A beloved family home and countryside wedding venue in Devon, Upton Barn instantly wraps you up in a warm welcome that will make you never want to leave. We’re all about those wholesome, stripped-back rustic vibes while our approach is simple; you are at the heart of what we do. Now, who’s ready to get married?

Supplier Spotlight: Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod

If you’re about to dive head first into the wedding planning journey, then there are a huge amount of things to consider – from flowers to styling! To help you along the way on the photography side of things, we’re having a natter with Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod.

 

A wonderfully talented and down-to-earth wedding photographer, Kathryn captures love stories across Devon and the Southwest.  We’ve loved working with her here at Upton Barn, so keep scrolling for some serious wedding pretty and a little insight into what it takes to be a wedding photographer.

Tell us about your story and how you became a wedding photographer

It’s all about the power of love for me, and the fleeting nature of time. My little brother was the wisest soul you could ever meet, and when I first confided my dream of being a wedding photographer to him he said: “So do it. Just do it.”  After we lost him, I decided to honour him by taking the leap, leaving behind a big career in magazines, with five national awards.

I’ve never looked back. The moments and people that define us are the single most important things in this world. It is now my life’s work to document love, unbreakable bonds, and big leaps of faith. My ethos is: Your day, Your way. Everyone deserves photos that spark joy, and that include absolutely everything from natural moments to knockout portraits.

What would you recommend to a couple planning their wedding think about when contemplating booking their photographer?

Do not settle until you have found the one! Speak to your venue, get their recommended suppliers list. Research, stalk, interview. Jump on a zoom call and suss us out! Find a photographer that takes the time to understand you and what you want, a photographer that syncs with your personality, a photographer that gets you.

Describe the typical day of a wedding photographer on a wedding day

I like to start where the magic starts, with all the excitement of getting prepped for the day. Usually the sweet spot for this is around 2 hours before the ceremony. I orbit my nearlywed like they are my sun until I take my place at the top of the aisle for their entrance. After this I like to be flexible and flow with the couples timeline (which Upton are pros at perfecting), when it comes to portraits I only steal them away very briefly at strategic times to ensure their guests never notice they are missing (so important, and spoilt for choice at Upton!) We typically take a break while you eat, and then jump back into the mix for speeches and dance floor goodness!

Where do you find the inspiration for your work?

Directly from my couples, who inevitably end up as my friends. Once I have had a chance to hear about their day, and their vision for it, and how they want to remember it – then all that matters to me is making their dreams come true. I get so excited to be a part of it, it is such an honour.

What do you love most about being a wedding photographer?

Being involved in my couples defining moments and knowing that one day their grandchildren will (hopefully) have one of their images in a frame. It’s beyond special. I love the freedom wedding photography allows me. I am fortunate enough to decide who I work with and when I work. I like to work the UK summer wedding season and then head off to warmer climates and work there in between surf sessions. I’m originally from South Africa – so brace yourself for the accent!

Are there any new trends/changes coming through in the world of wedding photography?

I aim for rich cinematic colour and modern, yet timeless photography. In other words: Keeping it real, leads to unreal results. You won’t find me adding orange tones and filters to beautiful blue sky days – it can look great on the gram, but I’m not sure you’ll still want it on the wall in a few years. These are forever images, and they need to age like Helen Mirren (what a babe!)

What are your favourite features at Upton Barn from a photographer’s perspective?

Whenever an Upton couple reach out to me I make sure I let them know what an incredible choice they have made. Hand on heart – Upton Barn is one of the best wedding venues in the country. The aesthetics are impeccable, both indoors and out – which makes it weatherproof should the skies misbehave.

The team are also on a whole other level. They genuinely care about making your day incredible and will work with you to make your day flow perfectly, which is priceless.

Upton is also abundant in afternoon light, especially at golden hour, so those dreamy, romantic portraits are always on the cards. If the clouds roll in, we’ll just head out to the romantic festoon lights in the fire pit area and take the most gorgeous rain portrait you have every seen.

They really have thought of everything.

Anything else you think would be useful for our couples…

The amount of confetti you think you need – triple it. It is so fun for your guests, and it adds such wow factor! Also, forget about those fussy little cones. Just get it all into a big basket or two and let people grab big ol’ handfuls. Oh shucks, I get excited just taking about it!

Finally, what services do you offer?

I currently offer three wedding photography and videography packages that cover all the bases, check out my website for more details. I am also really excited about the luxury, totally customisable wedding albums and prints that I now offer, not only to my past and present couples, but other photographers and their couples too.

 

We hope you’re feeling clued up on all-things-photography! Make sure you drop us a note if you’d like to book in a private tour of Upton Barn and make sure you swing by Kathryn’s ‘gram and have a nosey!

Written by

Lottie Dainton

Photography

Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod