Barnard Castle Engagement Portraits

On a sunny, but windy day at the picturesque Barnard Castle in Co Durham, we met Mary and Michael, and their son Elijah for their engagement portraits. Mary and Michael soon warmed to the camera and relaxed into their lifestyle portrait session and we created some beautiful images using the castle ruins and river as a dramatic back drop.

Elijah, however, was quite shy to begin with, but once we had become firm friends his character shone through as can be seen in his playful grin and cheeky face-pulling which made us all laugh.

To see more images from this photo-shoot be sure to check out their gallery here.

I’m really excited to be photographing their Lake District wedding later this year.

Do you have any special places you’d love to be photographed in? Let us know.

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+ Borrans Park, Engagement

5 Engagement Photo Shoot Tips

Hello, my lovely ladies, here are my top 5 engagement photo shoot tips.  I’m sure you are all aware that many photographers offer you an engagement photo shoot prior to your big day and of course it is up to you whether you choose to have one.  Now, depending on how far away your wedding is, this is a great time to get dressed up, have some fun together and reconnect with a little time for yourselves away from the wedmin. 

Its always wise to consider how you would like your portfolio of images to look so I thought I’d share just a few hints and tips to help you prepare for your photographs.


Obviously, we all want to look our best and so a little make up can go a long way.  From my own wedding, I can tell you that make-up for camera is heavier than your normal everyday look.  This may give you a good opportunity to use your chosen make-up artist before your big day (a trial run, if you will, without giving the game away to your spouse to be).  Knowing you look good helps you to feel more confident in front of the camera.


Alongside make-up, your hair can make a big difference to how you feel.  It makes sense to schedule an appointment a week before your photoshoot to make sure your roots are retouched and locks are trimmed and styled to perfection.  Failing this, a good blow-dry on the morning of your shoot can make you feel a million dollars.  I know I definitely fall into this category!

Hands and Nails

Like it or not these will be the feature of a number of shots – it is your engagement session after all!  Moisturise your hands well in the weeks leading up to your shoot and, if you love manicures, grab yourself an appointment to get your nails done.  If you want your images to be timeless go easy on the colour and decoration and stick to beautiful nude and pink shades.  This will allow you to have outfit changes with no clashing!

Engagement Ring

Whether you have a brilliant cut diamond or a cushion cut gem, if you have been wearing (and loving) your engagement ring for a while, the week before your shoot may be a good time to have it professionally cleaned.  Once you get it back, don’t wear it, save it for the day of the shoot for maximum sparkle. This advice also applies to your wedding day!


Here is the time to show your personality.  Make sure you are comfortable in the clothes you are wearing.  Don’t go out and buy the latest style only to feel uncomfortable during your shoot.  Your face will tell all.  Much better to wear a trusted, favourite dress (or whatever) that you know you look good in.  This will help you feel more relaxed and you will enjoy your experience much more.  You can, of course, co-ordinate your outfit with your other half for a more considered final look.

I hope you’ve found these hints and tips useful.  If you’d like to know more or would like to book your lifestyle engagement shoot hit the button below.

We’d love a lifestyle shoot


What to expect when choosing Radiance Photography for your wedding

Let us explain what to expect when choosing Radiance Photography for your wedding.

It’s hard to know what to expect from your photographer if you have not had your portrait taken in a while.  We hope to give you an idea of what you can expect from us in the lead up to your wedding, on the wedding day itself and beyond.

Initial Enquiry

Our work starts when we receive your initial enquiry.  On our contact page we ask you to tell us when your wedding is.  Our first priority is being able to let you know if we are available for your special day.  Answering any questions you might have is important to us.

We will send you a short questionnaire to gather details of your wedding plans and requirements.  We will then call you to arrange a convenient time where we can discuss your requirements in more detail.  Discussing your requirements with you prior to booking is very important to ensure our photography is right for you.

Before Your Wedding

Once you have decided you would like us to photograph your special day we will require a completed contract together with for a non-refundable deposit of £300.00.  This guarantees your booking.

We require you pay the balance of your chosen wedding collection two months prior to your wedding day.  At this point we will contact you to discuss your final image requirements.  If you have planned an Engagement Session, now is a good time to arrange it.

On Your Wedding Day

On your wedding day, we will arrive promptly and work throughout the day to ensure we capture all the details, moments and memories.

Whilst many photographers use a journalistic style, with no posing, we believe a little direction goes a long way in helping you look your best in your images.  Amazing images can be achieved with a few gentle prompts.  We won’t ask you to do anything you are uncomfortable with and we certainly won’t say ‘cheese’!

Your images are captured using dual memory cards, minimising the risk of loss in the unlikely event of card failure.  Before leaving the venue all photographs are backed-up and checked.  Your images will be securely stored in two locations.

After Your Wedding

Following your wedding, your images are prepared for viewing and made available to you via a protected online gallery.  This will usually take six weeks.

We aim to make the whole process simple and stress free leaving you to enjoy this special time.  If you any further questions or would like to see if we are available for your wedding please complete our contact form.


New Year, New Plans


Just a little catch up to let you know some of the things we have planned for the coming year.

Our new logo will be due for release at the end of January.  Designed by the very talented Jili Allen.  I’m so excited to see our final design.  Keep checking back to the website to see our final design posted.

We’re always on the lookout for beautiful products and easier ways of delivering our services.  We look forward to sharing these with you in early Spring.

Education and personal development are always at the forefront of our minds so we can continue to deliver the best service we can to you.

Wishing you have a happy and healthy 2018.


+ Autumn Engagement

Autumnal Engagement Shoot

Our gorgeous autumnal engagement shoot.  I mean, what more do you need than a happy couple, lovely venue, gorgeous light and beautiful autumnal colours?

Wax jackets and tweed sing of a country lifestyle and go perfectly with denim.  What could be better suited to an autumn walk in the woods? The amber leaves glow in the sunlight creating warm dappled light underneath.

Would you love a lifestyle engagement session like this?  Hit the button below to book your session.

We’d love a lifestyle photoshoot

With thanks to Aspire Photography Training.


Winter Inspired Wedding Shoot at Askham Hall

Styled shoots are one of the best ways to gather inspiration for your wedding and what could be more beautiful than this winter inspired wedding shoot at Askham Hall, not far from Penrith in Cumbria.

Winter Inspired wedding Shoot

What is a styled shoot I hear you ask.  Well, Styled Shoots are where a group of suppliers get together to combine ideas and inspiration around a theme.  For example the theme of the Askham Hall shoot is winter.  This inspired the creators to think of muted wintery greens and pinks with pops of blue.  Everything links to conditions, flowers and fruit available and at their peak at this time of year.


I’m loving the subdued tones with the pop of blue running through this scheme together with vintage style dresses and country house elegance.  Scroll down for gorgeous images from the day and information on all the wonderful suppliers who contributed.

Are you inspired by the ideas you see here and would love to know more?
Is our date free?

Supplier Listing:

Venue: Askham Hall, Cumbria
Photography: Radiance Photography
Models: Leigh Ann Newburn & Simon Tebbey
Design & Styling: Tebbey and Co
Gowns: Jesus Peiro (worn by model) and Watters (hanging) both through Mia Bridal
Wool wrap: Oubas Knitwear
Hair & Make Up: Lucy Pearson
Shoes: Stylist’s own
Hair Accessories: Vintage
Table Stationery: Jill Liley
Rings: Arabelle Brusan
Florals: Made in Flowers
Grooms Suit: Vintage
Invitation Suite: Gee Brother Sprinters with calligraphy & custom monogram by Moon and Tide

Tablescape, Drinks Reception & Cake Station details:
Crockery, Cutlery & Glassware: Askham Hall
Champagne Coupes: Narrative Hire
Candlesticks & tealight holders: Narrative Hire & Askham Hall
Candles: Goods For Gatherings 

+ Radiance Photography Cumbria and the Lake District

Just a pair of shoes??

As a Groom, many of your decisions tend to be focused on making your bride feel as relaxed and reassured as possible. However, this month’s blog-post is looking at an important, but oft overlooked item in the Groom’s itinerary, shoes. Although your feet will be the last thing you’ll be thinking of on the big day, its something you want to select, and then forget about. So, here are 5 things to consider:

Comfort: Obvious, but hugely important. The last thing you need is for a load of blisters when the day is only halfway done. Imagine trying to dance til the wee hours when your feet feel like someone’s jabbing then with a rusty nail!!

Wear them in: Closely linked to point 1. You have to be confident that you’ve picked a pair of shoes that are comfortable to be worn for long hours. You’ll be in them for around 13-15 hours (that’s if you’ve picked a late morning/mid-day ceremony). Break them in round the house, wear them when you’re sat in front of the tele, just get them on and wear them. Believe me, this will pay dividends come your special day.

Colour: What do you go for? An ultra-fashionable bright, bold colour that screams 2017, or a classic, timeless black pair that will not only look unassuming and un-noticed on the day, but can be worn for years to come? Only you can decide that, but bear in mind that the photos of the wedding will last a lifetime, shoes may only be worn on the day…

Style: With men paying more attention to their style, designers have responded, so now you see a multitude of styles when you walk through your local department store. And the same decisions need to be made, do you go for a classic pair of leather brogues, or a more elaborately designed fashion statement containing 8 different colours and 14 differing materials?

Suit: Goes without saying, but what colour suit have you chosen? If you’ve gone for a modern slim-cut blue suit, then a pair of brown leather winkle-pickers will look great. But if you’ve gone for the traditional morning suit, then the brown just won’t do.

Like every decision that needs to made for a wedding, careful consideration and personal choices will be the deciding factor, but hopefully this post will give you a few things to think about.

Good luck!


Armathwaite Hall Hotel Wedding Fayre

The sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky as we arrived at the Armathwaite Hall Hotel wedding fayre.  The hustle and bustle of final preparations for one of the best wedding events in the Lake District and indeed Cumbria were well underway.  Armathwaite Hall Hotel was displaying its public rooms at their finest.  The local registrar was in attendance and the lounge set for a ceremony with beautiful views of  Lake Bassenthwaite.  Example table settings provided by vendors keen to inspire brides in the Lake View Restaurant.

Armathwaite Hall Wedding Fayre - views of the hotel

Armathwaite Hall Hotel Wedding Fayre

The main event is held in the Lime Trees Suite which leads into the Broadwater Suite.  The Broad Water suit is a fully equipped function room capable of seating 120 guests for your wedding breakfast.  A feast of ideas and inspiration lay inside from live music to wedding dresses and everything in between.  It brought back the excitement of planning our own wedding so we headed in to the Armathwaite Hall Hotel Wedding Fayre to talk to the wonderful businesses waiting to speak to you.


The Bespoke Florist

Armathwaite Hall Hotel Wedding Fayre - The Bespoke Florist

Stephanie Marrs of The Bespoke Florist was busy putting the finishing touches to her gorgeous floral arrangements when we met.  She sees the bouquet as the final flourish to the bridal attire, custom designed and lovingly arranged.  The flowers make a perfect extension to each brides unique style.  Stephanie’s recently opened showroom in Workington is a one-stop shop combining the bespoke floristry business with venue styling.  She can provide everything you need to decorate your ceremony, breakfast and beyond.  Stephanie believes the Woodland or rustic theme will continue with floral headdresses remaining popular in 2018.  You can expect to see lots of greenery and texture in her arrangements in the coming year.


Malu Designs

Armathwaite Hall Hotel Wedding Fayre - Malu Design Jan of Malu Design provides hand crafted, premium stationery from her base in Carlisle.  She is attracted to sparkles and gems making the final touches of producing your beautiful stationery Jan’s speciality.  You can choose to customise designs to your exact requirements or work with Jan to create completely unique stationery including save the dates, invitations and table plans.  This provides you with a cohesive look for your special day.  Jan predicts gold, silver and rose gold will remain popular in 2018.  She also believes textures will be popular too.


Mama Cakes

Armathwaite Hall Hotel Wedding Fayre - Mama CakesAs a regional finalist of the Wedding Industry Awards 2018, Claire Houghton-Byers of Mama Cakes, know’s what it takes to create the cake of your dreams.  Claire’s ethos is “there is no such thing as a Google cake in our studio”.  She works with you to design your cake from the bowl up!  Claire draws inspiration from your invites, chosen venue and maybe even your dress and flowers.  Quality, definitely trumps quantity in Claire’s world so she offers as many consultations as needed to make your cake perfect.  She recognises planning is an organic experience where changes can happen as new inspiration strikes.  Claire’s favourite cake decorations include wafer paper and unique colours.  This fits her predictions for 2018 which are navy, black and bold coloured cakes.  You can also expect to see blush pink, metallics and marbling featuring in her work.


Thomas Grey

Armathwaite Hall Hotel Wedding Fayre - Thomas Grey Bow TiesWe were instantly drawn to the bold colours displayed by Thomas Grey‘s canine bow ties.  Founder Laura Grey has tapped into the current trend of including your faithful friend in your wedding ceremony.  She creates each bow-tie by hand to ensure the highest quality.  Laura uses the finest tweeds to create the country feel in each quirky bow-tie.  Tweed is Laura’s passion and her favourite is the Northumbrian tweed which reminds her of her home in the North.  Thomas Grey bow-ties are proving to be very popular.  Laura is now taking orders for full size bow-ties for the man in your life so watch out for bold new colours and tartans in 2018.


Wilde and Romantic

Armathwaite Hall Hotel Wedding Fayre - Wilde and RomanticRecently crowned Best Venue Stylist in the North West Region of the 2018 Wedding Industry Awards, look no further than Wilde and Romantic for the ultimate in authentic vintage wedding styling.  Janet Wilde’s favourite china is the beautiful and mismatched pieces from the 1940’s and 50’s.  She combines the china with props and furniture to add a whimsical personality to your special day.  Janet’s background in art and keen eye for detail and the quirky have lead to features in online publications including becoming an Official Supplier of Rock My Wedding.  Brides can choose to use items from Wilde and Romantic’s store or commission Janet to personally style their wedding.

As the Armathwaite Hall Hotel wedding fayre draws to a close our only regret is that we didn’t talk to all the vendors.  Hopefully we will get the chance to introduce them to you soon.

If you enjoyed reading this why not check out our Autumn Wedding Inspiration.

+ St Bees, Cumbria, Radiance Wedding Photography

An engagement shoot?  Yes please!

One of the current trends in wedding photography is an engagement shoot. Now, these may seem like a bit of a waste of time for us gents, but hold on, there may be more to this than meets the eye. When I was getting married, this was something I wasn’t too fussed about, as it seemed like just another afternoon consumed by wedding activity. However, it turned out to be a great idea, and a very valuable experience. And here’s why:

  1. Comfort.
    Here’s a common scenario. On your big day, it’s that time, after the ceremony, where you all get together for the photos of the family and friends. You get close to your new wife, look at the camera, and pull the most unconvincing smile ever as you feel totally uncomfortable.  Imagine if there was a way to meet and spend a few hours with the photographer before the wedding day, get to know them a little and get used to standing in front of the camera….
  2. Relaxation.
    The engagement and lead up to a wedding can be a bit of a blur to some. There’s so much to sort, so many things to plan and arrange, that a lot of the time your head is all over the place. An engagement shoot gives you chance to slow down, and actually spend some quality time with your partner, away from the hustle and bustle of wedding planning (at least for an afternoon).
  3. Ideas.
    On an engagement shoot, there’s no time pressure for the perfect photo, so you can experiment. Bounce ideas off the photographer. You always wanted that photo of you and your wife stood on the top of Ben Nevis? Well, now’s the time to find out if its feasible. Even your most elaborate plans may be possible, so discuss it now while you have the photographer’s full, undivided attention.
  4. Photos.
    Obvious, right? But hang on, look around your house. How many photos do you actually have of you and your beautiful fiancée that aren’t selfies or holiday snaps? An engagement shoot is a perfect time to get some professional photos to fill a few picture frames for that gap on the living room wall.
  5. Comfort.
    I know this has already been mentioned, but it is so important. You want your wedding photos to look perfect, a set of images to capture the emotion and joy of the day. This isn’t possible if you look like you’re stood in a pair of wet underpants. In order to get those amazing shots, you have to appear comfortable and natural in front of the lens. And the only way to do it is to get used to being in the centre of the camera viewfinder.

There are other reasons why an engagement shoot can be beneficial to the groom, but I think the above are reasons enough to consider the possibilities of how a professional photo shoot before the big day can help to make you, and your intended, much more comfortable and relaxed when the time comes to capture those perfect wedding memories on film.

+ St Bees Coastal Engagement shoot by Radiance Wedding Photography. Relaxed, contemporary photography in Cumbria and the Lake District.

Coastal Engagement Photoshoot, St Bees

I just love a Coastal Engagement Photoshoot.  It’s perfect for providing a rugged natural landscape that never fails to inspire.
Continue reading “Coastal Engagement Photoshoot, St Bees”

+ grooms cufflinks cumbria and lake district wedding photography photo by Radiance Photography

Why you need a Professional Wedding Photographer… A Groom’s View

5 Reasons Why You Need A Professional Wedding Photographer

Playing second fiddle on the big day is fairly normal for the groom, and lets be honest, virtually all of the attention will be lavished onto the bride. And rightly so! But as the groom, you still have a huge part to play in the proceedings. And believe me, you won’t have much time to relax!  There’ll be guests to meet, family members to chat to, making sure everyone has a drink. and is having a great time. Basically, you’re the compere for the day. Any little thing that’ll make the day easier for you is a good thing, right? And that’s where having a professional photographer can make a big difference. Here’s 5 reasons why:


Sounds self-explanatory, but let me paint you a picture… You ask your guests/brother/Uncle Fred with his fancy camera to take the photos of the big day. Six months after the wedding you finally get the pictures back from the online printing lab, having waited five months for Uncle Fred to actually download the pictures from his camera. You sit down excitedly with your wife, rip open the packaging, and dive in. Half the photos are blurred/over-exposed/wrong angle/missed the key events. The other half are okay, but you can’t help feeling that with a bit more preparation they could have been amazing. You turn to your wife, and she’s crying, devastated that the only chance to capture the most incredible day of her life has been missed.  She’ll never get that chance again… A risk worth taking?


These can fade fast, and as a groom, you’ll spend so much time running around that the day will pass so quickly, it’ll be over in a flash (pun intended!). The photos are one of the few physical products that will remain from the day. The dress/shoes/jewellery etc. will be packed away safely, rarely to be seen again. But the photos, they’ll be displayed on the wall, in an album if you choose to have one, and probably at your parents houses as well. Surely you’ll want these to be the best quality possible?

Subject matter

We’ve all had the thought ‘I don’t need a proper photographer, I’ll just dish out a few cheapo cameras to the guests.  They can take the pics’ instead. And in principle it sounds good. However, as we all know, weddings are one of the few occasions where drinking alcohol is encouraged, nay, expected to happen. So after a few of France’s finest bubbly, the photos will become more and more shaky, and the subject matter will turn from out-of-focus shots of the bride, to a shoe/finger covering the lens/something unrepeatable…


Weddings can be a rather large and confusing affair to us chaps, but it’s the little details that we tend to overlook that can make a big difference. For example, the back of the wedding dress can have an elaborate design, a real show stopper. But would you or Uncle Fred know to make sure there are photos of this? And what about when you or your wonderful new wife are posing for photos after the ceremony. Who would notice that if you just dropped your arm by 10cm, and opened your hips very slightly, that the balance of the photo would look so much better? Its little things like that which make the difference between a good photo, and picture worthy of mantelpiece space.


Imagine this… You invite all your special friends and family to a once in a lifetime event. You want everyone to come, let their hair down, and have a great time. But as part of the deal, you want them to take the photos that capture the day? Would you want that pressure, knowing that if you forgot to use the auto-focus, or run out of memory space as you took far too many pictures of that rabbit that ran into the hotel reception, that the wedded couple don’t have the photos they so desperately want?


Not only does a professional photographer know which angle at which location works best.  They know which way to point the camera (i.e. that sunset may look amazing, but will you and your wife be in darkness without a flash?).  Also the photographer may get into places a normal guest can’t. Would you want Uncle Fred in the bridal room whilst your future wife and bridesmaids are getting ready?  Thought not!

Hang on, I said five reasons, not six! But weddings can be very much like this blog post, they don’t always go perfectly to plan. However, with a professional on your side, they can advise and help, and keep a cool head throughout the drama.

Believe me, having a professional in your corner on the day can make the difference between good, and perfect.

+ Cumbria and Lake district wedding photography photo by Radiance Photography

Capturing your unique wedding

You work hard to ensure your unique wedding day is perfect and filled with details you love.  We believe these are what make your wedding personal to you and aim to photograph them so that you can look back on them in years to come and be reminded of those forgotten details.

Your personality has a huge impact on the look and feel of your wedding.  Are you writing your own unique wedding vows? Do you have a theme you are developing your ideas on?  Are you finding it difficult to decide?  Either way, it can feel overwhelming when you have so much choice.


Details we would love to see on your wedding day that may be forgotten about are your ‘Save the date’ cards and wedding invitations.  We know from experience that these take a lot of time to prepare and often form part of a cohesive stationery package.  By having these with you on the day means that we can include them in your photographs.


cumbria and lake district wedding photography photoYour colour scheme (which you could spend hours agonising over) and choice of flowers form a key part of your decoration on the day.  We will take great care with the bridal bouquet.  This is one part of your day that you may not be able to keep so photographs can help you remember these in the future.  There are a number of alternative bouquets now appearing and these make fabulous images.  If you are having a bouquet that is a little unusual be sure to let your photographer know.

cumbria and lake district wedding photography photoGrooms Attire

Your chosen colour also forms part of the groom’s attire.  As well as the more usual cravats and waistcoats, some grooms have suits made which incorporate your colours or have colour co-ordinated socks!  Special wedding cuff-links may have been purchased especially for the occasion.  Please tell your photographer about any details you have included.  Whilst we spot details where we can some might not be noticed unless you let us know.


Bridal jewellery is a must when it comes to photographs.  Often these items are packed away after the wedding for safe keeping.  Leave the boxes out the night before so that your photographer can access them without disturbing your bridal preparations.  Don’t forget to request these images from your photographer to ensure they are included.

Wedding Dress

Your wedding dress will have details that your photographer will record for you.  One word of caution here.  If the dress has lots of detail on the back make sure you specifically ask your photographer to capture the back of the dress as well as the front.  Some photographers are quite literal and will only photograph what you ask for.  It sounds daft but you’ll thank me for it later, there is nothing more disappointing than eagerly looking through your folio box of images or album only to find there are no details of the back of your dress.

Have you any details in your unique wedding you would love your photographer to capture?  Please let us know.  We’d love to hear from you.

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