My most difficult family photography session ever!

Amanda_Darling Photographs her own family as a self-portraitI want to tell you about my trickiest session ever.  Normally when families want a photography session, they turn up ready to give everything they have for an hour or so. They’ve planned outfits, got everyone in the same place and, even the mums and dads who don’t like being in the photograph or who are missing the golf, give it their all. And even the few who are unsure about the session or those who think it might be a little boring, surprise themselves by enjoying it!

On Sunday afternoon I had a session in the glorious sunshine. But not a usual session. This time the dad told me to keep it short. One of the children didn’t want to change into her chosen clothes. The mum was really not comfortable in front of the camera.

So I set up the camera, in double quick time, chatting away as I do. Then I stepped out from behind the camera and joined my family in front of it……

Miraculously as I slotted into the group, we all relaxed and started to enjoy ourselves. With the help of my nifty remote control, some daft jokes and two gorgeous daughters, we now have some family portraits that I love. Relaxed, natural and happy.

And the greatest complement of all was when Eamonn turned to me on the way back to the house and said “we should do that more often!”

We will…..


Monday Musings- a weekend on the farm

aMANDA-dARLING-pHOTOGRAPHY-sURREYHappy Monday friends!

I hope you are loving this wonderful weather. We had every set of French windows open yesterday and it was magical. The bees buzzed gently, hardly a sigh of a breeze and the smell of freshly cut grass in the sunshine- heaven.

We had no plans at all, which was a lovely change and so instead we caught up with all the jobs that have been hanging around. Eamonn topped the weeds on the fields and I blitzed the garden. The garden and fields looked immaculate and I also know that tomorrow nature will fight back and it will look like we haven’t touched it for weeks! Thank goodness I like the natural look…..Amada-Darling_photography-Surrey

  • The 2 lambs we have been hand rearing in our garden (Daisy and Aiofe) are now big enough to go out into the flock. They were relocated from their 5 star garden shed accommodation with ensuite garden to freshly topped fields. They complained loudly to the management at first, but soon settled in with their new friends.
  • Never let chickens roam around a garden with newly seeded flower beds.
  • A firepit piled high with glowing logs on a cool evening is a wonderful end to a beautiful day.

Now that summer’s really on its way, let’s enjoy every drop of sunshine.

Have a wonderful week everyone!


Sundrenched Children’s Photography session in Weybridge

 

This summer photography session is full of rich light, saturated colours and long late summer afternoon shadows. I met this lovely family on a very very hot afternoon.  These two lovely children put us to shame. They had non-stop energy and pure joie de vivre in the intense heat and sunshine.

This session is a perfect example of finding great places to shoot anywhere. Parents sometimes tell me that they don’t have anywhere beautiful to have the photography session. I always assure them that you don’t need a large open space, or a beautiful stately home. Here we used a lovely little green outside their house and walked around the corner to a play park.  And I think you’ll agree the photographs are really lovely.

I love capturing moments that show expression, personality and connection. You can do that anywhere, whether it’s a local park or Polesden Lacey.

After a fun and active session at the park, we went back and they brought out their special blanket.  The blanket they use for everything. Then we captured one of my favourite photographs- a spontaneous kiss. What a fabulous moment that this family can cherish forever.

Enjoy Jasmine and Alexander’s beautiful photographs.

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Monday Musings- memories, Pimms and family

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Happy Monday friends,

When I think of my childhood, we always spent our weekends at home; my parents gardening and we children running in and out of each other's homes and gardens, roller skating on the pavements outside and riding our bikes up and down the road, and round the block.

By contrast, this weekend we had mums vs daughters' rounders, a youth club outing to Airhop and a leisurely family walk and picnic around Walton Heath. Then, of course, there was the revision (whatever did children do before revision?!).

I often wonder how my children will look back on their childhood.  And I hope their feelings and memories will be of happy family times, like our long walk on Sunday, and not revision.

 

As ever, worth mentioning:

  • Gone are the days when the words "going for a walk", resulted in an excited scramble for any outside footwear.  Teenagers need good reasons to go for a walk- luckily 'picnic' was one of them.
  • Walton Heath has a fantastic crisis-cross network of footpaths, and plenty of cool woodland walks to shelter from this weekend's sun.  We must go more often.
  • We were out walking for a good part of Sunday afternoon and I only counted 7 other walkers.  This part of Surrey is usually overflowing with walkers- where was everyone?
  • Mums vs daughters rounders was such fun in the sunshine.  I designated myself mum and children photographer (A wise move as running was hot work). The reward for all our efforts came in the form of Pimms- yes!!!!!

Lots and lots of children's photography this week.  This post is later than usual because I've been photographing already in, amongst other places, a nursery. Super fun. I am photographing children again tonight at a Ballet and tap show, which will be fantastic.  Then later this week I'm taking a little break from post-production to catch up with one of my lecturers from my photography degree for lunch, and see his latest project- uv photography.  Sounds amazing.

Whatever you have planned, enjoy your week!


Gloriously muddy Children’s Photography in Surrey

 

I love this country’s weather- the sunshine, rain, mist and fog…. its changeability and unpredictability. And with rain comes puddles- every child’s favourite and every grown up with a little kid inside them too! From a photography point of view, the light after heavy rain can be clear and sharp, with foliage a bright shiny green, and if the ground is warm, within minutes you can get a light ethereal mist- both give wonderfully atmospheric images.

So for my children’s photography session with Ellie and Ollie we had excited children and beautiful light.

They splashed, laughed and gave me everything, resulting in photographs that capture their fun, energy and mischievousness.

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We had a clothes change towards the end of the session and captured a more relaxed and reflective pair. And who doesn’t love a pretty floaty dress with a pair of wellies? By this time the fine mist had risen, which perfectly matched the clothes and the mood, giving a much softer look.

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Ellie and Ollie you are fantastic!


Tuesday Talk

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Dear Friends,

Well yesterday was a bank holiday, so Monday musings has morphed into Tuesday talk. Here’s hoping you all had a fantastic three day break- whilst it was showery, it was warm and bright for large parts of the weekend and you can definitely feel spring has sprung. So here’s what’s new at Noke Farm:

  • The Bluebells! Earlier this year and absolutely glorious. Our woods are full of them.
  • We had a family golf lesson on Saturday, what a laugh. I could be hooked.
  • I photographed a really lovely family for the FOURTH time this weekend. I fall a little bit in love with every family I photograph and honestly I feel they are part of my family now, it’s been a real honour to watch their children growing up.
  • I had chocolate this weekend for the first time in 4 weeks of eating super healthily. They tell you that the sweet and sugary things you used to love, taste horrible when your taste buds recalibrate to healthy foods. They lied.
  • The best smell in the universe: freshly mown grass on a warm evening- hello spring!

With 2 sessions planned this week, I am excited.  This is lucky as I have lots of post- production to do, a bag to check and pack and an office that looks like a tornado has passed through.  Better get cracking.....

Have a wonderful week!


Monday Musings

Childrens-Photography-CR5-Surrey-Muddy-Photography-Amanda-Darling-PhotographyHappy Monday Friends!

It was a busy week last week- the girls went back to school and doesn’t it take time to get back into the routine? It was made trickier by the fact that Thursday was really Monday’s timetable. What!  The school does this to keep parents on their toes- I think I passed the test. Luckily I didn’t forget any pick ups (always a risk!) and we found the tennis rackets at the back of the cupboard. We live to fight another day!

We’ve had a gentle 3 weeks of lie ins with a bit of revision thrown in and some fun days out during the holidays, so the reality of a disciplined week of 6:30 am starts and the excitement of catching up with friends at school meant we were all pleased to see the weekend…..hello breakfast in bed!

So what transpired this last week:

  • A 14 year old who goes to a sleepover party with 2 hours sleep is not a pretty sight by Sunday lunchtime- but apparently it was worth it, so that’s ok then!
  • We booked our summer holiday at last- look out America, here we come
  • Ever since I had children, I cry at the opening of a packet of biscuits, so you can imagine that I was a puddle watching the London Marathon this weekend. Each and every runner is outstanding- truly outstanding.
  • For the last fortnight I have been getting up an hour earlier to enjoy an ”hour of power” where I go for a walk and focus on the day ahead in complete peace. The world is so beautiful at 5:30 in the morning. Totally recommended.
  • The lambs are starting to nibble the grass and wean themselves. High five to nature!

And it’s another busy week coming up- I have 2 photography sessions this week, which I am really excited about. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to sharing with you a lovely "wellie boot" children's photography session featuring the handsome Ollie and his beautiful sister Ellie above.

Fingers crossed this lovely dry weather continues.

Have a happy week friends.


A sunny Family Photography session in Surrey- introducing Ava

On a perfect sunny late afternoon I had the pleasure of welcoming little Ava and her lovely family to the farm for their family photography session. We couldn’t have planned a more perfect English Sunday – blue skies the colour of cornflowers, little white clouds dotting the sky and a gentle breeze.

It was Ava’s first trip to a farm. She loved running through the long grass, meeting the sheep and generally just capturing our hearts. Mum Hazel had taken the time to plan their clothes in gentle blues and whites to give their images a simple harmony, and brought a change of outfit too, so we got a wide selection of photographs.  And really importantly, both Hazel and dad Jarvis came ready to enjoy their experience and have a great time.

They relaxed into the flow immediately and we started by capturing some classic family portraits, then followed Ava as she wandered through the field.  The grass rippled gently in the breeze, and she stopped to investigate flowers and insects, and allowed me to get some fantastically relaxed and natural images- Ava, you are a natural!

One of the things I love to photograph are the special moments with each parent, capturing that wonderful bond and connection, to give parents images that they would never normally see, because they are in them. Images that they can treasure now and that Ava can treasure all the more when she has her own family. I am really happy with these lovely photographs- Ava, Hazel and Jarvis, you have a beautiful family!

Enjoy some of the images from this relaxed and sun filled family photography session.Surrey-Family-Photoraphy-amanda-Darling Children's-lifestyle-photography-surrey-Amanda-Darling Children's-photograpy-surrey-Amanda-Darling-Photography Dad-and-daughter-photography-surrey-Amanda-Darling Lifestyle-childrens-photography-Surrey Natural-childrens-Photographer-surrey-amanda-darling natural-mother-and-daughter-photography-surrey-Amanda-Darling Relaxed-natural-family-photography-surrey-amanda-darling I hope you all love these as much as I do- thank you Ava, Hazel and Jarvis, it was a real pleasure to spend time with you all.


Photobombing Sheep!

I thought I would share two photographs from this weekend's shoot, with a twist!  You may remember our lamb 'Baby', who was a very small triplet that we bottle fed when he was born, and who thinks he's human- well he's growing up fast!  But he still doesn't realise he's a sheep and should stay with the flock.  He's very nosey and always likes to see what's going on.  This weekend I was photographing lovely little Ava and her family, and as I bent down to pick up my camera, Baby came to visit!  Ava loved him, and he loved her.  You'll see more from this shoot soon, so watch this space.

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The second image, below, is Eamonn with his baby- Baby!  Don't they make a lovely pair?  Happy Father's day to all dads everywhere, and Happy Father's day to my lovely husband- all your flocks love you!

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A Special Family Birthday Shoot- Family Photography Banstead SM7

Last week I promised you images from a wonderful family shoot celebrating a very special birthday- and here they are! We had 3 families and 3 generations all together for a fun  shoot which lasted about one and a half hours.  It was such fun- there was laughter, cuddles, lots of climbing and plenty of combinations.  We made sure to capture individuals, separate family groups and of course, our special birthday Granny, who has a wonderful bond with every single grandchild- they love her so much!

One of the wonderful things about being a family photographer is that the viewfinder allows you to see and reveal relationships by capturing moments that are often missed in everyday life because of noise and distractions, and preserve them for the future.  So as well as beautiful images to enjoy now, each child will have a wonderful story and fabulous photographs to show their Grandchildren too. It was an absolute pleasure to photograph this lovely family.

Vanessa and Fliss: what a brilliant idea and super birthday gift for your mum, I am so happy to have been part of it.  And to Alison- happy birthday!

Enjoy a selection of the images....

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