Sarah & Tim 11th May 2018

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Bride in Car

I love Yorkshire Weddings!

(I also love Leeds United, but no-one’s perfect!) 😉

I think as wedding photographer I’m a little spoilt to live where I do.  There is always a beautiful backdrop to find.  Some little hidden Yorkshire gem.. We just have to look a little harder sometimes!

I was booked a few weeks before Sarah and Tim’s big day and popped over to see Sarah to chat through the plans for the wedding day.  I’m learning that no two weddings are ever the same.  There are always challenges and opportunities in every schedule.

The plan was to do the Bridal Portrait session before the ceremony so the challenge this time was to find somewhere en route to nip to and get some shots.  The Wedding Ceremony was due to take place  at the Box Tree Restaurant in Ilkley at Noon so time was of the essence!  When I think of Ilkley I automatically think of the Cow and Calf..

I wanted to do something different and more importantly I wanted to make sure we weren’t too far from the venue.  I think we managed it!

Read on and see!

So the 1st stop of the day was breakfast!!! I am in a really bad habit of having a big brekkie.  I dont know why but I know that whatever the day holds I’m good to go!!

I arrived at Sarah & Tims at just after 8am.  We were on a tight schedule and had to be in the cars and heading to Ilkley no later than 10.  No pressure!!

I love photographing bridal preps.  It settles me into the day and gets everyone relaxed in front of the camera too.  I also think it’s really important to document all the little things that have gone into the months of planning your big day!! Those wedding shoes, that special perfume, the wedding rings! The details matter

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Bridal Preparations

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Bridal Preparations

Sarah looked stunning!!

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Bride

A lovely moment where Tim first saw his Bride..   magic!

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Bridal 1st Look

Ok so we were now running late!!!

The one thing you can guarantee about plans is that they don’t tend to stick on wedding days lol

So onto the location!!!  Like I said I wanted to do something a little different!!  Throughout late April / early May we’re lucky to be spoilt in our woodlands with amazing displays from the bluebells. Many a photographer can be found in them shooting children.. (sounds a little bit wrong that!)

I’d nipped up to Middleton Woods in Ilkley with the Mrs a few days before to see if there were any on show.

We weren’t disappointed!!

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Bride in Car

Sarah and Tim were a pleasure to pose.  I think Sarah was a little nervous about the posing when we had our first initial chat.  For me it’s about making the couple feel at ease and be themselves.  My style is to try to pose as naturally as possible, Lots of little cuddles and kisses and just be yourselves.

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Bridal Portrait Bluebells

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Bridal Portraits Bluebells

(unless you like to bicker, in that case don’t be yourselves!!)

I have a really bad sense of humour which I’m not afraid to use.. I’m not sure if people laugh with me or at me but hey ho, they end up relaxed and it shows in the pictures.

As you can see Sarah and Tim were incredibly natural and tender.  I love this shot guys!!!

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Bridal Portrait

When we’d finished it was great to say to them ‘shall we go and get married then?’

Sarah and Tim were beaming from ear to ear.  🙂

So this was my first time at The Box Tree Restaurant.  Its absolutely beautiful there!! It was a small and intimate wedding which was perfect.  A really great idea for any couple that just want to go and get married and spend an afternoon been wined and dined in true Michelin Star style!!

Now I’ve been to a few weddings where either the bride or groom forgot their lines but this was the first time I’d ever known a registrar forget hers.  I have to say though she recovered well and what could have been a really awkward moment ended up being a lovely moment with lots of laughter.

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Wedding Ceremony

At this point I took a step back and soaked up the atmosphere.  Its always a nice relaxed time watching the new Mr & Mrs have their first drink with their wedding party and guests!

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Wedding Ceremony

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Wedding Group Shots

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Wedding Group Shot

I also took a few minutes to capture some of the beauty inside the Box Tree.  just stunning!

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Box Tree Restaurant

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Box Tree Restaurant

So all that was really left for me to do was to grab a couple more pics of the new Mr & Mrs Goodwill having a cheeky kiss on the stairs and cutting their amazing wedding cake!!

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Box Tree Restaurant

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Box Tree Restaurant

and to leave them to enjoy this!!!

Leeds Wedding Photographer Ben Cumming Box Tree Restaurant

Sarah and Tim, you and your family are absolutely lovely.  It was such a pleasure to be a part of your wedding day.

I wish you both all the joy, happiness and love the future could possibly offer..

Another fantastic Yorkshire Wedding!!

Ben x

It was a Taylor & Broome thing..

Bride and Groom fun picture

Ok… so here I am blogging again…

I never imagined for a minute that as a wedding photographer I’d get into writing blogs.. but here we are.. brace yourselves for some more ramblings & I will try to give you a little insight into what was an awesome, awesome day!!

I had the pleasure of meeting Samantha and Malcolm about a month ago when we all met up at Kirkstall Abbey to run through the details of their wedding and do a few pre-wedding pictures.

I knew right from the off that this was going to be a fun day as they were both really cool and had some great ideas for the wedding day.   Its lovely to see couples put so much thought into their big day and Sam & Malcolm had certainly done that..  I could tell we were all set for another fantastic Yorkshire Wedding!

I love pre-wedding shoots and would always encourage couples to have one.  I guess it’s kinda strange being photographed all day..?? I know I’d be very self conscious of it if it was me but luckily I get to hide behind my camera 🙂

I think its an important addition to the wedding as it gives everyone a chance to relax and get to know each other a little. Importantly for me it gets the couple used to being in front of my camera and used to posing a little.

I guess if I’m really honest it also prepares you for my naff jokes too :/

As you’ll see from the pics below Sam and Malcolm did great and have definitely given me one of my favourite B&W shots to date…

Engagement shoot | Happy Couple | Getting married

So Thursday 24th August came around quickly….

Mr & Mrs Sign | Just Married

…and my 1st stop of the day was The Mercure Hotel in Bingley where I was due to take pre-pics of the bride getting ready, meet caterpillars and almost ruin surprises…

I know, I know.. :/

I really enjoy Bridal prep pics.  There is always such a buzz in the room as people get ready and the time to set off gets closer and closer… I like to try and capture the mood along with all the little trinkets that are a part of the day to come..  Samantha’s make-up was done by Laura Angel  stunning too.. If you click on her name it will take you to her Instagram page.  Well worth booking ladies.  Very cool ink too!!

Wedding Preparations | Little Details | Wedding Shoes

so Caterpillars…??

I don’t know what it is about me and animals this year but they seem to be a common theme.. whilst doing some pics of the bouquet we noticed we had a little hitchhiker.

We named him Fred :))

Wedding Flowers caterpillar


I cant really blame him for hitching along as the flowers were amazing!  They are from an awesome company called Owl House Flowers well worth a look!

Bride with Wedding Flowers

Ruining surprises..? well almost!  Sam & Malcolm had bought Colin (Sams Dad) a lovely watch with an inscription on the back.. Colin arrived in the bridal suite and I’m like ‘oh hi there let’s get a pic of the watch then…’

tumbleweed moment as he hadn’t been given it yet… major cringe!

I think I rescued it.. kind of.. as when I realised my error I started taking pics of his current watch and rambling on about it being a great shot.. eyes roll emoji..

(whilst cursing myself under my breath)

Thank you for being so cool about it guys… Foot in mouth disease in the Yorkshire dales…


Father of the bride gift


So next stop was East Riddlesden Hall … Wow… what a stunning venue..  They also have a Facebook page here.

The grounds are perfect for photography and the Barn made a lovely rustic setting for the ceremony.  Their staff are amazing too.

Its the 1st time I’ve shot here and they couldn’t have been more helpful (even chipping in with ideas for pictures) Massive, massive thank you guys!!

Wedding Planner Selfie

It was a very emotional start to the ceremony which was heartwarming to see and gave way to a beautiful service.  It’s a privilege to be present when two people share such a special time together.. Loved it!!

Just married | Confetti

Just married | Signing the register

How awesome was the Caricature!! A lovely touch from Duncan Storr!

So next order of the day was the group shots… & more animals…

Nooooooo not the guests!!  They were all lovely 🙂

Wedding Group shot

Mental note though Ben.. when you’re stood on the stepladder and everyone is waiting for the picture to be taken it’s not your chance to tell jokes..

Just take the goddamn picture… (cringe)

Big shout out by the way to Paul Thornton Solo Guitarist who serenaded us though the service and the afternoon.  If you click on his name it will take you to his Facebook page.  Highly recommended and a good bloke too!

Wedding entertainer


We were absolutely spoilt to bits to be entertained by SMJ Falconry.  These birds are such majestic beautiful creatures..  It was awesome to have them there.  I’ve never been so close to birds of prey before so it was great to see them and to be able to get some pics too.


Maybe it was just the excitement of the moment going to my head a little but asking the Groom if he fancied having a picture taken with a big bird on his arm was again not my finest hour..

I wouldn’t mind if it had been meant as a joke either .. foot in mouth disease strikes again :/



Back to the animals!  We were then treated to a fantastic display by SMJ Falconry.

Very tricky to do them justice and catch them in flight but I think I got a few!!

2017-08-30_0015(whilst keeping an eye on the edge of the lake where I’d been asked to stand.  The day I was having for ‘comedy’ moments I could  see where this could easily have gone…)

Next up was the food!  Now my apologies here as normally I’m the first to be one of those annoying types who photographs everything he eats.  On this occasion I didn’t as I was busy trying not to lose the rings I’d been given to photograph…

Wedding rings

…whist also shovelling the most amazing Steak Pie down my neck that was finished off with mash, carrots and cabbage.  The food was provided by The Hog and Apple and trust me it was delish’.

Apologies for not grabbing a ‘selfie’ with my plate and thank you Sam & Malcolm for being so considerate and feeding us such a great meal!

The speeches were great and top marks Nick for the ‘Tinder’ story btw 😉 those who were there will know what I mean!!

Wedding Speeches

As I mentioned before the grounds at East Riddlesden Hall are just beautiful.. so off we popped with Sam & Malcolm to grab some pictures around the grounds.  Here are a couple of sneaky peeks..  I loved the way Sam and Malcolm went straight to their pose too (another good reason to have a pre-wedding photoshoot!)


Bride and Groom Portraits

Thanks you two for just being ace and so much fun to Photograph  🙂

Bride and Groom fun picture

Still giggling from that one…

It never fails to amaze me how quickly the day goes… it really does fly by.. No sooner had we finished the location pictures and it was time to get set up for the cutting of the cake and the 1st dance

Bride and Groom Evening pictures 1st Dance

How amazing was that cake??? Provided by Aunty P’s… I was so tempted to pinch a bit but I refrained..

(progress for Ben!)

I have to give a shout out to the band too Phil Lyons and the New Vintage band these guys were great and as you’ll see from the pics below they had everyone going for it


The last order of the day for us was to eat a chilli dog..

sorry.. I meant to say..

…was to do some twilight shots

(the chilli dog was an awesome bonus though – again my bad as no pics and good luck to the dry cleaners who currently have my suit)

I’d seen a couple of potential spots to do something a little bit different and get some powerful images for Sam and Malcolm.  I think we managed to do just that!  I thought the arrival to the location in the golf buggy was a great idea and hopfully it gave your feet a little rest Sam..

Evening pictures of Bride and Groom

If…. you have made it to here then well done.

I commend you on your resilience and patience.  As a writer I make a great photographer!  I hope my little picture blog has given a little insight but more importantly come close to doing justice to what was truly a wedding to remember.

I wish you all the happiness in the world guys..


Ben x

(and of course Nibbs aka Neil)

Anna & Ryan – The Wedding

The Bloggue de Bordeaux..


Bloggue de Bordeaux…? Yep I’ll get to that 😉

It seemed like a long time ago that we booked this; but Saturday 29th July finally came around for Anna and Ryan’s Wedding.  I’d been looking forward to this for ages and knew we would be in for a fun day after meeting up with them previously for their pre-wedding pics.  I knew then that Anna and Ryan would be creating a fantastic DIY Wedding to remember!

Kettlewell has always been quite a special place for me and my family as my Mum was evacuated there towards the end of World War II.  It was my first destination of the day so.. car loaded (scrambled eggs and sausage destroyed) and I was on my way to get the day going with the bridal and groom preparation shots at a real Yorkshire Wedding!

Kettlewell Village Hall .. What a beautiful little venue.. tucked away right in the centre of the village.  It had a lovely rustic feel to it with chairs dressed by Betty Loves Vintage and topped off beautifully with a funky Wurlitzer jukebox from   The staff couldn’t have have been more helpful and accommodating.  Top marks all round.


I always like to get shots of the venue before any guests get there as I know how much work goes into setting the room up before hand.  My 1st shot of the day was a masterpiece (even if I do say so myself) ha ha !


Loved doing the prep shots; with all the usual chaos that ensues.  The vibe was starting to feel exiting now too as time was ticking on.  The best bit for me was… ‘Daisy, daisy…’ 😉 ok enough with the randomness.. When I did the pre- wedding shots for Anna and Ryan I met the lovely Daisy a Doggue de Bordeaux.  I fell in love on the spot.  What a beautiful hound !!


(Gotta say it was hilarious watching Ryan run around the house after her catching impending slobber secretions.  Her expression was comedy genius…  Fair to say she didn’t give a damn lol)

So back to the wedding!  We’d decided I’d hitch a lift with the guests to Skipton on the bus that that had been put on to get people to the ceremony and back.  A beautiful vintage Bus provided by Yesteryear


Hats off to the driver too!  I had struggled driving my car to Kettlewell with all the narrow roads, twists turns and random sheep 🙂 !! He managed to navigate a socking great double decker with apparent ease whilst I snapped away at the guests.

(who on the whole were managing to avoid too much travel sickness)


Anna really broke the mould for this wedding and was actually early to the venue!! Unheard of but.. it gave us plenty of time to snap away at some lovely pics before the ceremony started.


I really enjoyed the ceremony.  This is one of the reasons I love wedding photography.  Its an absolute privilege to share a day like this with a couple.  I guess I’m a bit of a softie really  but its all about Love…  I managed to remain professional tho and not get emosh’ during the ceremony… but.. it really was quite touching to see the love between Anna and Ryan..

(even if the vows did take eleventeen hours for them to get through) ha ha!



My ride back to Kettlewell was with the lovely Ange who was fab!! (thank you for looking after me all day by the way and making sure I was fed and watered.  You’re a star! x )  I would insert a piccie but she’d kill me as, like me, she hates having her piccie taken!!  We managed to get back just before Anna & Ryan so that we could grab a couple of shots with the Camper van.  (thanks Mr Van driver for being a good sport) Beautiful split screen VW Camber by the way.. Very cool! Provided by Bronte Camper Hire highly recommended fleet of bugs!!


Whilst the guests were busy tucking into a drink we moved on to one of my favourite bits of the day.  I love to take the Bride and Groom off for some location shots with just them.  As well as getting really nice pictures I think it gives the bride and groom time to breathe out and relax a little bit.  Wedding days can be gone in a blink so its nice to slow them down a little and take the new Mr and Mrs for a walk, a giggle and a little photo shoot.

(thanks Aiden for your help carrying bags.  Very much appreciated!)



I guess traditionally its at this point that my day tends to start to slow down a little.. Depending on what couples want I try to slip into the background a little and move to almost a reportage coverage of the day.  I’m very conscious not to turn a wedding into a photo-shoot…  Its not about me, its about the couple’s special day.

There was a real family feel to the guests and it was very much a child friendly wedding. The kids were great and were well entertained (they kept me busy too!!) little tykes 😉


There were still a few things we ‘needed to do’  group shots for example.  We’d been organised though and had a list to work from so they were done quickly and again the guests were left to enjoy the entertainment and food (bar provided  by Bronte bars and events).


The spread was amazing and delicious!!  I asked which company had done the food for them so that I could mention it in the blog and I couldn’t believe this had been prepared by the family!! Take a bow guys …I may have hoovered up a little bit myself .. after the guests obviously 😉

(and thanks as I’ll be needing more miles on the exercise bike now.. either that or my clothes are somehow shrinking…? )



How cool was that cake guys!! Again prepared by the family!! The characters done by Mrs B’s Bespoke cakes

The ‘Best Man’s speech’ was without a doubt one of the best I’ve heard in a long time. Well done Oliver you did a fab job and had everyone in stitches!  Take a bow mate..


A special mention has to also go to Trouble at t’mil These guys did an absolutely great couple of sets throughout the afternoon.   Really really good music and a cracking set of lads too.  Was nice to have a chat with them after they’d done and were re-lubricating the vocal chords with a well earned pint of the gold stuff!


My last action of the day was to grab some shots of the 1st dance.  I only managed to grab a couple before the dance floor was flooded with everyone enjoying a boogie with the couple


I left everyone going nuts to the second band of the evening;  Northern Epidemic who were really getting the crowd going at this point.. These guys are awesome! Its always nice to see people getting up and having a dance at a wedding rather than the DJ sat there playing songs to himself.

Anna & Ryans guests did them proud.. maybe they’re all a bit nuts.. 😉


I slipped away thoroughly exhausted but having had an amazing day.. but on my way I was accosted by a hog roast that insisted I sample its delights before leaving.. How could I refuse.. Well basically that was never going to happen .. Piggin Fantastic the name says it all!!!


I’m so pleased I was asked to be a part of Anna and Ryans wedding.  I’ll remember it for a very long time..

I’m also going to miss the lovely Daisy xx

If….. you’ve made it this far thanks for reading and well done!  I’m no blogger (you probably guessed that) and this is certainly the first time I’ve blogged about a wedding.  It wont be the last though as its been a nice little trip back to a LOVELY…

(there is a joke there to those who know)

…day with beautiful people



Thank you Anna & Ryan.. I will get cracking with the editing!

Ben  xx

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FoCal Calibration tool by Reikan focal

I had a day off on Saturday so decided to use my time to look at micro calibrating my lenses as I’d been noticing some softness in images that my AF had been saying were on point..

It’s the first time I’ve looked into doing this;  to be fair l was more than a little daunted at the prospect.

That said I downloaded their FoCal Pro version and set about having a go at calibrating 5 lenses to my main camera by canon EOS5d mkIII. I have to say the whole process was well explained and easy to complete (even for a dinosaur like me!)
As for the results.. 1st class. Every one of my lenses needed some micro adjustment. I did each test twice and the results were consistent after the 1st calibration. It’s reassuring to now know that I am getting the best results possible from the equipment I own.

The image below shows the sharpness of focus using a 50mm 1.4 and using ‘Y’ as the target. Prior to calibration it was hitting ‘U’IMG_4859
I shall now be using the software to calibrate my lenses to my backup EOS5d mkII

I’m looking forward to exploring the rest of the suite which has functions for dust analysis, aperture sharpness and auto focus consistency to name a few.  There is a link here to see the full specification and purchase.

If you keep having issues with soft images I would highly recommend you try these guys..  I’m no techno guru and I found it user friendly.  Great support staff too.


Well done Reikan and thank you for breathing life back into my lenses. I’m looking forward to some creative focusing at Saturdays wedding!


Thanks guys!


Anna & Ryan’s Pre Wedding Shoot on Baildon Moor

Today I headed off to Baildon moor to meet Anna & Ryan who are to be married on the 29th of this month in Kettlewell North Yorkshire.  Being keen dog walkers we planned to head out to the moor as it’s a special place for them both.  So cameras packed and away I went.

We had a great shoot and Anna and Ryan seemed comfortable with the camera.  The dogs were beautiful too, and lively!