Local Photographer Captures Yorkshire's Beauty in Nine Stunning Photos
Following a 300-mile move to North Yorkshire, Jenna Thomas set up an Instagram account to showcase the beauty of Yorkshire she found on her doorstep. Now she has built a loyal following and explains what she loves most about our amazing county
In 2017 Jenna went back to North Yorkshire with her husband and two children for a staycation. ‘All my childhood nostalgia returned and I fell back in love with the area. I joked that we should move here and two years later we left our friends and family and everything we knew in London and made the epic 300-mile journey to our new home. We’ve never looked back.’
During those holidays Jenna grew her passion for photography. ‘I have always been intrigued by photography. My grandad used to let me have a turn with his camera and I remember going to the chemist with him to pick up the photographs and being absolutely fascinated with the negatives. I used to keep them all in a shoebox and hold them up to the light to see the little pictures on them,’ she explains.
As well as working as a learning support teaching assistant, Jenna runs her own Instagram account where she shares her snaps of her Yorkshire adventures. Getting out and about at least once a week, as well as dedicating time during the school holidays to take photographs allows Jenna to continuously develop her style. ‘I have always loved bright and colourful photography, but I tend to go through phases depending on what mood I am in. I love nostalgic photography, so anything that evokes those feelings is what I love to photograph most – although I am quite eclectic in what I like to photograph and I’m a bit snap happy, so tend to snap away at everything, often coming home with at least 40 photos of the same frame,’ she laughs.
Despite the grandeur of landscapes, the fantastic coastline and beautiful cities across Yorkshire, Jenna says her favourite subjects to photograph are steam trains. ‘I just love them and they bring back such lovely memories of visiting steam railways as a child. I have spent many happy hours at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway stations (my favourite station being Goathland) waiting for a train to arrive and then being so excited to see it that I take a really bad photo as my hands are shaking!’
Jenna has lived in North Yorkshire for four years now, but she still has a huge list of places she wants to go and photograph. At the moment her favourite view of Yorkshire is from the top of the bank at Robin Hood’s Bay looking down the hill. ‘The first time I saw it it took my breath away and I felt quite emotional. We were on holiday at that point and it was that view that made me make up my mind to take the huge decision to move my family here. I have since visited hundreds of times and it never fails to make me appreciate how blessed I am.’
Jenna’s ultimate photography ambition is to have her photographs featured on someone’s wall. ‘I would love to turn the passion I have for capturing Yorkshire’s beauty into a career in some capacity,’ she says. And for those hoping to follow in her footsteps and develop their photography further Jenna says: ‘Be passionate! Have a real love for taking photos and be authentic. The size of your lens, the price of your camera, the equipment you use and your social media following mean absolutely nothing if you don’t have a real love and passion for taking photos. Remember that everyone starts somewhere and never compare your photography journey to someone else's. Don’t let things hold you back, I have dyscalculia which is a learning difficulty relating to maths and it is a complete struggle sometimes to use a camera on manual as there are too many numbers to remember. I’m unable to operate my camera in a ‘typical’ way, but I haven't let it hold me back, I have just found ways around it and have adapted how I take photos in a way that works for me.’