October has been a lot of fun for me! It’s been my first year doing Autumn mini shoots and I’ve had a couple of longer shoots thrown into the mix too. I love the fiery colours that Autumn brings, wrapping up, but without being too cold and crunchy leaves under foot. I’ve been pretty lucky with the weather too considering it’s been a record breakingly wet October, but my wellies have been put to good use!
I've experimented with a few different locations, and the variety always makes things more interesting for me. You'll know I love getting out for walks with my family and enjoy trail running too so there's nothing better for me than photographing my families in the great outdoors! I started with an after school shoot for two girls from Aldbury up at Ashridge Monument. It was early October so the leaves hadn't changed colour so much, but it was a good excuse for me to have an explore beforehand to find some good colours just off Monument Drive. The girls loved climbing trees and splashing in puddles so it made for a really relaxed shoot.
Next I headed to Northchurch Common with a family of 5 that included three beautiful sisters. I'd been to the common just the day before with my own family for a walk – always a good way to do a recce. I took them on a proper adventure walk, showing them a dinosaur footprint (my son's discovery of course!) and the red toadstools we'd found. They were really good fun – running around together and loved getting swung around by Mum and Dad – I like to make my parents work for great photos!!!
The following weekend was spent at the Golden Valley near Ashridge House – again I'd done a recce – this time with a friend who wanted to come there with her family for her Mum's 70th birthday surprise – Bab's absolutely loved the shoot with her three grandchildren in this special location where she's been dog walking for years – I'm even making a photo album for her of all her favourite pictures from the day. It was a really memorable experience for the whole family.
At Golden Valley I also photographed another family – I'd photographed both the children's Christenings and a birthday party in the past, but hadn't seen them for two years so it was really amazing to catch up with them and they loved the Golden Valley. The kids basically just played and I captured them running around and giggling, it was lovely to see them on such great form.
My final location was Wendover Woods, which is just up the hill from me in Aston Clinton (I even run up there sometimes, when I have the energy for the hill!) The colours by the end of October were spectacular and there's such a warren of paths, it's easy to get away from other people visiting. I had three shoots here in total. A gorgeous family with two boys who got a little muddier than planned (though thankfully you can't tell in the photos), a family with a little boy who just turned 2 and their dog Zac – this was particularly lovely as their brood will grow in January.
And finally, a family of four plus grandparents – I met this family doing doorstep photos and they invited me to photograph their extended family in Ashridge in the summer for their parents 50th wedding anniversary. It was lovely to meet the other set of grandparents and make some memories for them after lockdown, and we just squeezed it in before lockdown 2.0. They even bought Christmas jumpers and hats to change into so they can make a Christmas card - my first chance to start feeling festive and shout Merry Christmas!! We must have looked completely mad!
So, all in all a very successful Autumn and I got a real buzz from every single family. The kids definitely all enjoyed themselves and for me, that's the main thing!