Heather Butterworth Photography
AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHER
As featured by
Leeds Wedding Photographer
Firstly, thank you so much for visiting! If you are looking for totally natural and fun wedding photography then you are in the right place. I am based in Leeds and if you are too you might recognise some of the lovely Leeds Wedding locations above. Use the links below to go straight to my pricing or look at more of my work, or just carry on reading to find out a little bit more about my style and approach.
Proud to be a Leeds wedding photographer!
I won't be spending ages organising you and your guests for staged shots, or endlessly rearranging limbs and looks for posey photos. I'll be quietly floating around looking for the perfect moments to capture. There will be times when I can't avoid being up close with the camera, but as a general rule I'll be as unobtrusive as possible. Depending on your preference I'll also set aside a little time for some creative couple portraits; this could be during the day making use of the sun, or after dark when we can deploy some off-camera flash. This will be the one time that I might need to direct you a little, but that means we can shoot some epic photos as quickly as possible and then get back to the party!
What packages do you offer?
Please visit my wedding packages page for information about pricing. You can book me for 3, 6 or 10 hours cover and for different levels of service ranging from just me to me plus a videographer with a drone. If you don't see exactly what you are looking for then please get in touch anyway - I'll provide you with a tailored quote for exactly what you need, so long as I can provide it.
What is documentary wedding photography?
You may already know the answer to this because you've found me! Documentary or reportage photography differentiates itself from the more traditional wedding photography of yesteryear in that there is less posing and intervention from the photographer. Massive advances in camera technology mean that we can afford to take many more photos and then whittle these down to the moments that really tell the story of your day. I may take several thousand photos of your wedding, although you might find that hard to believe because I'll very rarely use a flash on the camera and my lovely EOS R6 is quiet as a mouse, like me!
Lots of photographers now offer this style of wedding photography, so you may be finding that there are a few of us to choose from. Whilst documentary or reportage is a shared approach to taking photos, different photographers have different styles in terms of their approach to colours, use of light and shooting angles, amongst other things. I love natural light, vibrant glowing colours and good humour. I'm also a big fan of off-camera flash for the odd showstopper once the sun sets - that means positioning flash units to create spectacular silhouettes, fake a golden sunset or make the dance floor really pop.
I take doing the best job with your wedding photography extremely seriously, but myself less so. It's so important for everyone to be relaxed and having fun. I'm certainly no diva behind a camera!
If you are planning a Leeds wedding...
Take your time when choosing a Leeds venue as there are so many great ones to consider. If you need any recommendations for florists or hair stylists I've worked with quite a few across Leeds so I'd be happy to help with this too! I'm really looking forward to my 2021/22/23 bookings for Cookridge Hall, Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds Town Hall and Woodlands. Keep scrolling for more info on some of these and other Leeds wedding venues I love.
What to expect before the day itself...
I could easily say a lot more here, but in summary: Ideally I like to meet my couples in person at least once before the big day, as this gives us all a chance to get to know each other a bit, ask questions and do some planning. I'm always amenable to a glass of wine in these situations but that is by no means mandatory. If you've booked a pre-wedding shoot then I'll also be waving my camera at you and we'll be somewhere beautiful of your choosing snapping some lovely shots to set the scene for your wedding to come. Aside from the photos, this is a great way for you to see how I work which should reassure you that your wedding day will be a breeze. If for any reason a face to face meeting isn't possible then we can use Zoom or Skype or a similar tool according to preference.
What to expect on the day...
Obviously this varies depending on your plans and where you want me to be, and I am completely flexible in this regard - don't interpret what I say here as set in stone, its just an example!
A typical day for a wedding photographer will start with bridal preparations which is always a blast, often punctuated with breakfast fizz and most definitely one of my favourite times to be taking photos, full of excitement and anticipation. Once we're happy with what I've snapped I'll leave you to it and head down to the venue to get set up, test the light and have a chat with the staff and whomever is conducting proceedings. If your other half is to be found lurking in the bar for a loosener and welcoming guests at this point then we may well be able to get some photos there too, dependent on timings and locations. I probably don't need to say too much about the ceremony other than that I'll be capturing all those lovely moments as you tie the knot, not just you but your guests too, of course. I like to be as mobile as possible at all times, ceremony included, but I promise I'll be unobtrusive too. If we are still under Covid restrictions I may be required to sit still in a specific place for the ceremony - if so that limits the angles but I'll still get some beautiful shots.
What happens next varies from couple to couple and depends on whether you are moving between venues. Either way I'll be on hand to document those very first happy moments as a married couple. I'll carry on shooting right up to the Wedding Breakfast, wherever that takes us and whatever is planned. People tend not to want to be photographed with a mouth full of food and I'll be ready for a power up by this point too, so I'll typically disappear until it is time for speeches, but of course if you want me to capture any aspect of the meal, including you guys munching on something delicious, then that is totally fine, I'll be there! For the speeches, as with the ceremony, I'll be moving around, recording tears, laughter and anything in between.
There may have been an opportunity for some group and newlywed shots right after the ceremony, or we may do these after the meal and speeches, depending on what you want. If you are up for it, this may also be the moment to whisk you away for some creative couple shots before, if there is to be dancing, the first dance, cutting of the cake and any other surprises! I'll normally stay long enough to capture the flavour of the party, but then leave you and your guests to it well before time at the bar. If you want me there to the bitter end make sure you give me plenty of warning as my raving days are long gone!
How I became a wedding photographer in Leeds...
After studying photography at art college (quite a while ago!) and a decade or so working in interior design roles, I had a lucky break (redundancy) that meant I could convert photography from much loved hobby to awesome career! I've done my time in a corporate environment so I know enough to run a business, but more importantly I'm a total romantic and a creative soul through and through, which I think are essential characteristics for a wedding photographer!
Where are the best places for a wedding in Leeds?
I have lived in Leeds for the best part of two decades and I'm very proud to call it home. We have some fantastic wedding venues, from countryside barns to luxury hotels to rustic farms! I've listed some of my current favourites for you below.
This breathtaking grade two wedding venue is located in Far Headingley in north west Leeds, making it easy to travel from Leeds city centre. It is
a wonderful space with high ceilings and stunning gothic architecture thats gives an added wow factor to your celebrations. The spectacular gothic architecture of this former church is absolutely perfect for dramatic wedding photos, particularly when the party gets started.
Leeds Town Hall
You can see why our iconic Town Hall is such a popular option with its imposing architecture and central location, and it is such an inspirational place to work. The Brodrick Suite can accommodate 40 guests and the The Albert room can hold up to 100 guests for larger weddings. The Brodrick Suite leads onto the Town Hall steps which is perfect for throwing confetti and making a big entrance to the world as newly weds, complete with dramatic backdrop perfect for 'just married' photographs.
Housed within a stunning Victorian building this fabulous boutique hotel is just five minutes from Leeds station, in the heart of Leeds City Centre. With over 100 stylish bedrooms and suites there is plenty of room for all your guests and plenty to see and do in the centre of Leeds, as well as see you get hitched. The decor at Malmaison really lends itself to my style, combining a modern look with a really cozy feel, perfect for some gorgeous candlelit scenes and warming colours.
The mansion is located in lush Roundhay Park just a 10 minute drive from central Leeds. The Greek style columns make a fantastic backdrop for your wedding photos in addition to the sweeping grand staircase and glass dome roof with sparkling chandelier. Add to this the beautiful setting in Roundhay Park, with nearby lakes and woodland, this location is full of fantastic photographic opportunities.
The Normans is set on a gorgeous farm in the Yorkshire countryside and mixes stunning design features with rustic charm. The venue is centred around a courtyard which includes a water feature and lights. As it's an all year round venue there are a number of locations that you can choose for your ceremony including the ceremony barn, courtyard, grain shed and cow stalls. The Normans is famous for its twinkling wall of fairy lights, which makes for some beautiful wedding photos.
If you're looking for something contemporary and a little bit different, The Tetley could be the Leeds wedding venue for you. Just five minutes walk from Leeds train station, this art deco building dates back to 1931 and used to be the original Tetley Brewery Headquarters in Leeds. The building has retained many of its original feature that will add drama to your wedding photographs including the original wrought iron lift and the historic boardroom. This is truly a unique space perfect for some really unique wedding photography.
This stunningly restored boutique hotel is located on the edge of Leeds city centre. Originally built for a Leeds textile mill owner, Woodlands has been lovingly redesigned and modernised into the stylish wedding venue it is today, with an award-winning restaurant and 23 unique bedrooms. The gorgeous landscaped gardens are ideal for photos all year round and the games in the summer package can provide some fantastic scenes to capture on camera.