“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”


Lauren DeStefano

This quote just speaks to me. Although I obviously love all the other seasons, both personally and for shooting in (you can’t very well be an outdoor family photographer if you don’t like being outside in all weathers), but it is Autumn that  really makes my heart skip a beat. The colours, the light, the temperature not to mention the opportunity to have a lot of fun with leaves, all just come together with one last crescendo of beauty and colour. And what better way to enjoy and celebrate than with a Hilliers photo shoot.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

For those of you who have never heard of or been to this beautiful place, let me fill you in.

Hilliers is a large and stunning Gardens situated just outside of Winchester in Hampshire. It is the only Gardens in the country that has seasonal beds and points of interest all year around, and so is the only Garden that actually stays open throughout the year.

When you arrive you are provided with a map of the gardens, upion which is printed 10 current plants of interest that you might like to visit. I have found these to be well worth a visit because they are truly stunning.

As well as the seasonal beds and plants to look at and appreciate, there is also a huge amount of other features to enjoy as well – things that would suit all members of the family at any age. There is the pond, the mud kitchen, the music garden, the park and not to mention the treehouse!

Hilliers is somewhere I can visit at any time of year, with any client or family member, and know that we will all have fun.

Hilliers Photo Shoots

So whats the deal with these Hilliers photo shoots then and what makes them so worthwhile?

Over the past year of proving these shoots, I have liased very closely with clients and management to create a package that is meangful and worthwhile. After all, in this economic climate, nobody wants to spend money unecessarily or have their time wasted.

So we came up with a package that has worked well for my clients over the past year. First of all you get free entrance fee to the gardens, which for a family of four would cost £25. You then get an hour of my time to shoot and enjoy. I always have a plan of where to run my shoots, but I ultimately am lead by the clients – if they want to just capture their children in the treehouse then that is what we will do! If they want totally natural and unposed photos, then that is what I will capture. There is absolutely no point in me dictating a shoot to the extent that a family feel squeezed out – it is for their memories and enjoyment after all, not mine!

During the shoot I work very hard to establish a relationship with any children, as we all know how much their prescence can make or break a photo! If the children feel that they can talk and relate with me, then I have a far better chance of capturing their spirit and personalities, than if they feel ignored. I have yet to meet a child who I don’t have a great time with and who I can’t capture.

After the shoot you can spend the remainder of the day at Hilliers if you choose as your entrance fee is valid for the whole day. I will then get in touch with you and send you a link to an online gallery which will contain your images. The package entitles you to 5 digital downloads but if you can’t choose, you can buy the entire album for only £100. 

Who would the Hilliers photo shoots be suitable for?

The quick answer is – anybody! I always like to have a chat with my families as we walk around, and people seem to book for a multitude of reasons. The most popular reason is always to provide gifts for Grandparents.  I am yet to meet a Grandparent who isn’t desperate for as many up-to-date pictures of their poppets as possible, and these pictures certainly make for wonderful Christmas or Birthday gifts! I also have people booking because they last had a photo shoot when the youngest was a baby and now, somehow, the youngest is now 10 and rather different to the baby she once was! People have gifted these shoots in the past which is a lovely idea, or maybe families just want to spend some totally natural time together in a beautiful setting!

Whatever your reason, we can make it work and create beautiful memories and photos that reflect your family as they are now!