full of every kind of blooming horror
And you sit wondering
What you’re gonna do. 
I got it. 
Come. And be my baby.



I've nothing much to offer
There's nothing much to take
I'm an absolute beginner
But I'm absolutely sane
As long as we're together
The rest can go to hell
I absolutely love you
But we're absolute beginners
With eyes completely open
But nervous all the same

If our love song
Could fly over mountains
Could laugh at the ocean
Just like the films
There's no reason
To feel all the hard times
To lay down the hard lines
It's absolutely true

Nothing much could happen
Nothing we can't shake
Oh, we're absolute beginners
With nothing much at stake
As long as you're still smiling
There's nothing more I need
I absolutely love you
But we're absolute beginners
But if my love is your love
We're certain to succeed

If our love song
Could fly over mountains
Sail over heartaches
Just like the films
If there's reason
To feel all the hard times
To lay down the hard lines
It's absolutely true




How many words would it take for me to say,

How much you've changed my life in every single way?
You make the good stuff better and the bad stuff too, yeah,
My life is better 'cause I get to do it with you.

If we're eating dinner, I'll chew it with you,
If we're in line in England, I'll queue it with you,
If we're watching Green Card, I'll Depardieu it with you, yeah,
My life is better 'cause I get to do it with you.

If we've been there before, I'll déjà vu it with you,
If our honor's is besmirched, I'll Kung Fu it with you,
If we meet Droid, I'll R2-D2 it with you, yeah,
My life is better 'cause I get to do it with you.

If we learn the Art of War, I'll Sun Tzu it with you,
If we want to dance, I'll pax de deux it with you,
If we get betrayed by Brutus, I'll et tu it with you,
My life is better 'cause I get to do it with you.

If we're reading Shakespeare, I'll hitherto it with you,
If we write a Japanese poem, I'll haiku it with you,
If we're like Richard Marx I'll be right here waiting for you, yeah,
My life is better 'cause I get to do it with you.

I choose you, I choose forever and I know we can make it,
I'm giving you my heart and I want you to take it, yeah,
Every dream I have is sweeter 'cause I pursue it with you,
If times get tough, I'll pull through it with you,
And when I remember how lucky I am, I will thank you it for you,
My life is better 'cause I get to do it,
My life is better 'cause I get to do it with you.



"Hey, so we've been hanging out together all the time, spending a lot of time together and everything... I wanna keep doing that 'til you're dead. I wanna keep hanging out with you 'til one of us dies. Put this ring on your finger so people know we have an arrangement."


“My dearest friend, if you don’t mind, I’d like to join you by your side. Where we could gaze into the stars, and sit together, now and forever. For it is plain as anyone can see, we’re simply meant to be.” 



That Day, the saucers landed. Hundreds of them, golden,
Silent, coming down from the sky like great snowflakes,
And the people of Earth stood and
stared as they descended,
Waiting, dry-mouthed, to find out what waited inside for us
And none of us knowing if we would be here tomorrow
But you didn’t notice because

That day, the day the saucers came, by some some coincidence,
Was the day that the graves gave up their dead
And the zombies pushed up through soft earth
or erupted, shambling and dull-eyed, unstoppable,
Came towards us, the living, and we screamed and ran,
But you did not notice this because

On the saucer day, which was zombie day, it was
Ragnarok also, and the television screens showed us
A ship built of dead-men’s nails, a serpent, a wolf,
All bigger than the mind could hold,
and the cameraman could
Not get far enough away, and then the Gods came out
But you did not see them coming because

On the saucer-zombie-battling-gods
day the floodgates broke
And each of us was engulfed by genies and sprites
Offering us wishes and wonders and eternities
And charm and cleverness and true
brave hearts and pots of gold
While giants feefofummed across
the land and killer bees,
But you had no idea of any of this because

That day, the saucer day, the zombie day
The Ragnarok and fairies day,
the day the great winds came
And snows and the cities turned to crystal, the day
All plants died, plastics dissolved, the day the
Computers turned, the screens telling
us we would obey, the day
Angels, drunk and muddled, stumbled from the bars,
And all the bells of London were sounded, the day
Animals spoke to us in Assyrian, the Yeti day,
The fluttering capes and arrival of
the Time Machine day,
You didn’t notice any of this because
you were sitting in your room, not doing anything
not even reading, not really, just
looking at your telephone,
wondering if I was going to call.



Rollercoasters and Earl Gray Malts,
Hasta La Babies but not bath salts,
Harvest moon in the arms of a tree,
Which has been growing there for centuries.

Bassoons, trombones and French horn sections
Bass clarinets and string odd collections.
Owls and good saws when they do not match
Gilda, Kristen, Cheri, Tina, Amy and Rachael Dratch.

All these things, they're just disappointing,
All these things, they're just disappointing compared to you.
There's nothing more beautiful than your smile as it conquers your face.
There's nothing more comforting than to know, know you exist in this time, in this place.

The genitive case in German, it's true,
Is something that I'm quite partial to.
Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Prokofiev,
Dostoevsky, Bulgakov, Vysotsky n Lev

Francis Bacon, The Dolomites,
Ballet dancers with or without tights.
Central Park on an autumn day
Will always be stunning and never cliché.

All these things, they're just disappointing,
All these things, they're just disappointing compared to you.
There's nothing more beautiful than your smile as it conquers your face.
There's nothing more comforting than to know, know you exist in this time, in this place.



"I want someone who will be monogamous and nice to his mother. And I want someone who likes musicals, but knows to just shut his mouth when I’m watching LOST. And I want someone who thinks being really into cars is lame and strip clubs are gross. I want someone who will actually empty the dishwasher instead of just taking out forks, as needed, like I do. I want someone with clean hands and feet and beefy forearms like a damn Disney prince. And I want him to genuinely like me even when I’m old. And that’s what I want."



Just after the storm breaks,
With the perfect amount of light,
You can catch a glimpse of magic
If the timing is right.

Rainbows are improbable, beautiful, and rare,
But so are you, and so is this, the love that we share.

Too vast to hold, and too small to name
It's no wonder why
You have to stand between the rain and the sun
To see a rainbow in the sky.

All the things that had to go right,
All the things that had to go wrong
That lead us to the place where we were going all along. 

Right now they fall away,
Right now it's just us two,
Right now we make a promise:
If you do, then I do too.

Don't know how we found it,
But we did somehow.
All the moments of our lives,
Were leading up to now.
I used to feel uncertain,
But now I realize
When I wanna see my future,
I just look into your eyes.

Too vast to hold, and too small to name
It's no wonder why
You have to stand between the rain and the sun
To see a rainbow in the sky.

All the things that make you - you,
All the things that make me - me, 
That lead us to the place where we were always meant to be.

Right now they fall away
Right now it's just us two,
Right now we make a promise.
If you do, then I do too.

A rainbow doesn't choose to be a rainbow,
It just shines in the sky,
And there's nothing to debate
And there's nothing to deny.
Love might be a privilege,
But marriage is right,
So to all of you detractors
Who don't know you've lost the fight,
To all of you in the darkness
We're here turning on the lights.

Now I stand with you,
For the world to see,
My love, my dreams, and me
My love, my dreams, and me.

Right now they fall away,
Right now it's just us two,
Right now we make a promise:
If you do, then I do too.






Didsbury House Hotel Wedding Photography & Video | Becky & Jack

Didsbury House Hotel Wedding Photography & Video | Becky & Jack

Smiles, Tears, Friendship, Home and Happiness

It seems like July only just happened, and yet here we are in November as I look back on some of my weddings waiting to be blogged and start work on Becky and Jack's wedding at the wonderful Didsbury House Hotel. As always I will be handing over to them to tell you about their wedding planning and how their day unfolded... but not until after you've taken a few minutes to watch their highlight video below!

Tunnels Beaches Wedding Photography and Video | Soleil & Dave

Tunnels Beaches Wedding Photography and Video | Soleil & Dave

Fun, heartwarming, bohemian, beautiful & real

It's time for another wedding blog post! Soleil and Dave got hitched in Ilfracombe, in Devon at Tunnels Beaches. Tunnels Beaches is essentially what would happen if a wedding photographer could design a wedding venue.

Wes Anderson Inspired Wedding | Zoe & Max

Wes Anderson Inspired Wedding | Zoe & Max

e and more things kept getting added to the list and it just grew and grew! We got engaged in March 2016 - so it was just over a year of planning and crafting! Max is a big Wes Anderson fan, so from early on I think we knew that we wanted to have some nods to Wes in there - also, my nickname for Max is Foxie - so it felt right that our top table should be called Fantastic Mr and Mrs Fox! 

Derby Engagement Photography | Louis & Georgia

When Georgia and Louis dropped me a line looking for an engagement shoot I immediately knew that the red brick heritage site streets close to Derby train station could be the perfect spot for them. It's a real gem of a location, just outside the city centre and I've walked past countless times dreaming up shoots I could do there. After a a few shots the weather turned and we decided to take a look inside the CAMRA award-winning Brunswick Inn. Being a real ale lover it's been on my list of pubs to visit for years, so I must admit I had a pint in hand for most of the rest of the shoot! There were so many yummy pools of light and period features, I was right in my element. 

Facebook plays a big role in most people’s romances but it all started with a cheeky “Happy birthday” and a direct message. After back and forth messages we decided to meet. Louis picked me up after work and we went to a crappy pub that served cheap pints and a pool table, typically British.
Ever since then we have been inseparable he’s like my best friend, we do everything together couldn’t think of anyone else I’d rather bug and annoy for the rest of my life.
— Georgia

These guys were just so lovely and easy to work with and I could definitely be persuaded to do another pub engagement shoot.


Oakley Hall Hotel Wedding | Rex & Louise

It's time for another wedding blog post! This time it's Louise and Rex, and I'm going to hand over to them to tell you about their day in their own words. Just as soon as you've had a look at their highlight video below... let's do this thing...


Want to listen to Rex & Louise's favourite music from their day? Click the image below to hear a Spotify playlist, featuring Belle & Sebastian, The Beatles, First Aid Kit and more!


We started planning a few weeks after we got engaged, which was 7 months before we got married. 
Our biggest challenges were finding a band - there are lots out there so we became really picky! Finding a venue as we both had slightly different ideas, but we found a compromise! Everything else was surprisingly easy, just took a lot of time researching. 
We enjoyed choosing the music/songs together and decorating the venue together. It made it even more special walking into a room knowing you'd created it together and spent time over it.

the story of our wedding

The bride stayed at the venue with her bridesmaids in a cottage next to the hotel and the groom at home with his best men. 
Bride and bridesmaids got up nice and early to have breakfast together and start work on the hair and makeup. Groom and best men could afford a nice lie-in!
Both felt pretty nervous until we the ceremony began then it was a non-stop amazing experience that we will both never forget! 
All the uncertainty and nerves disappeared when we realise how much fun it is getting married and being surrounded by everyone you know and love.
The speeches were both our favourite bit. Everyone did and amazing job and we were super impressed. Even the best men who tight roped along that fine-line. 
The band and best-man dj were brilliant. We barely left the dance floor from first-dance until 1am and received such praise from friends and families about them.
It was just such a fantastic feeling all those people being there for us and making the effort. Some even went the extra mile, like the bride's aunt Debbie who made a really wonderful cake with fantastic attention to detail.
As everyone has been warning us it went too fast but we are so happy to have such brilliant photos and a video to remind us of the day.


Not to be so apprehensive on the day - but nobody can really be told that.
We listened to people's advice about taking time out of the day to spend I together and glad that we did.

Our day has been captured so beautifully. The photos are so magical and full of life. We are having a hard job picking the best ones to get printed as there are just so many!
Our video is wonderful, we are so happy we have that as well. The editing is brilliant, we have watched it SO many times!
There are plenty of photographers and videographers out there but your style offers something a bit more than most I’ve seen. You have a real skill for taking photos that capture a moment and also an eye for seeing backdrops and frames.
We are so grateful to have them.
— Louise & Rex

Documentary Family Photography | The Thurrell/Hynes family

Documentary Family Photography | The  Thurrell/Hynes family

If you've been following my blog recently you'll know that I've come to absolutely love shooting family photography. It's been so exciting building up this side of my business. There is something just so special about capturing a slice of life and childhood memories in the making. This was the shoot that really made me feel like I was finally finding my voice with it and the way that I want to work.

Fuji X-Pro2 part one | Portrait photography at the Cosy Club

In the seven years that I've been in business, I have only ever been a Canon shooter. With my usual cameras, I don't have to think about my way around the settings. I know my kit inside out... And then I decided it was time to mix it up a bit. 

After having played with a Fuji X-Pro2 at Snap Photography Festival, I wanted to see if I could incorporate one into my work. For this shoot I paired the X Pro2 with the XF-23mm f1.4, giving me the equivalent of 35mm focal length. 

The X-Pro2 is a very different camera to what I'm used to. For one thing it's mirrorless so it's small and light... (I can't emphasise enough how light it is). Adjusting to using an electronic viewfinder took a while. This isn't going to be an in-depth review about the technical aspects of shooting Fuji. I need to get to know it better first. What I will say is that all these differences made it just so darn fun to shoot with. It took me out of my comfort zone in the best way. 

The wonderful Nellie came to model for me and we used the richly decorated surroundings of The Cosy Club in Derby. I've wanted to shoot in there since the first time I had brunch there and couldn't decide what was more perfect: the window light or the poached eggs. Anyway, that's quite enough waffling (brunch pun intended!) for now... time for some photos!

So that's it for now... I can't wait to get to know my new Fuji better and share more of my experience with trying a new system. I know that so many photographers right now are switching to mirrorless or tempted to, so please let me know if there's any topics you'd like me to cover in future blog posts!

Broughton Hall Wedding | Kerrie & Errol

Broughton Hall Wedding | Kerrie & Errol

The Broughton Hall estate, near Skipton in Yorkshire is absolutely beautiful. Rolling hills, new lambs skipping around and Kerrie and Errol's venues Eden and Utopia. Eden, a beautifully light renovated farmhouse, was their ceremony location. I absolutely loved that they chose to write their own vows and found myself welling up (I am basically a big bag of feelings after all!) as they made their promises.

Keep the Faith | Northern Soul

Keep the Faith | Northern Soul

I've had this niggling feeling for months now that there's a really good personal project on the current Northern Soul scene to be shot. Last night I headed to Goldsoul's monthly night at Derby's Rolls Royce leisure club to kick off the project - and have a bit of the dance. 

The West Mill, Derby Wedding Video | Charlotte & James

We love it we love it we love it!!! So many lovely little moments that I had forgotten or didn’t see! The amount of people who have said “I want a video just like that!” Or “I don’t usually like wedding videos but that is amazing!!” Thank you for sharing your talents with us and leaving us with mementos that will last forever
— Charlotte & James

When The West Mill opened in Derby, I knew I would absolutely love shooting there. I mean... a wedding in a beautifully converted mill building with killer natural light AND it's ten minutes from my house? Yes please. 

What better way to shoot The West Mill for the first time than Charlotte and James' wonderful Christmassy wedding. I met them when I photographed Charlotte's sister's wedding back in the summertime and when they got in touch about their day I was so excited! 


They booked my video only package, which includes a shorter highlight film (above) and a longer extended version. While I really love combining photos and video, I do really enjoy having the freedom to concentrate solely on the filming at weddings from time to time. To get to do this at my new favourite venue... well... I was most definitely in my element! 

Here's their extended film!

Don't forget, if you're getting married locally to me I offer a discount on weddings nearby. So if you're getting hitched in Derbyshire get in touch soon!