Bluebell woods portraits: It’s finally time!

Bluebell Photoshoot

Yay! So it’s nearly BLUEBELL photoshoot time!

I had an absolute blast last spring photographing so many gorgeous families among the beautiful bluebell woods. And with bluebell season fast approaching, I’m getting SO excited.

I literally CAN NOT WAIT to get started on this year’s bluebell photoshoots!

Bluebell woods portraits in Dorset

I’m planning to be doing my outdoor lifestyle photoshoots in the local bluebell woods from mid-April onwards when the flowers look their best and are at their most vibrant.

I’ll be visiting my favourite bluebell photoshoot locations but I’ve been busy scouting out new ones in these past weeks too.

Related reading: Interested in a spring photoshoot?

Natural portraits among the bluebell woods

Over the past few years of taking bluebell woods portraits, I have perfected my technique of capturing stunning family photos, like these, among the carpet of delicate blue flowers.

And I’ve mastered it, not only in the day but at dawn and dusk as well, as these pictures show!

Related reading: Bluebell portrait sessions in Dorset and Hampshire

Anyone who has tried to take a snapshot among the bluebell woods will know that it isn’t easy to achieve photos like these, which is why it’s worth hiring a professional.

Working with the natural and low-light conditions of the woods is a skill I have mastered over the years. And, in keeping with my photography style, I can engage with children of all ages and keep them relaxed and comfortable throughout the shoot, so that the bluebell woods portraits I take are natural and, most importantly, as you like them.

Book your bluebell woods photoshoot today

The bluebell season lasts just six weeks and, based on the popularity of these sessions last year, I know that it won’t be long before I’m completely booked up. So, contact me as soon as possible to book in for your bluebell woods session.

Bookings have been coming in earlier each year. I took my first bluebell woods portrait booking in January and have had a flurry of enquiries in the last couple of weeks. So, don’t miss out! If you would like bluebell woods portraits of your family this spring, contact me today!

To book your session contact me on 07749 270431, email me at or the contact form on my website.

My favourite bluebell woods portraits

And, prepare for a Facebook timeline full of images from this year’s bluebell sessions! I’ll be sharing some of my favourite bluebell woods portraits with you on the KW Photography Facebook page over the next few weeks!

Karen x

My top ten kid-friendly attractions in Dorset

With school almost out for summer (eek!), today I thought I would share some of my favourite kid-friendly attractions in Dorset.

Many of the places I list in this round-up are ones that I enjoy or have enjoyed in the past, with my own children. And I’ve included cheap and completely free options.

So, there should be no need to feel panicked about what you are going to do once the children are finished school for the summer.

We really are spoilt for choice here in Dorset – what with both the beach and forests on our doorstep and all these wonderful, fun places. So, whether you are a local or visiting Dorset during the holidays, hopefully, you’ll find something here that’s of interest.

1. The beach!

This HAD to be my number one. We have the most amazing beaches on our doorstep – seven miles of sandy beach to be exact, stretching from Hengistbury Head in the east to Sandbanks beach to the west. Kids of all ages love the beach.

If the weather is good, settle down for a day making sandcastles, digging holes and burying parents or younger siblings in the sand(!), paddling and swimming in the sea, and then wash it all down with a picnic and ice cream. The epitomy of the perfect British summer!

2. Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park

A great destination for kids under 8yrs. Farmer Palmers in Organford is an award-winning farm park with animals, tractor rides, playgrounds, soft play and lots of space for your little ones to burn off some energy! There’s also lots of free parking.

Under 2yrs are free. For more information visit

3. Durlston Country Park

Durlston Castle is located on the cliffs in Swanage, offers fantastic sea views. You can walk around the site of Durlston Castle and learn something new at the visitor centre. For weary mums and dads, there is a café where you can get drinks and food afterwards!

For more information visit

4.Tutankhamun Exhibition

This is a good option for older kids. They’ll be learning at the same time as exploring this collection of ancient history artefacts. And there’s also a Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester too – both small but worth a look.

For more information visit

For more information visit

5. Furzey Gardens

Furzey Gardens in the New Forest is a magical place where young children can explore and seek out up to 40 fairy doors which are located throughout the beautiful grounds. If you’re lucky you’ll also see wild New Forest ponies around the borders of the site.

Entry price: FREE for children under 3yrs. Adults – donation.

For more information visit

6. The National Trust’s Brownsea Island

Located within the beautiful Poole Harbour and just a short and inexpensive boat ride from Poole Quay, Brownsea Island is great for a full day out with the kids. Don’t forget your picnic! And keep your eyes open for red squirrels, resident peacocks and other wildlife.

For more information visit

7. Swanage Railway

Venture across to the Purbecks and climb aboard the brilliant Swanage Railway, for a trip to the seaside resort of Swanage. You’ll travel through the picturesque village of Corfe Castle, past the castle ruins and the gorgeous Purbeck countryside. There’s also a Miniature Model Village at Corfe Castle which is worth a look.

For more information visit

8. Wimborne Model Town

Wimborne Model Village is also a sweet little attraction in the heart of the town. Little kids will love the miniature hourses and shops, which are based on how the town looked in the 1950s. There is also a nostalgic model railway, gardens and tea room.

Entry price: FREE for children under 3yrs.

For more information visit

9. Monkey World

Monkey World is great place to visit with kids of all ages and is an ape rescue centre. The huge grounds are home to a large variety of gorillas, chimpanzees, gibbons and orang-utans, and there are outdoor playgrounds and picnic spots, as well as an indoor soft play, within the café, for the babies.

For more information visit

10. Moors Valley Country Park

Moors Valley is a great option for all ages. Access to the huge forest walks, including the popular Gruffalo trail is free – you’ll just pay for parking (around £9 for a full day). There are play areas, a play trail, picnic areas and an authentic miniature steam railway.

The ‘Go Ape’ tree top and Segway adventures (available at an extra cost) are ideal for entertaining bigger kids.

Free entry although parking charges apply. For more information visit

11. Dorset Water Park

I’m squeezing in an extra suggestion since this new adventure park is proving to be a great hit with families of all ages. It is a huge woodland water park spread over two lakes and overlooking the beautiful Corfe Castle. Each lake features different inflatable obstacles for you to tackle. Have you taken your kids yet?

For more information visit

Kid-friendly attractions in Dorset: What else would you recommend?

So, these are my recommendations of kid-friendly attractions in Dorset! I would love for you to share any other places that you would also suggest in the comments.

For further ideas or information visit

And if you’d like an on-location photoshoot with me this summer, at either your favourite park, woodland or on the beach, contact me today to book. Please complete this contact form and I’ll be in touch.

Karen x

Young boy in long grass smiling for the camera

Shop local this Christmas: 10 gift ideas for Dorset families

This year, I’m making a conscious effort to buy more ‘experience’-type Christmas gifts. If f you’re tempted to do the same then read on.

I’ve compiled a list of gift ideas for Dorset families. I’m sure if you bought something off this list for your family or friends, they would be delighted!

Supporting local independent businesses at Christmas

As a small business owner myself, I consider it really important to support other independent local, businesses. Let’s face it, it’s tough out there! Anything you can do to support these people will certainly be much appreciated and help to keep them in business.

These gift ideas for Dorset families include products, services and experiences. I’m suggesting just some of the many gifts you could buy from small independent businesses local to me here in Poole in Dorset.

Do let me know in the comments below which others you would suggest I add to my list!

Gifts that keep on giving

Many of these suggestions are gifts that keep on giving. They are not just another plastic toy that will soon be discarded and forgotten about. Nope, I’ve deliberately selected gifts that the family can enjoy together.

And they are the type of gift that is not necessarily just going to be enjoyed at Christmas time, but well into the new year too.

I hope you find this list useful. If you do, please also share it with your parents, friends, colleagues and family to give them some gift ideas this Christmas too.

My Top Ten Christmas gift ideas for Dorset families

  1. A KW Photography Family Photoshoot Experience

First up is my very own family photoshoot experience! My brand-new gift vouchers are now available to buy for just £95. They would be a great gift idea for a local family who would love the gift of photography to capture special family memories.

A private 30-minute mini portrait session and five high-resolution, print-ready images are included in the price, and the vouchers can be redeemed at any time (subject to my availability) up until the end of July 2019.

I’m releasing just 10 for sale this Christmas, so if you’d like one, please contact me ASAP to secure yours.

photo session gift vouchers

  1. Farmer Palmers Farm Park Annual Season Ticket

This award-winning family attraction is a must-visit if you have children under 8 years old. It’s open all year round and has indoor and outdoor activities that will keep the kids entertained for hours!

As season ticket entitles you to unlimited entry throughout the year. Prices start from just £21 for a child aged 2, and they are £45 for adults.

For more information visit:

  1. Moors Valley Country Park Car Park Pass

Moors Valley is another year-round attraction with loads to do for all the family. It’s the home of Go Ape, the treetop adventure, and it’s where you can enjoy a full day out among the forest.

Following the play trail, picnicking on the lawn, riding on a miniature steam train and playing on the playground equipment are just a few of the things you can do there!

A car parking season ticket will save you lots of money if you visit regularly. For more information visit:

Young boy in long grass smiling for the camera

  1. Chewton Glen Spa Experience

I don’t think I know any hard-working mummy (or daddy for that matter) who wouldn’t enjoy a relaxing spa day experience, and Chewton Glen in the New Forest is the best in the area.

But even if a spa day doesn’t float your boat, there are lots of other things to do. You could enjoy a relaxing lunch in the hotel grounds, or an indulgent champagne afternoon tea. Or, there’s even the option of a half-day cookery class or a ‘treehouse escape’!

Vouchers are available to buy in denominations of £10 and upwards. For more information visit:

  1. Cherry Picked Hampers

Hampers are a great gift at Christmas time, and Cherry Picked Hampers contain products sourced only from across Dorset – what a great way to support local producers!

They offer an extensive range of hampers, including local wines, beer and ciders, cheeses and chutneys, with prices starting from just £12. For more information visit:

baby boy laying on a cream rug

  1. A National Trust Annual Pass

Members of the National Trust get access to over 500 attractions across the country – my favourites locally are Brownsea Island and Kingston Lacey. There’s also free parking for Trust members at all attractions including at the beach carparks at Studland.

There are junior memberships available for children and teenagers, priced just £10 for the year. For more information visit:

  1. Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre Gift Voucher

Gift vouchers are a great way to treat someone you know who loves Monkey World. Valid for 12 months, the vouchers are available to buy in denominations of £5, £10, £20 and £50 and can be redeemed against the entrance fee and used in the catering outlets and on-site shop.

Gift vouchers are also available for guided tours around the centre, which is open every day except Christmas Day. For more information visit the Monkey World website.

Young girl in Sunflower field

  1. Chococo Chocolate Experiences

Sure to be a hit with chocolate lovers is the Chocolate Experience by the Swanage-based chocolate manufacturer, Chococo. This company creates fresh luxury chocolate gifts which have been handmade in Dorset since 2002.

Suitable for children and adults, their experiences include chocolate tastings, chocolate parties and you can even make your own in their chocolate workshops.  You can also give the gift of chocolate by buying a three-month chocolate subscription – yum!

For more information visit:

  1. Cinema tickets

If the little (and big) kids in your family love going to the cinema, as they do in mine, then a great Christmas gift is Cineworld’s Christmas Gift Box.

This includes 2 x 2D film vouchers, 2 regular soft drinks, 1 regular popcorn voucher and 2 candy canes or a pack of humbugs. They also the option of buying a year’s worth of unlimited cinema visits with their Unlimited Gift Box.

For more information visit:

  1. A cultural experience at Pavilion Dance South West

Finally, if you know a family who loves dance, theatre, music and storytelling, then why not treat them to an experience at Pavilion Dance, based in central Bournemouth?

Pavilion Dance hosts live dance performances, screenings, exhibitions and more than 40 different dance classes each week, many of which are suitable for families and young people to enjoy together.

For more information visit:

Gift ideas for Dorset families

Which of these gifts will you buy for local family and friends this Christmas? Please do comment below to let me know.

Bye for now,

Karen x

baby boy in linen romper

child photographer of the year

Shortlisted for ‘Child Photographer of the Year’ Award

I have received some extremely exciting news today. I have been shortlisted for the Child Photographer of the Year award with the largest photographic society in the UK, the SWPP (the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers)!

I’m just one of three professional photographers across the UK and Europe who are now in the running for the title of Child Photographer of the Year.

I’m actually in shock if I’m honest, but thrilled too! Oh, wouldn’t it be brilliant if I was to win?!

Gold standard portrait

This portrait was awarded a ‘Gold’ in the SWPP’s latest monthly photography competition and has played a large part in my award nomination.

Long haired girl in field of seed heads

I don’t actually think winning awards is the be-all and end-all. Happy clients are most important to me. Yet, it certainly feels good to have been selected!

Especially when the standard of work from the other thousands of UK and international photographers who have entered the competition is so high!

Accomplished Studio and On-Location Photographer

This nomination is particularly special to me because I have been submitting images to the SWPP this year that have been a mixture of studio photography (my first love) and outdoor, on-location photography.

Although I began doing more outdoor photography in the summer of 2015, it is only in 2016 that I feel that I have become just as competent in on-location photography, using natural light, as I am in the studio.

child photographer of the year

Lifestyle Photography in Dorset

I’ve worked hard, invested in professional training and got out and about around Dorset at every possible opportunity, usually taking my long-suffering daughter Lizzie with me to model (as you can see from all the portraits I’ve included here).

I feel that I have come a long way this year and this award nomination is a real boost and acknowledgement of that.

Making Memories

These portraits are special in another way too; because they are all of Lizzie, my own daughter.

I often talk about the importance of capturing important family moments in photographs.

Being a mum as well as a photographer, I’m in the lucky position of being able to take professional-standard portraits of Lizzie, and in doing so I’m making memories of my own. I love that!

Child Photographer of the Year announced in January

So wish me luck!

The winner will be revealed next month at the SWPP’s annual awards ceremony. It would be amazing to become Child Photographer of the Year so please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me and I’ll keep you posted about the result!

Karen x

baby and child photography

Smile baby! Newborn, baby and child photography

Is there anything more adorable than a smiling baby?

Lucky for me, I get to meet so many gorgeous little ones in my job in  newborn, baby and child photography.

And since it was World Smile Day recently, I felt it fitting to collate a collection of some of my recent ‘smiley’ portraits for you to enjoy.

To sleep or not to sleep…

The majority of newborn babies I photograph are less than two weeks old. At that age, they typically spend up to 18 hours per day asleep.

So it’s no surprise then that they spend most of the photoshoot blissfully unaware of the flashing camera. Safely in the land of nod.

baby and child photography

But there are always a few cheeky ones!

Sometimes the babies I photograph just refuse to play ball. They’ll be wide awake and taking it all in. This is really lovely if it happens. It gives me the opportunity to capture some great open-eyed shots, like this.

Smile, smile, smile

And if I’m REALLY lucky, they’ll flash me a super-cute smile too!

Babies don’t usually smile before the six-week mark. Anything before that is an unconscious reflex, similar to the jerky arm and leg movements that they do in their first few weeks.

But if they do smile, it’s unbelievably cute! If I can capture any smiling shots for the parents, I always will. Seeing their baby’s smiling face for the very first time is just magic!

Natural smiles are the best!

Older babies, toddlers and young children also regularly give me the most adorable grins.

Unfortunately, as kids get older they learn to give the posed “cheeeeseeee” grins whenever a camera is presented in front of them. This isn’t so great, and it’s one of my daily challenges when working with toddlers and older children.

But capturing a natural smile, when the child’s eyes and entire face light up, is fantastic at any age.

I hope you enjoy the smiles! I love baby and child photography!

If you are expecting a baby and wish to discover more about my newborn photography sessions, visit my Frequently Asked Questions page as well as my Newborn Photography Guide here

Don’t forget to book as early as possible to secure your preferred date. Book around the time of your 20-week scan if possible. Slots do fill up fast!

Until next time,
Karen x

dorset children's photographer

A day in the life of a children's photographer - Pumpkin patch

A day in the life of a Dorset children’s photographer.

So, the sun is shining but there’s a little chill in the air. This can only mean one thing. That summer has passed and autumn is in full swing.

I love those late summer evenings with the golden glow of sunset, but I have to confess I really love autumn too. The colours and bright crisp days are great for a little location photography. Just wrap the kids up warm, hats, scarves and gloves, chunky jumpers, and wellies. It’s a kid’s dream! They love running in the leaves and splashing in puddles (I mean, who doesn’t? If only us grown-ups could get away with it) and generally being kids!

Today I headed off in search of a slightly different type of location. After a quick search on the internet, I found a great “Pick your own” pumpkin farm on the edge of the New Forest in Sopley.

What a great backdrop for a photoshoot and with half term and Halloween just around the corner, it seemed like a great opportunity to get some fun seasonal photos. We followed the pumpkin signs and found it fairly easily, pulled into the carpark, and Wow! Row upon row of pumpkins. It was a photographer’s dream. A photo opportunity around every pumpkin.

The boys had an absolute blast choosing the biggest and best pumpkin. The farm even supply little sledges for you fill with your finds.

Not content with just pumpkin picking, the boys decided to test out their wellies. This meant things were going to get very messy! Well, boys will be boys and I loved the fact that they had so much fun out in the fresh air on their photoshoot. We had plenty of lovely clean shots before the splashing started so mum was pretty relaxed about the mess.

Things quickly got even messier with all three boys enjoying the splashing fun.

We finished off the trip a lovely photo on the farm tractor. The boys had a fantastic photoshoot doing exactly what boys love doing, getting messy!

dorset children's photographer

If you’d like a lovely Autumnal location photoshoot then please get in touch (I promise puddle jumping doesn’t have to be included). What a great way to spend the day making memories with Dorset children’s photographer!

Bye for now

Karen x