Portrait photographer Devon

Devon family portraits on location at the beach : Clarke Family

I hope everyone had a really great Easter break and lovely May bank holiday, we had a great time! In the first week the kids went along to a children’s holiday club called The Secret Garden in Ottery St Mary, which you might’ve seen in my last blog post as naturally I couldn’t resist taking some photos! But while they were there I did some lovely family photoshoots at Beer beach (in East Devon) making the most of the children being off school and the amazing weather.

The sun was scorching down - it was pretty tricky to shoot with no cloud cover!

The sun was scorching down - it was pretty tricky to shoot with no cloud cover!

I don’t know what you did throughout the hot spell but wow, it was just stunning in Devon and I think it was across most of the country, so we really made the most of it down at Beer which is a gorgeous little fishing village if you don’t know it, with lots of colourful boats pulled up on the shore.

From a photographer’s perspective it was a little bit of a challenge as it was so bright, there’s not a lot of shade down there but I got some lovely shots of the Clarke family - Scott and Sharon along with their two daughters. We shot some pictures down by the cliffs which made a really nice textured backdrop and got a real mix of shots with the sea in the background and then the boats.

Sharon got some gorgeous matching dresses for the girls to wear especially for the shoot, which really does make a big difference to the final photographs – what you wear to a shoot is really important and I’m always happy to talk it though with my customers beforehand.

I think one of my favourite shots from this shoot was one with the older daughter surrounded by her family with her sister and mum and dad looking at her and cuddling her – I love this sort of shot because although it’s posed, it feels really natural and it really helps convey the love the family has for each other.

Talking of poses, when I photograph a family, I always try to get a balance of posed and natural, candid looking photos. On the beach I ask people to walk along holding hands, but with children it’s always important to keep things fun and fast paced, so I set up shots that bring out natural expressions but are still structured in a way to bring out the best in the people I’m photographing. I do always love getting people to focus on one another rather than the camera as it helps everyone relax!

After the Clarkes I had another family to shoot who’d travelled 5 hours from Reading with their young baby on a Bank Holiday – I look forward to sharing their photos soon! But luckily for me, I was able to have a little break in between shoots and when it’s sunny, Beer is just the best place to work – I sat at the beach café with a latte and my laptop and it was just marvellous, I felt so lucky to do my job.

If you have a nice sunny day with nothing to do then I do recommend heading down to Beer, it’s a lovely place to relax, with two cafes on the beach and for me, just a great place to take pictures.

Interested in photography?

Join my free Facebook community group to take part in monthly photography challenges, ask any photography related questions and share your own photographs with a likeminded community of enthusiasts.

You can also learn how to make the best of your own camera and learn the basics of photography on one of my online photography courses here.

Photographing the Secret Garden Children's Holiday Club, Ottery St Mary

Over the Easter holidays you might’ve seen that I’ve been busy with some beautifully sunny pop-up photography sessions on Beer beach in East Devon, and while I was behind the camera, my own kids went to a rather special holiday club at The Secret Garden in Ottery St Mary.

Summer and Sienna after a happy day, swinging over the stream at the Secret Garden!

Summer and Sienna after a happy day, swinging over the stream at the Secret Garden!

I’d known about it for a little while and had been keen for the kids to go but some of you will know that I have no less than four children and at £40 per day per child it was a bit of a consideration! But with a full diary of bookings for the week I thought I’d spoil them and book them in for a couple of special days that the owner, Jules Corkhill, was running - and as it turns out, it was well worth it!

The first special event was a blacksmithing day and at first I thought, ‘wow, can kids even do that?!’ – but I finished work early that day and my curiosity got the better of me so I popped in to join them for the last hour and it was great! Of course, I couldn’t resist getting my camera out and snapping some nice shots of the children at play.

I wondered how they would encorporate a furness into the day - would they come up with a makeshift forge in the garden? Who knew!? But it all became clear as small groups gathered around Jules’ chiminea in the garden, just two children at a time. I enjoyed watching my two girls heat up the copper and make it into bracelets, and even getting involved in hammering the metal. It was so lovely to see them producing something beautiful and also having fun and enjoying themselves in the process!

Aside from the bracelet-making, there was so much else to enjoy about The Secret Garden – it’s so unassuming from the front, a wooden gate in a wall which doesn’t look like much and then you go through and it opens up into this AMAZING huge garden. They’ve got a pet pig, a stream running through the garden with swings suspended over the water – and the children just loved running around having the best time, it was really lovely to see! I wish we lived there!

So, here’s some of the photos from their blacksmithing day and if you like them, do check out The Secret Garden for your own kids - I’ve linked up the website here.  

If you’ve got a special occasion or party coming up, or even just a summer’s day in your own garden, don’t hesitate to contact me as I’d be pleased to come and capture some beautiful photographs of your own family and friends for you to keep and look back on.

Interested in photography?

Join my free Facebook community group to take part in monthly photography challenges, ask any photography related questions and share your own photographs with a likeminded community of enthusiasts.

You can also learn how to make the best of your own camera and learn the basics of photography on one of my online photography courses here.