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  • Valerie Mather Photography

Welcome to Valerie Mather Photography

Valerie Mather Photography


Are you interested in learning how to get creative with your own camera?

I offer a range of photographic workshops throughout Yorkshire tailored towards beginners and enthusiasts covering a variety of photography topics from coming off “Auto” through to portraiture, wildlife/pets, black & white, landscape, documentary and speed/action photography, plus 1:1 mentoring sessions, all designed to help you with your photographic journey. Check out my current workshops here and my personal portfolio here.Please take a look at some of the workshop and 1:1 kind words I have received here >>.


I am a documentary, travel and portraiture photographer, based between Harrogate and York in Yorkshire, with a portable lighting studio, who loves to create bespoke beautiful portraits that capture a person’s unique personality. I offer a range of services including personal and corporate headshots, family and lifestyle photography, including special occasions such as an anniversary, a birthday or an engagement. Check out my portraiture work here and please refer to my Portraiture FAQ’s page for more information. Please take a look at some of the portraiture testimonials I have received here >>.

Please enjoy browsing my website and feel free to contact me to discuss your requirements.

Valerie Mather

“It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it's another thing to make a portrait of who they are” - Paul Caponigro


“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it” - Edward Steichen

  • Kind Words

    You are such a great teacher, I would not be anything like so enthusiastic had I not got some good solid grounding from you. Thank you!

    - Gillian O

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    ‘Thanks for the black & white workshop today. I had a great time and you are a wonderful mentor.’

    - Barbara H

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    "I had the pleasure of having a 1:1 workshop with Val on landscape photography at Fountains Abbey. Key information was provided as a handout like the exposure triangle which could be referred to on the day but more importantly, afterwards so I could remember to apply what I had learnt independently. Val is extremely flexible and patient, catering to what grabbed my interest and giving constant feedback on the pictures I was taking on the day. I now understand aspects of digital photography that are counterintuitive, especially to those to have first learnt photography with film. I thoroughly enjoyed my day with Val and am keen to learn from her how to digitally process the photos that I have taken."

    - Monica S

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    "I have just completed a practical workshop on Black and White photography with Val in York station and around the town. Val is a very calm and careful teacher who intuitively seems to recognise what you need to know. There are many things which I thought I knew but had not fully digested or understood or learnt how to apply fully. She knows how to deepen your understanding in a practical way and gave me many useful tips and advice. After just sculling in the shallows, I now feel ready to embark on my Black and White voyage."

    - Doug Johnson

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    "I had a photo session with Valerie for some new images of myself for my website and various media publications. Valerie had a natural instinct for the style and quality of the photographs needed for my business and took time and patience to get the right setting and positions. The images captured me naturally but with a professional focus and I am delighted with them."

    - Jacquie Cole, Bakewell Travel, Harrogate

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    "We came into contact with Val when we wanted to organise a family photograph for our 40th wedding anniversary. Val was wonderful to work with, she made sure everyone looked great, was very good with the grandkids, we had a lot of fun, and you can really see that come through in the end results"

    - Nora T

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    "I thoroughly enjoyed my photo shoot with Valerie . Her sense of humour and attention to detail resulted in the perfect images for my fashion blog and social media accounts . They not only captured the clothes , but also something of my personality - in my experience a rare feat. I could not be more pleased"

    - Katherine M

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    "Val is an amazing photography tutor and has succeeded in teaching me where others have failed. She has a flexible and adaptable approach to lessons, which suits me perfectly, and we have a giggle to boot! Her patient and thoughtful nature has really helped me progress, with her picking projects that suit my objectives as well as challenge my skills. I am very much looking forward to continuing my photography journey with her. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Val is the best photography tutor I have had the pleasure of being taught by and I would highly recommend her!

    - Mayu Amin"

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    "Does exactly what it says on the tin! Highly enjoyable and commended. I now know what it means to come off Auto!"

    - Roger Taylor attending a Level 1 Photography Workshop

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    "A very useful and informative day. Demystified moving off Auto. I feel a lot more confident in getting creative with my camera. The practical exercises and manual playing cards were really useful".

    - Alastair How

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    "Val broke down the basics into a language all could understand, and she gave plenty of chance for practical moments to cement the theory. Her workshop made me feel very confident to remove the “auto” button".

    - E Womersley

  • Kind Words

    "A really thorough grounding on how to use my camera on manual settings, thanks. I now feel confident to practice myself. It was brilliant to have things simplified and explained in great detail. Good to have practicals to put things together". 

    - Sally How

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    "Very clear guidance to understanding the 3 elements of the exposure triangle, with lots of opportunities for practice. The quiz and manual playing cards were great".

    - G Fisher

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    "Done in a really good structure which made bringing things together easier. I enjoyed the practical exercises".

    - Rosie Hester

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    "Thoroughly enjoyed the course and can now understand the basics of using a camera not on Auto Mode."

    - A Swift

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    'I had the pleasure of three sessions of teaching from Val. The first was over Zoom and worked really well in introducing the key concepts of photography, using some of Val’s brilliant photographs and her ‘playing cards’ to identify camera settings and how the exposure triangle can be balanced, and exploring composition techniques. We then put the theory into practice with a couple of half days out - working with different weather conditions and subjects. Each time, Val demonstrated enormous patience and was very supportive and encouraging. I really benefitted from the 1:1 attention; I asked lots of questions and experimented. I found that she gave me the confidence to look at things differently and to try to seek out ways to make photographs of seemingly ordinary people/activities/views tell a special story. I had been a bit nervous beforehand about having 1:1 sessions with someone whose work I have such great admiration for, but I needn’t have been intimidated. Val has a special knack for making things simple and clear, and has a friendly and relaxed teaching style. Her passion for photography is infectious and I feel that I have made great progress in my journey towards becoming a better photographer and it’s been a lot of fun along the way!’

    - R Gregson