Bluebell Shoots in Winchester
It’s getting to that time of year again that all photographers absolutely love – bluebell season! I love shooting families and children in the bluebells, especially the woods that I go to which just erupts around this time of year, although this crazy weather seems to be doing everything possible to mess with my plans!
Things worth knowing about Bluebell Shoots!
After the year that we have all had, I think we all deserve some fun, and having photo shoots in the bluebells is definitely fun! There are some things that are worth knowing about the bluebells in advance of a shoot though!
1. Light: The light levels can be horrendous – the trees offer dappled light but the contrast between bright sunshine and shadow can be extreme (hence I will always pray for overcast skies on bluebell days). We need to be careful with positioning so nobody ends up squinting or having blown out faces. Likewise if people have their backs to the light, they could end up with shadows under their eyes and have a very hazy effect around them. I will need to move you around until I feel that the light compliments you. This is why the earlier or later slots in the day work better than when the sun is at it’s highest!
2. Green colour casts: The green from the leaves can cause unbelievable green colour casts on faces so processing takes far longer to make sure nobody looks like The Incredible Hulk!
3. Best time to go: I have learned from experience that you cannot just assume that the flowers will bloom at the same time every year. They are very weather-dependent so we need to be flexible.
4. Brambles: The bluebells can quite often be surrounded by nettles and brambles, so be prepared to wear long trousers or be very selective about where you ask your children to stand and sit!
5. Don’t pick them: Bluebells are actually protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. The National Trust recommend that you don’t pick or tread on the bluebells as you don’t want to ruin the landscape. If you want some nice pictures of children picking or sniffing bluebells, then the recommendation is that you bring along a dried bunch to play with. I always position my families on pathways and then move my angle so it looks like they are surrounded!
6. Dogs: It seems that dogs get just as excited in the bluebells as children – don’t be surprised if your dog turns into Bambi and starts leaping about.
7. Treats: Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if you want to take lots of photos in the bluebells and your children aren’t up for it – take sweets and reward them afterwards. They will be like putty your hands I promise! I always do and it has never failed to work yet!