Bethany Clarke is a Yorkshire-based documentary style wedding photographer and one of our wonderful sponsors here at Brides Up North. So much more than just a job – photography is Bethany’s identity and life-long passion.
Having previously worked as an international photojournalist – capturing everything from A-listers and Royal visits to natural disasters – Bethany is a pro when it comes to photographing those candid, once in a lifetime moments. Couples who book her for their special day can expect her to bring this abundance of creative talent and flair to their wedding pictures.
Discreet and relaxed, Bethany ‘blends’ into the background seamlessly, quietly observing and documenting all those precious, fleeting moments and emotions. She combines this with elegant portraiture, providing newlyweds with the most beautiful images that they can treasure forever.
Here, we catch up with Bethany to delve into her passion for wedding photography and pore over a handpicked selection of her fabulous work!
When did you first start photographing weddings and what was it that attracted you to the industry?
Bethany says: I first started photographing weddings in 2007 alongside another wedding photographer as his second shooter. I then started photographing weddings in my own right a couple of years later while also working as a photojournalist on national newspapers. My passion has always been storytelling through pictures and a wedding day has so many lovely stories to tell.
Unlike many wedding photographers, I didn’t start photographing weddings through planning my own special day. I was a photographer with a passion for creating beautiful, powerful images that will retain their value through the years.
How would you describe your style of photography and the approach you take to capturing a big day?
My background in photojournalism is fundamental to my approach in capturing striking and memorable images at weddings.
I like to observe and really capture the individuality of each wedding. Every bride and groom is different and the images should reflect this in recording their special day.
What is it that you love most about your job?
I feel so lucky that I adore my job. I love capturing beautiful images but, most importantly, I love capturing fleeting, life-changing moments that cannot be repeated and are over in an instant. By identifying these, I can create images that last a lifetime and can instantly transport couples back to that moment and how they were feeling.
Wedding images are priceless mementos. It is one day that passes very quickly and good quality photos, captured by an alert photographer, can ‘time-freeze’ special moments, emotions, and people and make them last forever.
In your opinion what are the most important things for a couple to consider when deciding which photographer to book for their wedding?
It is important that you like their style of photography, but also that you trust them to capture your special day and that they have the experience and professionalism to capture beautiful images, whatever happens.
Sometimes photographing weddings involves working in stressful situations, sometimes things don’t go to plan, sometimes the light, or weather, may be challenging and couples need to feel confident that their photographer will produce a lovely record of their day – no matter what.
What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
My experience as an international photojournalist gives me a unique perspective to wedding photography. I have worked for some of the world’s most prestigious editorial clients and captured a wide variety of situations from Royal and State leader visits to celebrations and natural disasters. I have even photographed on film sets with A-list celebs and in Indian slums.
I have worked in almost every kind of light, weather, environment and emotional situation imaginable – all to the minute-critical deadlines of national newspaper front pages. This experience adds a unique style to my wedding photography.
My work has also been exhibited in City Hall and The National Theatre, London, the United Nations HQ, New York and in Seoul.
What is the feedback like from your couples?
My couples usually compliment my relaxed and unobtrusive style, blending into the background for most of the day but giving a little direction if required. My couples usually say how relaxed they felt being photographed by me – and that’s a great compliment.
I really enjoy being part of a couple’s special day and I want them to enjoy having me as their photographer. Most coupes are also really impressed with how many beautiful, candid moments I capture, catching guests looking genuinely happy and enjoying themselves.
Do you have a favourite part of the wedding day to capture ?
Every wedding is different and I enjoy them all.
What area do you cover and is there somewhere in particular that you would love to shoot a wedding that you’ve not yet had the opportunity to do?
I’m now based in Yorkshire. I used to be in London and absolutely love getting occasional weddings down there, but I’m happy to travel anywhere. I love beach weddings – I would love to shoot a wedding in Greece or Italy or on a tiny island…I have shot a few in the Channel Islands before and it’s dreamy!
Other than photography, what are your other passions and what do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a wedding photographer?
I cannot imagine not being a photographer in some field. I absolutely loved working as a photojournalist. The variety of subjects and places I got to shoot in was incredible, but what really makes weddings so special, for me, is that it’s part of that family’s history. It is the beginning of a new family and, as such, it’s very special to capture.
Since leaving university I have always worked as a photographer. It has become more than just my job – it is also my identity.
What would be your top piece of advice for couples when planning their wedding and on the day itself?
Enjoy it. Hire people you trust. Investing in photography means you have the memories to look back on forever.
What can couples that book you expect?
A relaxed, friendly, professional, creative, experienced photographer who loves capturing weddings.
What is included in your photography package?
I keep them flexible so people can have exactly what they want. All packages include a personalised USB with digital images and a secure online gallery. Albums and pre-wedding shoots are also available.
Can you give us an idea of price and can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?
Half days are from £700 and full days (8 hrs) are £1200. I can offer 15% off for Brides Up North readers – just mention this blog post when getting in touch!
How can readers get in touch with you or see more examples of your work?
Visit my website at Lloydclarke.photography.