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13 Stunning Photographs Show Yorkshire Photographer's Life Beside the Sea

stone buildings near a stream, stone bridge and a church in the background Siân Nichol
July 2022
Reading time 3 Minutes
We catch up with Siân Nichol, known as @yorkshirepostcards on Instagram, a nature and landscape photographer from Whitby. With a love of Yorkshire and its spectacular coastline, Siân uses her time to capture the essence of Yorkshire life beside the sea.

Although originally from Stockton, Siân had the pleasure of growing up by the North Yorkshire coast after her parents fell in love with Whitby following years of holidaying in the seaside town. Now with a family of her own, Siân calls Whitby home. ‘We wouldn’t live anywhere else,’ she says.

‘Ever since I was young, I always loved taking pictures and was always the one at Christmas or at family get-togethers behind the camera. But taking pictures of landscapes and starting up my Instagram account only began during the first lockdown,’ she explains. During family walks Siân would take pictures of Whitby when it was quiet and the streets were empty and she realised she enjoyed the process of capturing a moment, editing her pictures and sharing them to her Instagram account @yorkshirepostcards.

Describing her style as relaxed, Siân takes photos of anything which draws her in. ‘If I’m out walking and the light is particularly good or something catches my eye, then I’ll capture it. Capturing a scene that is natural is important to my style and I don’t have a specific editing style either – it all depends on the picture and the light as to how I edit. It can take me two minutes to edit one picture but two days for another.’

Siân’s favourite subject to photograph is a combination of landscapes with spectacular skies such as cloud formations or sunrises. ‘I’m lucky to live where I do and be surrounded by incredible landscapes – we’re totally spoiled for choice here in Yorkshire,’ she says. At the end of summer last year, Siân captured her most memorable photograph to date. ‘I took my two boys to watch their first sunset from the 199 Steps and it was spectacular. Whitby is known for having incredible sunsets and lots of people came out to watch the sunset that evening and the atmosphere was amazing.’

Although she’s a hobbyist photographer, Siân tries to get out at least once a week to take pictures. ‘I really try to make the most of a sunny day and get out to enjoy the best of the light. My husband is extremely supportive and sometimes comes with me for walks or suggests new places to go and explore and photograph. We’ve been discussing buying a drone, so hopefully we will find more time in the upcoming summer evenings to go out and take pictures from a completely new perspective.’

Taking lots of inspiration from her natural surroundings, as well as fellow Instagram photographers, Siân shares that the online community has been extremely supportive, and she still gets overwhelmed with the response she gets from her photographs. ‘Everyone on Instagram is great at sharing new places and different perspectives of a known location or popular view point, and it’s a brilliant place to get ideas and share new walks or photography tips. There are so many lovely people on Instagram who have inspired me and become my friends, but @adve_nturesinyorkshire has been a particular inspiration as Jenna and I have very similar family lives and we have the same passion for Yorkshire. I also take huge inspiration from Tatiana who is behind @yorkshire_brew, I think everyone will be familiar with her work across the Instagram community,’ she says.

Having lost her job as an estate agent during the pandemic, as well as becoming unwell with Covid, Siân’s focus over the last few years has been about taking care of herself and her autistic son. ‘Photography has been my crutch whilst waiting to start my career back up again and getting back to full health. I love having the freedom to stop and take photos in my own time and I’d love to incorporate photography into a career some how – I’m honestly just so grateful that people enjoy my pictures and provide me with all the brilliant feedback that gives me the confidence to keep going.’

Quick Questions

Favourite view in Yorkshire?
That’s a hard question, but there are three that still wow me every time I see them; the view from the whalebones over to the East Cliff in Whitby; the top of the bank down into the old village of Robin Hood’s Bay; and Cowbar Bank and cottages in Staithes is breathtaking.

Favourite thing about photography?
I really look forward to visiting a new place and get excited to see how I can capture it in my own way. Editing is always one of my favourite parts too – I find it very relaxing.

Any top tips?
Firstly, enjoy it and don’t feel pressure to compare your work or style to others. Secondly, always look for good lighting. In my opinion, natural light and shadow make for the most beautiful images. Lastly, be patient. It has taken me nearly two years to really settle into my photography style because it’s all a learning curve, seeing what works best and what doesn’t.

Discover Siân Nichol on Instagram @yorkshirepostcards

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