Family photography Reigate, Surrey- relaxed and sunny

As a family photographer photographing all across Surrey, I know how beautiful this county is- did you know it has the greatest density of trees in the UK?  Here at the farm in Chipstead, summer means green fields, lush leaves and woodland, and pathways through the trees.  So I was really happy when this lovely family came for their photoshoot on a perfect summer evening.

It was lightly overcast at first, but then the sun pushed through for a final golden moment, so we made the most of it.

What is so nice about families with older children who come for family photo session is that they can be very relaxed shoots.  There's often lots of laughter and a bit of joking around, and these lovelies certainly made the most of their time.  It's a perfect opportunity to have some real family time together with no pressure except enjoying yourselves.  And their happy and relaxed nature really comes through in this session- and you can see the fun they had.

I am also making sure that mum and dad get some photo time just for themselves, as so often all the focus is on the children.  So I build in just a few minutes of 'together time', especially when a lot of parents tell me that they haven't had any professional photographs of the two of them since their wedding.  And the results are delightfully relaxed and fun photographs as you can see from this session.

Enjoy a few of my favourites from their family photography shoot here in Chipstead, Surrey. Family photographer SurreyFamily photography Reigate photos Photographer ReigateChildrens photographer surreyChildrens photography surreyFamily photographer SurreyFamily Photography SurreyPhotographer Reigate


Top 5 tips on what to wear for your Family Photography Session

One of the most asked questions about a family photography session is "what should we wear?"  There's a lot of advice out there, some of which is totally conflicting, so I've pulled together 7 years of experience to give you my top 5 tips for choosing what your family could wear for your photography session.

  • Keep it simple: pick 2 colours, that everyone might have in their wardrobe- blue and beige for example, browns and pinks might be another,  Red is bold and goes well with blues or beiges.  This works really well if there's a big family or many generations.  The more people in the shot, the more harmonious the effect by wearing similar colours.  Unifying colours really pulls a group together.Photographer Banstead, Phographer Coulsdon

In the above photo, the different shades of blue tone together perfectly, to look harmonious without being matchy, matchy.  The effect is relaxed and natural.  It's softened further with a little beige and white which acts as a highlight to break up the blue.  The result looks effortless and subtle.

Photographer Riegate, Photographer SurreyBlue and white features here too- this time a combination of pattern and solid takes it towards relaxed.

Photographer Reigate, Photographer SurreyHere different shades of pink create a lovely coordinating effect, with the white t shirt and checks of the shirt keeping the overall look modern.  The bright pink works really well to balance the lovely yellows in the field

Photographer Reigate, Photographer Surrey The children here are wearing totally different clothes but the colours of the flower pattern and the checks are the same, and it looks great.

Photographer Ewell, Photographer SurreyIn  this winter photograph, the blues are vibrant, and in this case the second colour is really the green of the grass which balances it well.

  • Avoid logos, branding and tiny patterns or prints: logos and brands date and take a photograph away from timeless and classic to 'of a time'.  It's quite hard to coordinate with a Teenage Ninja t-shirt!  Small branding like tiny logos on polo shirts are fine, but a Nike Swoosh across the front of a shirt makes the shoot about fashion and less about you.

Now there is an exception to this and that is that younger children can be very attached to certain items of clothing (I remember my youngest would not go out unless she was wearing her Belle princess dress-lasted for a month).  It is not worth having an uncooperative little one if they can't wear their favourite Disney top, so my advice would be to let them wear it and bring the other clothes to the session and we'll make sure they get lovely Disney shots first before they change, so  they feel listened to.  Make the second outfit a favourite and easy to change into.

Of course there is a very valid point that family photography is all about capturing your family as it is at a certain point in time, and if your children are wearing Marvel as a second skin, then that is this stage of life- it won't last forever and when it's gone you'll wish it hadn't.  I'm sure some of you would love those moments captured forever- so enjoy the Disney/Marvel months.

 

  • Use accessories to add a variety and a pop:  scarves, cardigans, chunky jewelry and jackets are a really easy way of adding an extra colour without being distracting and are easy to add to change a look very quickly.  They can also be used to bring a brighter colour into the mix without being overpowering.  Not everyone needs to be adding pop, a little sprinkle goes a long way.

I love the way this family have chosen their colours, with the beiges and blues and the clever use of a different pinks scattered throughout.  Looking good!

 

  • Consider a clothes change:  Can't decide which outfit to wear? Want casual and more formal? Why not bring a change of clothes? It'll give you more options for variety- in fact it's really two sessions in one!  Not every location is suitable for this, but if you're having your family photography session here on our Surrey farm, there's a chance to change outfits during a break.

Here are a couple of great examples of an outfit change.  Photographer Surrey, Photographer TadworthThese lovely twins had fun denim dresses on for casual playing in the woods and fields, then a complete change to pale pink and beige for some family portraits.

And here we have relaxed jeans and tops for a laid-back feel, and then a quick change into dresses for a more formal portrait.

 

  • Wear comfortable footwear: Wherever you have your session you will be on the go for at least and hour, so it's important to choose footwear you can last in and that is suitable for the ground conditions. Uncomfortable shoes, or worrying about spoiling them will make the session less relaxed and more like a chore- and that will affect expression and body language.  So if in doubt bring alternatives and choose once you've arrived.

Now I know I said 5 tips, but it's really 6, and this is the most important

  • Whatever you wear, be comfortable and be yourselves: If you feel comfy in jeans and shorts, wear jeans and shorts.  If you prefer more dressy look- go for it.  This is your photography for your family and it should be you in the photographs- not someone else's idea of what the right thing is.  It's wonderful to have the session and you'll really enjoy the photographs now- but in 5, 15, 25 years from now, the photos from your family session will be even more valuable.  In 25 years, you won't be looking at the clothes.  You'll be looking at the most precious people in your life and the warmth, love and relationships that you see in those photographs will be the most precious thing.Photographer Reigate, Photographer Surrey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A day in the life- family photography in Walton on the Hill

 

This family photography session really brings the sunshine into the middle of winter.  It was a very grey and rainy day, but you would never know that from the relaxed warm images.  This is a really special shoot because we decided to go more editorial and capture Sally, George and their girls relaxing at home.  Really relaxed and natural, doing activities that they would normally do together- literally capturing a slice of their life forever.

One of the really special things about this type of shoot is that it captures the everyday details- special looks, smiles, moments and hugs, that families do all the time, but rarely get to see.

It was such fun too- I got to spend time with this lovely family at their home in Walton on the Hill and enjoy the delicious cake they made during their photoshoot. Who needs sunshine outside when you have it in your heart?

I'm really happy to share some of the magical photographs from this family session:

Family Photographer Waltton on the Hill KT20 Surrey  Relaxed family photoshoot Surrey Tadworth KT20Family Photoshoot Tadwoth Surrey by surrey Family Photographer Amanda Darling relaxed and natural family photography Tadworth Surrey Relaxed family photpshoot KT20 Surrey by surrey family photographer Amanda Darling                                     It was raining quite hard when we took these but you'd never know from these sunny smilesBlack and white family photography session Walyon ont he Hill, Surrey At home family photography session KT20 Surrey Family reading together during family photoshoot Walton on the Hill Surrey Relaxed and natural family photography by Surrey family photographer Amanda Darling


Family Photographer Surrey -A sunshine filled photo session in Chipstead

I am so excited to share this beautiful family photography shoot with Naimh and her family.  They came here to the farm earlier this summer.  It was early evening as you can see from the beautiful golden glow- the golden hour.  And we took full advantage of the colourful woods and fields around us here.  Naimh was just finishing year 6 when I photographed this family session and it was the perfect time to capture her before she starts that big transition to senior school. (Note to parents- the difference between your child on the first day of Year 7 and the last day of year 7 is extraordinary!).

There were some really lovely moments during this shoot- my favourite is when her mum started telling Naimh all the special things she loved about her.  Not a dry eye anywhere!

Naimh was totally chilled throughout and you can see from the smiles and laughter that they were all so relaxed and had a great time.

I hope with all my heart that in many years time, Naimh will look at these photos and relive those magical moments, enjoying those wonderful words and the incredible bond that she clearly she feels with her parents.

Enjoy....

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Family photography with twin girls-Doubly delightful!

I am so excited to share this gorgeous family photography session with you today.  This is only the third time I have ever photographed twins, and I want to photograph more!

As a family photographer it is wonderful to be able to stand back and capture the connection between each member of the family. There is an added dimension with twins because they are separate and together at the same time.  These girls ran and played together so beautifully and were funny, feisty and thoughtful. We ended up with beautiful images that show so many sides of their personalities.

During the shoot, I made sure to get some lovely photographs of Emma and Mark together too- often parents realise that they haven't had 'proper' photographs of themselves together since their wedding!  This is a perfect chance to capture some relaxed and happy portraits together.

We photographed the session late in the afternoon and the weather and light was beautiful.  As we walked through the woods and fields, the rabbits scattered and scampered away much to the joy of the girls.  Then we came across a whole field full of beautiful buttercups, and the girls had fun gathering armfuls, seeing who could collect the most.

I hope you enjoy some of the photographs from this lovely family as much as I enjoyed photographing them.

 

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Twin girls waering blues by Surrey lifestyle photographer Amanda Darling Realxed Family photograpy with laughing twin girls by Surrey family photographer Amanda Darling Twin girls with buttercups by lifestyle family photographer Amanda Darling Family walking through a field of buttercups ny Surrey family photographer Amanda Darling Relaxed Parents walking through field of buttercups by Amanda Darling photography relaxed photograph of dad and twin daughter by Surrey family photographer Amanda Darling Classic relaxed family photography by Surrey family photographer Amanda Darling


A newborn baby photography session in Ewell- welcoming Edward

Three and a half years ago, I photographed Marcus at 5 weeks old.  And here I am nearly 3 years later absolutely thrilled to do the same for his brother Edward.  I went to their home in Ewell and Lola and Michael spent a happy 2 hours cuddling and  focussing on their beautiful children.  Marcus was completely unfazed and played happily with his toys.  The result was photographs of relaxed and happy family times enjoying this wonderful new chapter of their family.

When it comes to baby photography I make sure the session is completely relaxed and we go at the baby's pace, allowing time for feeds and naps.  I love to capture the images that I as a parent would treasure.  This means I look for images that show the deep and incredibly close and protective love that parents wrap their newborns in.  It's really important for parents to be able to look back on that special time and see the connection and moments with their children.  As newborns are often the most photographed by the family, I make sure that I focus on the parents with the child, as they are often the ones taking lots of pictures on their phones but are rarely in the shots themselves.  I imagine that when the babies themselves are grown and have their children and grandchildren they will treasure the chance to see how they are loved and feel that connection.

I hope you enjoy some of the images from this lovely family photography session.  Welcome Edward!

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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…..


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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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!


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.