Last weekend I had a lovely afternoon bimbling around the woods with my camera, various lenses, a pair of beautiful sisters, their mum, and a lovely dog called Lilly. The family had contacted me looking for some portraits for xmas gifts, and on the morning of the shoot, I woke up to glorious sunshine, and knew our hour that afternoon at Shotover would be just perfect. It is always really exciting doing a shoot somewhere as beautiful and varied as Shotover – stunning at every time of year, there are hillside meadows with views over the surrounding landscape (it’s on a steep hill, which gets pretty slippery when muddy, so wear boots if you go), huge oaks with low mossy branches, hawthornes galore, beech groves with suntrap clearings, sandpits and streams, and lots of twisting paths to explore. Such a setting is a natural light portrait photographer’s dream – or my dream, anyway – as there is a huge range of different types of light to chose from – from direct sunlight in clearings (great for atmospheric backlit shots on a bright day) and easy access to partial shade around the edges, to the dappled light under birches, and deeper shade in the heart of the forest. I had just been reading about backlit shots, so was particularly looking forward to getting some lens flare in the meadow – the sun came and went a bit before the shoot time as it does in December, if it makes an appearance at all, but happily for me, it was low and clear when the girls arrived. Below are some of my favourites from the shoot – enjoy, and Alice & Louisa, thank you for being such great models and following my every whim for the hour – I hope you love the photos.
|Alice, Louisa & Lilly the spaniel|
|A favourite – particularly like the composition in this one|
|Stunning sisters, beautiful winter late afternoon light – good results from my new 50mm lens|
|I love this series of shots taken from slightly further away with a telephoto lens|
|And there’s that lens flare I was after– backlit in the meadow|
|I love this one – it was just at the end of the shoot, and the girls look relaxed as we head back to the car|
|Exhausting shoot – Lilly has a rest in the car|