Autumn is my favourite season, so I wrote this rhyme for no reason, when the leaves go, they’ll be followed by snow and if you don’t wear a coat you’ll be freezing…Gary Walsh October 2020
My car is loaded up with photography equipment and my head is full of ideas as I set off to take some children’s autumn portraits. My weather app said 80% chance of rain, my eyes can see 100% rain. Thankfully I have umbrella’s, a waterproof groundsheet and my cagoule. More importantly I have my bag of portable Godox lights. I love adding a few pops of flash to my portraits, on a grey day it helps to make sure I get sparkle in the eyes of the children I’m photographing. I can also add some creative lighting, I’ve learnt how to work quickly when adding some light and even faster when it’s raining. Autumn is my favourite photography season and by using different light, styling, composition and swapping lenses, this will lead to some gorgeous images.
The autumn colour palette gives me endless saturation punch possibilities and a phone call on the run up to these shoots means that the children are autumn toned too (I also have an autumn styling Pinterest board set up). The locations I use are based on 3 factors, input from my clients (if they have somewhere that is special to them), access based on the ages of the children (walking 30 mins to a location with a toddler is no fun for parents or photographers) and finally I love scouting and finding new areas to shoot in, using the same spots over and over can lead to the same results.
The next stage of the shoot is the most crucial, getting the children onside. I find with all children regardless of their age there is a window of opportunity when they are willing to give me what I need and the time that this happens can vary based on the age and more importantly the nature of the child. I never rush them into posing on arrival, I’ll wait until they are chatting and sharing with me. We are now ready to go. This window of shoot opportunity may only be a short one, so I’ve got to keep them onside and entertained. Something else I learnt earlier in my career is the as soon as the children have had enough, then the shoot is over. At that point I will have all that I need, I work on a quality over quantity images basis.
When I’m shooting I’m thinking about how images will be displayed. Sometimes a sequence of images will work all framed and displayed to tell a story, then there will be a stand alone image that will look fab as a single piece of wall art. Using my experience I will always help and advise parents what I think would work. I don’t use sales teams and I definitely don’t use any sales pressure. My images should sell themselves…
I shoot in all seasons from snow to bluebells to summer sunshine, but autumn is my favourite.
Thank you to Wynyard Hall, Crathorne Hall, Judges, Headlam Hall, Whinstone View and Middleton Lodge for allowing me to use some of their autumn gorgeousness as my backdrops for children’s and family portraits.