Modern Family Portrait Photography on Location near Chichester West Sussex
I’d been looking forward to my return visit to a picturesque village near Chichester in West Sussex. I photographed these adorable children at their home and our plans for a family photography outing had been thwarted by heavy rain and dull skies. So it was great to get together again the following month on an unusually warm Autumn day to finish their photoshoot. Despite the fact these photographs were taken in 2010, there is nothing dated about them. My style is simple and timeless and I never resort to trendy gimmicks or fads. Just fresh and natural photographs of families being themselves.
The family home is idyllic, complete with sweeping gardens, an orchard, and chickens – perfect for family photography. After getting some photographs in the grounds, we set off for the Heath, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The trees were turning the soft warm colours of the season and we couldn’t have wished for a more perfect afternoon. This lovely family are brilliant to photograph and I sometimes marvel at how lucky I am to have such fantastic clients. They share my vision of relaxed, natural lifestyle portraiture. That simply means no overly stiff or formal posing (but clients are guided nonetheless) no forced smiles (natural expressions which show their true personality work best). It’s also really important that the family can just be themselves and do whatever they enjoy doing on a recreational afternoon.
It’s crucial to understand what the client wants before you even book the shoot. You don’t want to do all of that work only to disappoint them when you realise you can’t supply the sort of end products they had in their mind. Discussions about style, mood, and the end result are vital. I will shoot over a couple of hours so that the client will have the option to choose an album. In fact an album is our most popular product when it comes to family photography. Photography which takes place in a studio is very much designed towards creating one or two wall portraits. I will endeavour to create those as well which is usually quite easy on location. By working within the family home and favourite localities, our clients have the best range of options. And whatever they choose, they know it’s truly unique and unlike the photographs supplied to anyone else.
All that said, for the photographer photography on location is also uniquely challenging. We’ve never seen the location before and we have to work out how and where we’re going to get a good range of pictures. We’ve never met the client before in most cases, so we need to refresh our aims for the session. We also need to quickly gauge our subjects’ personalities and preferences. This is particularly important with children who can have such different personalities to their siblings or parents. Actually those are the reasons why I love working on location so much, there’s endless variety and every photo shoot has to be approached with fresh eyes.
“The natural environment close to home is always a first choice for many of the images which will populate a family album. In this case, a favourite walk with the dog.”
The first photoshoot for the family can be seen here: Natural Storybook Family Photoshoot West Sussex