Mother and Daughter Shoot in Chilbolton Common
As an outdoor photographer who specialises in children’s photography in Winchester, one of the first questions I get asked, is where are the best locations?
Before I can answer, I always ask my clients for a few more details. I ask about the children, the energy levels, the type of shots they want to see up around their houses, dogs that might be joining us and whether the family want pretty photos or action shots. From that information I can suggest a location that will suit the family. Failing that, I direct them towards my locations blog which lists a range of different locations in and around Winchester.
This shoot was with two older children, Dottie and Daisy. The difficulty that older children sometimes present is an awareness and awkwardness in front of the camera. For this reason I suggested to Mum Lucy that Chilbolton Common (just outside Andover) might work brilliantly. There is a river to splash in and lots of different settings within the one location to mix things up a bit.
As it worked out, this shoot was absolutely brilliant for those very reasons. The girls were fantastic! Mum was on board for everything (and sensibly packed a spare change of clothes as I’d pre-warned her about the river). Plus we were able to capture the most beautiful images despite the bright conditions.
Lucy, Dottie and Daisy have an incredibly close relationship so ideally I wanted to capture that amazing bond for them to treasure and celebrate. Outdoor family photos are timeless for this very reason.
I thought it would make sense to display a selection of the images in the different locations so you get a feel for how varied the shoot was!
In the Open Space :
A lot of people assume that a family photo shoot + bright sun and blue skies = the perfect conditions. Unfortunately, the bright sun can create really bright highlights and dark shadows, so the subjects don’t look as good as they could if they were placed under some shade. So long as the sun is still reaching them (which it does when you’re outside), then it will never be too dark.
The first location we chose within Chilbolton Common was the long grass and open space. I thought we might be safe from the harsh conditions seeing as we started at 10am, but even this proved to be challenging. For this reason we didn’t stay too long in this area!
Under a Tree:
We didn’t last long in the bright sunshine so we took solitude under a large tree. This provided some much-needed shade, although we had to be careful of the dappled light in places. We had a great time here and played a lot with bubbles and glitter and the images were beautiful.
In the River:
By the time we’d wandered over to the river, both Dottie and Daisy were hot and flagging, so we decided it was the perfect time for an opportunity to cool down. I never ever push my clients beyond their capabilities as I’ve learned the hard way that if the children are flagging, no good will ever come from pushing them further. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scene and the children are able to recharge their batteries. This is exactly why I allow up to 3 hours for a full family shoot because inevitably the all-essential snacks / drinks / play and down time will be needed.
Anyway we definitely found this in the river and we had a great time, although I think Dottie and Daisy more so! The Hampshire and Wildlife Trust even thought one of the images was good enough to promote one of their events!
Alongside the River in the Shade:
After a change of clothes and a snack we walked along the river until we found some lovely shady spots. All three were happy to do a few more poses for me (luckily I had brought a blanket as it was quite wet) and I personally think that this is where they really came into their own. The intimacy of the photos and the love that they showed just blew me away.
So there you have it – one very successful and fun family photo shoot, proving that children’s photography in Winchester does not need to be boring, posed or awkward. If anything, it should be vibrant, fun and different. I hope that is what I provided for Lucy, Dottie and Daisy today!