springtime photoshoot

Interested in a Spring photoshoot in Dorset?

The changing seasons mean that now’s a great time to book a spring photoshoot in Dorset with me.

Spring is my favourite time of year because the beautiful flowers that emerge are always an absolute delight.

Daffodils, tulips, bluebells, snowdrops, and blossoms all create a stunning backdrop for outdoor portraits, and they look amazing whether photographed in the morning or at dusk. A photographer’s dream!

spring photoshoot in Dorset

Timeless outdoor portraits among the spring flowers

Around about now, in early spring, vibrant yellow daffodils and delicate white snowdrops come into bloom. Blossoms are also starting to appear. These pretty pastel flowers are lovely to feature in your family portraits.

Bluebell sessions

Later in the Spring, usually around April/early May, colourful tulips and beautiful bluebells then begin to emerge.

Sadly, many of my favourite spots for bluebells here in Dorset closed last year and won’t be reopening this spring. The crop was so damaged by people who didn’t stick to the pathways. It’s such a shame! Hopefully though, in time, the crop will regrow to its former glory.

There are still some lovely patches of bluebells around though, so I do still hope to be able to offer bluebell woods sessions this spring.

If you’re particularly interested in a bluebell shoot, get in touch. I’ll add you to my waitlist and I’ll keep you posted when I know where the best places are this year.

Bluebell photoshoot Dorset

Spring family photoshoot locations in Dorset

Every year, I scout out new locations to take my clients for outdoor portraits among the spring flowers, and this year will be no different. I always manage to discover some wonderful new places, literally bursting with colour!

An example from a few years ago would be this field of vibrant yellow rapeseed that my friend Jackie and I came across one evening. Here’s my daughter Lizzie (looking a lot younger than she is now) among them in the gorgeous golden light, just before sunset.

It was a beautiful location for my spring family photoshoots that year, and I returned with clients often.

spring photoshoot in Dorset

Why book a spring photoshoot?

There are so many reasons to book a spring family photoshoot with me this year – whether you choose a spring family photoshoot or an outdoor maternity photoshoot.

  1. For one thing, it’s always nice to get outdoors, particularly after a long cold winter.
  2. Another reason is that you can enjoy the beauty of the emerging spring flowers while also having some fun as a family. If it’s a maternity photoshoot that you’re interested in, you can enjoy some peace and tranquillity in beautiful surroundings before your baby arrives.
  3. Plus, you’ll be able to update your photo albums with your new springtime portraits or get some beautiful new artwork onto your walls at home.

Since time passes quickly and children grow and change so fast, even if you had a family shoot a few years ago, wouldn’t be nice to get some updated portraits now the kids have grown?

Dorset childrens photographer

What happens during a spring family photoshoot?

All my spring outdoor photoshoots are held at locations within Dorset. I’ll make a recommendation nearer the time based on the flowers that I know are in bloom there.

It’s suitable for up to 5 people and lasts around 1-2 hours.

I’ll take care of everything. As well as sourcing the location, I’ll guide you on how to interact and pose for the camera on the day.

I’ll encourage you to relax and simply enjoy the time together and, while you do, I’ll capture a variety of individual and group photos.

springtime photoshoot

Spring photoshoot outfit ideas

I will help by giving you ideas and recommendations on what to wear to your spring photoshoot.

Mummies and daughters are also welcome to use any of my princess-style dresses. I have them in many gorgeous pastel shades that complement the stunning colours of the blossom and bluebells, making them ideal for outdoor portraits among the spring flowers.

Aren’t they fabulous?!

I also have some cute outfits for little boys and accessories that I can bring along too.

dorset photography

Book your Spring photoshoot in Dorset today

Both outdoor family portrait sessions and outdoor pregnancy sessions are available this spring, but slots are limited.

The flowers don’t stay at their best for long, so if you’d like a spring family photoshoot or an outdoor maternity session, please don’t delay in booking!

Take a look around the website for details of my prices and packages, then contact me to book.

I’d love to capture portraits of you and your family this year. I guarantee you won’t regret taking some time to be photographed together among the spring flowers – they really are beautiful!

Karen x

Is newborn photography worth it

Celebrate your amazing mum with a Mother’s Day portrait session

Mother’s day gift inspiration!

Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday 27th March. Have you arranged a special Mother’s Day gift for the mums in your life yet?

If not, why not consider a Mother’s Day portrait session?

My family photo sessions are ideal for capturing a beautiful mother and daughter or mother and son portrait, or one with several generations of the family!

Is newborn photography worth it

Don’t forget to treat mum this Mother’s Day!

By the way, fellas, if you’ve become a daddy in the past year, and this will be your partner’s first-ever Mother’s Day, don’t forget to treat her with this fantastic Mother’s day gift!

She’ll love a portrait session with you and your baby – it will be a great memento of your growing family.

Family photographer near me

Timeless, natural portraits

My photoshoots are informal and relaxed, and the pictures are natural – as I know you like them.

I have an expert eye for capturing the special moments you share on the day, and I’ve several tricks up my sleeve for making children of any age feel comfortable in front of my camera.

Poole newborn photographer

Family portrait sessions at KW Photography

I offer portraits at my photography studio in Poole. Or, if you’d prefer an outdoor location, I’m more than happy to meet you at your favourite park or picnic spot across Dorset for some al fresco portraits in the spring sunshine (fingers crossed about the last bit!).

Dorset photographer captures family photos

Capturing special memories: The perfect Mother’s Day gift!

As a working mum, I certainly don’t know where the weeks go! I rarely get round to having photos taken where I am in front of the camera, with my kids.

My daughter Lizzie is a great model, and I’ve hundreds of pictures of her, but very few of me together with my children or with my mum.

Perhaps you are the same?

If so, a Mother’s Day portrait session at KW Photography would be a lovely way to celebrate your beautiful brood and get the family photos you want, once and for all.

Best Family photographer

What’s included in a Mother’s Day portrait session?

Group family sessions start from just £299 for a one-hour photoshoot, and up to five people can come along. This includes 5 photos via a download link.

If you’ve got a larger family than that, no problem! Larger groups can be catered for as well if you arrange it with me first.

Family photography

Mother’s Day photos

I’ll professionally edit around 20-30 final images from your Mother’s Day portrait session and you can view these within a private viewing before choosing which ones to purchase.

After the shoot, you will have the opportunity to buy from a range of high-quality photo products priced from just £150.

Or you can opt to receive the images on a KW Photography keepsake USB.

How to book your Mothers Day portrait session

Booking is simple and there are two options available.

  1. Either book a family portrait session be held within the next week or so and then present the images as a gift on Mother’s Day.
  2. Or buy a KW Photography voucher to present on Mother’s Day and book your family session at a mutually convenient time later in the month or year.

Family holding hands on the beach

Treat your mum to a Mother’s Day portrait session

I’ve already got lots of bookings for Mother’s Day weekend although I do still have a limited number of slots available.

So if you’d like to treat your mum or partner to a professional photoshoot for Mother’s Day. Then contact me to book today on 07749 270431 or via karen@me.com or via the contact form on my website.

Let’s celebrate mum with timeless photography. After all, she’s worth it!

Karen x

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 karenwiltshire@me.com 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

What to wear to your outdoor family photoshoot

Are you considering an outdoor family photoshoot but don’t have a clue what you should wear?

If so, don’t panic!  This is of the most common questions that I get asked when my clients book one of my lifestyle photoshoots.

And quite rightly so. The clothes you wear on the day of your family photoshoot should be a big consideration since they dramatically impact on the overall look and feel of the photos.

Things to consider when planning what to wear to your outdoor family photoshoot

  1. How and where are you planning to use the photos?

This is often something that can be forgotten, but it’s actually really important to think about how and where you will display the photos in your home.

If you are having a family photoshoot with the intention of hanging the mounted or framed photos in your living room, then think about the colour scheme in the room. What colours would work well with your décor?

Similarly, if you are having an outdoor family session so that you can get some fun photos of the children and plan to hang the pictures in their bedroom, again, what colours would work well with the room’s colours scheme?

Complementary colours will ensure that the pictures fit perfectly in the room and will enhance the colour scheme that you already have.

  1. Seasonality

The time of year that you are having the photoshoot is a really important consideration. Certain colours and types of clothing work best in particular seasons.

  • In the spring, pastels and light fresh blues, greens and yellows are a great option.
  • In summer, warm pinks, yellows look beautiful, as do cool sky blues, mints and aqua. For something glitzier, you’ve got the choice of champagne, rose gold and ivory shades.
  • Browns, rusty oranges, golds and creams work really well in the Autumn.
  • Warm reds and jewel colours such as emerald greens, teal and mulberry are perfect in the Winter.

My top tip would be to pick a base colour and consider the season when choosing this. Then, introduce contrast by wearing denim or either warm or cool neutrals.

For some great examples and for more inspiration on what to wear to your photoshoot, take a look at my Pinterest board where you’ll find colour combinations and suggestions for suitable clothing.

  1. A cohesive colour scheme for the whole family

Another really important consideration is how the family will look pictured together. What you are aiming for ideally is a cohesive, consistent colour scheme without looking too ‘matchy’.

The natural, outdoor photos that I will take of you and your family will look so much better if you have thought through in advance how you will incorporate your chosen colours into everyone’s clothing, but in a subtle way.

You don’t want to look like you tried too hard!

  • If dad is wearing a casual white shirt with blue trousers and tan canvas shoes, perhaps mum could wear a white coloured dress and blue pumps
  • The boys in the family could then wear either a casual blue shirt or plain white T-shirt with smart denim jeans and blue trainers
  • Or, for a girl, a blue and white checked with a white cardigan and sandals or shoes.

  1. Wear clothes that are smart but comfortable

A final, but really important point!

During your outdoor family photoshoot, I’ll be aiming to capture natural photos. Which means that I want them to reflect who you really are.

While that doesn’t mean that you need to ‘dress up’ for the occasion, anything too far the other way means that you potentially won’t look your best on camera.

My top tip here would be to keep the overall look smart-casual.

  • Anything too formal will look unnatural and will be uncomfortable for you and the kids. So please don’t force your children into shirts buttoned up to the collar if they aren’t used to wearing them or shoes that rub their feet. It’ll just mean that they’ll be fidgeting during the session which may make it a more stressful experience for you.
  • And don’t wear anything that’s either too tight-fitting or too baggy. You want your clothes to be flattering, and make you look your best possible self.

You’ll be looking at the pictures for years to come so choose your clothes wisely so that you won’t regret your decision later.

  • Do choose classic cut denim jeans, dresses, plain white T-shirts (no logos), unbranded trainers, plain coloured wellies (in Autumn). Basically, simple, classic clothes work best, and this is true whether you’re having your family portrait session outdoors or in the photography studio.
  • Anything too bright, fussy or overly-detailed will put the focus on the clothes rather on you, which is the exact opposite of what we’re hoping to achieve.

Again, there are some great examples of the styles of clothes that work well on my Pinterest board. Take a look there for inspiration on what to wear for your family photoshoot.

What will you wear to your outdoor family photoshoot?

So, I hope that these tips I have shared about what to wear to your outdoor family photoshoot have been useful?

Feel free to let me know which colour combinations from my Pinterest board that you love in the comments below, and feel free to ask any questions about what to wear, too.

As you’ll probably already know, I love photographing families outside all year round.

In the spring and summer, we’re spoilt with beautiful flowers, lush greenery, beautiful sunsets and those amazingly long, balmy evenings. And in the autumn and winter, the days aren’t as long but we still get beautiful light and there are still lots of opportunities to get some gorgeous pictures outdoors (just wrap up warm!).

Specialist in outdoor family photography

Remember, I specialise in outdoor portraits of not just families, but also newborn babies, children of all ages, and pregnant ladies too. So, if you’d like to secure a slot for your own outdoor portrait session here in Dorset, please complete this contact form.

I also have my own outdoor garden studio so you could book a studio session and also get some outdoor shots taken without us all needing to travel to a different location. Handy, right?

Karen x

Kids outdoors photographer

Outdoor family portrait sessions in Dorset’s finest wildflower meadows

The summer is my favourite time of the year and I’m so excited to now be offering outdoor family portrait sessions among some of Dorset’s finest wildflower meadows.

This year, I’ve collaborated with the lovely people at Holme for Gardens in Wareham, and have permission to use their field for outdoor lifestyle portraits.

So, naturally, I’ve been making the most of this opportunity and taking my clients there in the past week or so. It’s worked out brilliantly and all the children involved have loved having their photograph taken among the beautiful wildflowers.

Kids outdoors photographer

Outdoor wildflower portrait sessions in Dorset

Here are just some of the portraits I’ve created. Would like something similar of your family?

There is still time left in the season before the flowers lose their vibrant colours, and these outdoor portrait sessions are suitable whether you are after maternity/pregnancy photography, or child and family portraits. Contact me today to book yours.

Family photographer Poole

Natural family portraits

What I love about these sessions is that the children and families who take part are so clearly enjoying the flowers and the freedom to be able to walk among them (while being careful not to damage them, of course).

You’ll see that there are no forced smiles or static poses. The family photographs I create natural, outdoor pictures that bring the best of the outdoors into your home, and everyone has a great time in the process.

I achieve this by keeping everyone involved active and entertained throughout. The little ones, I keep occupied by encouraging them to count the wildflowers while I take their portrait. As every parent knows, distraction is the key with younger children!

As both a mum myself and an experienced child photographer, I’ve got lots of tricks like this up my sleeve to secure the perfect outdoor portrait.

family photographer near me

Dorset wildflowers are bloomin’ lovely!

Seeing the wildflowers popping up in fields, gardens and grass verges in the summer makes me really happy. And quite rightly! Who can fail to enjoy the wonderful colours and smells that these flowers create? They are simply fabulous, aren’t they?!

Every year I aim to make the most of the wildflower season. In a previous blog, I have written about how I can achieve perfect portraits in unlikely locations – take a look! It’s a behind-the-scenes insight into how I can create a stunning portrait in small spaces. A creative eye and even just a small patch of wildflowers is all I need!

Young girl smelling wildflowers in Dorset meadow

Book your wildflower portrait session today!

There are plenty of stunning flowers on display this year and they are currently in full bloom. So, don’t miss your chance to get some updated family photos taken outdoors among the beautiful wildflowers while they last!

If you’d like to book one of my outdoor family portrait sessions, get in touch as soon as possible to secure one of the last few slots I have available this summer.

And, if you haven’t already, do pay the Holme garden centre a visit! It’s a family-run business and has beautiful surroundings, a relaxing ambience, gorgeous plants to take home with you and unrivalled gardens to enjoy. I think you’ll love it!

Karen x

Don’t forget Dad-to-be: Introducing couple’s maternity photoshoots

I’ve been busy doing lots of outdoor maternity sessions so far this year. But something new, that I have been doing more and more of recently, is couple’s maternity photos.

Yep, I’ve been getting the dads-to-be involved in some of my recent maternity sessions! And the families who have embraced this new idea are loving the portraits that I’ve created for them.

Maternity photography

Maternity photography traditionally focuses on the mum-to-be who is carrying the baby. It’s done in the final weeks before the birth (usually sometime between weeks 28-34), and is done as a way of celebrating the pregnancy.

Thanks to the gorgeous Mio Estillo dresses that I have available, and the optional extra of a bit of pampering and styling beforehand, a maternity session makes my ladies feel fabulous!

And importantly, the portrait creates a lasting memory of the pregnancy and can be hung pride of place on the walls at home as a permanent record of that special time.

maternity photos

Introducing couple’s maternity photos

But, if you know me and my work, you’ll know that I like to experiment and try out new things!

I thought to myself, why should a maternity photos session just be about the mum?

What about the dads too? Yes, the woman is carrying the baby, but it’s as much his baby as hers!

Getting pregnant and having a baby is an emotional journey that involves two people. And so now, I like to involve the dad-to-be as well, if they wish.

My couple’s maternity photoshoots capture both mum and dad (and any children or pets as well). Creating a portrait that celebrates the family unit and the emotion of the journey that they are experiencing together.

Dorset maternity photographer

Relaxed photoshoots, natural portraits

Men can often be reluctant to get involved and to be photographed, but I make all my clients feel comfortable. My sessions are 100% relaxed and lots of fun.

Dads, I won’t ask you to look at the camera necessarily, which can make you feel awkward. I’m not after cheesy photos of you smiling at the camera.

No, my style of photography is to capture natural maternity photos that tell a story. To show the connection between the people in the photograph. It is done in a timeless style – like the examples I am showing here. The maternity photos don’t date and can be enjoyed for years and years to come.

maternity photos

Indoor and outdoor couple’s maternity photos

I take maternity, and couple’s maternity portraits, in my photography studio in Poole. Or, if you prefer, we can go outdoors. I can photograph you in locations such as local parks, on the beach or any other local place special to you as a couple.

maternity photos

If you are interested in my maternity photography, and the idea of getting your partner and children involved too, please contact me today to book one of my couple’s maternity photoshoots.

I’m available on 07749 270431 or email me at karenwiltshire@me.com or complete this contact form.

Karen x

Visit santa in Dorset

Top 5 places to visit santa in Dorset

Yay, it’s Christmas time.

It’s that time of year again, the excitement is mounting and the kids are getting excited beyond belief that Santa is coming soon. Visit Santa and see the big man himself in person is an absolute must for the little ones, so here are my top 5 places locally to see Santa.


Stewarts garden centre

Broomhill Garden Centre, Wimborne, or Christchurch Garden Centre, Christchurch, Dorset .Both sites have Santa in residence it’s magic how he transports himself 😉 Meet the elves and then Santa himself in his winter wonderland.

The kids get a gift bag and an age appropriate toy. Stewarts is a lovely setting with lots to see and a cafe with good food.

Make sure you booking advance as Santa gets super busy at both sites .

Swanage railway

I always love the nostalgia of the swanage railway and its always been a firm favourite with my kids to board the Santa Special.

Again, its very popular but there are slots left to book a ticket for the hour long round trip on the special santa train. Grown ups get a mince pie and the kids get to meet Santa and receive a gift .

Visit santa in Dorset

Upton Country Park

Upton Country Park is one of my favourite places to visit, and if you book a location photo session with me then we are most likely to visit the park because it’s such a stunning location.

Each year the park just gets better , this year is no exception with the arrival of Santa and his Elves. Not only do you get to meet the main man but you also get to see his owls and donkeys ( reindeer stayed at home this year ). The little ones get an age appropriate wrapped gift and a printed photo with Santa to take away. Enjoy a visit to Santa, take the kids to the new adventure play park and grown ups get a free cuppa included in the ticket price.

Open weekends and school holidays, pre booking is advisable.

Christmas mini shoot

Farmer Palmers

Locals and visitors to Dorset both love Farmer Palmers for a super fun day out with the kids. So with that in mind visit Santa visiting the farm just makes it even better.

Santa at Farmer Palmers is one of the few places locally you don’t need to pre book. Those clever Elves have a “book on the day” system so you don’t need to wait in a queue but I’d still recommend getting to the farm early to get your slot.

Santa is in residence on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and at the weekends too. Best of all Santa is happy to pose for a selfie or two at no extra charge ! Don’t forget your camera 😉

Outdoor photographer Dorset

The Ark Poole Park

The Ark are offering a crafty activity to kick off the festivities for the kids this December. The children get to make reindeer food to sprinkle on Christmas Eve, make a Christmas decoration and write a letter to Santa. Then you are all set to meet the big man himself and receive a gift. Open until the 24th Dec pop over to the Ark for some festive fun.

Hope you enjoy meeting Father Christmas over the festive season. If like me you are wondering what on earth to buy the family and friends for Christmas then why not get a KW Photography gift voucher? That way you can enjoy your photos all year round.

Bye for now

Karen x

KW Photography gift vouchers: Why not treat someone to a family photoshoot experience?

Let’s face it 2020 has been a year of missing family and friends and we are all looking to treat our nearest and dearest. If you’re looking for the perfect gift, why not treat that someone special with a family photoshoot experience at KW Photography?

My photography gift vouchers are ideal for families of up to five people. Buy one for yourself or for others as a birthday or Christmas gift, or as a wedding or anniversary present. Anytime is a good time to have family portraits taken!

Family photoshoot experience at KW Photography

Priced at £99, KW Photography gift vouchers are a present that any Dorset or Hampshire-based family would love to receive!

They entitle the recipient to a professional 20-30-minute family photoshoot (not suitable for newborn) with me for up to 5 people in my studio. The session can take place at a date of their choosing, subject to my availability and up until the voucher expiry date (as marked on the voucher).

Buy now
gift vouchers for photoshoots

An all-inclusive, great value price for family photography

The price you pay for the voucher includes five high-resolution, professionally edited family portraits as digital files ready for them to print and display around the home.

This is an incredible value package offering a significant saving on my usual studio session fee and my digital image collections.

The best thing about buying one of the KW Photography gift vouchers is that there are no extra costs for your recipient to pay. The price of £99 secures the voucher, guarantees a slot in my diary, and includes the photo session and five print-ready images.

The perfect gift for photography lovers

KW Photography gift vouchers are available to buy now and would make the perfect gift for those who like to record special family moments in photographs.

Get your family photoshoot experience gift voucher today

If you would love to have a family photoshoot experience with me, then grab one for yourself, or for someone else, while you can!

There are only limited gift vouchers available to purchase at this great value price, so these are likely to sell out fast. Contact me via this form for more information or hit the “Buy Now” button to purchase a voucher.

Karen x

Buy now

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: https://farmerpalmers.co.uk/annual-passes/

  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: https://www.moors-valley.co.uk/visitor-information/season-tickets/

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: https://www.chewtonglen.com/spoil-yourself/the-spa/

  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: https://www.cherrypickedhampers.co.uk/

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: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/join-us

  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:  https://www.chococo.co.uk/

  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: https://www.cineworld.co.uk

  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: https://www.pdsw.org.uk/whats-on/

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

Seven things you may not expect of your professional portrait session

You’ve made the decision to have a professional portrait session. Great! And now you’ve selected your preferred photographer (hopefully me!). The date is all booked in your diary and you’re now looking ahead to having the portraits taken.

You’ve probably got an idea of how it will turn out (after all, you’ve done your research), and you’re already imagining the pictures taking pride of place on your walls or mantlepiece at home.

But, whether it’s a maternity, newbornolder baby or childfamilycake smash or outdoor lifestyle shoot that you’ve booked, the chances are that they’ll be some unexpected aspects of the experience. After all, you never can predict how things will go, especially if young children are involved!

In today’s blog, I’m revealing seven things that you’ll experience when hiring me for a professional portrait session that you may not have expected.

Surprising features of your professional portrait session with KW Photography

  1. In-depth guidance on what to expect and how to prepare

I realise that you may never have hired a photographer before, apart from your wedding photographer perhaps, unless you are a repeat customer of mine. So, it’s a new experience for you and you won’t necessarily know what to expect. And, if this is the case, don’t worry.

When you get in touch with me to book, I’ll send you all the information you’ll need in advance of your photoshoot. Plus, you can find extra information on my website, on the Frequently Asked Questions page, in my Newborn Photography Guide (if relevant to you) and within my blogs.

Clients often tell me that they hadn’t realised I would help them to prepare so well. But I do this because I’m committed to helping you feel as prepared as possible for your photoshoot. And, if you still have questions, then please don’t hesitate to ask – simply call me or drop me an email.

  1. Hands-on help with your newborn baby

If you’re having a newborn portrait session with me, once you’ve arrived and we’re ready to get started, I’ll settle your baby to sleep and position then safely for the photographs.

Some parents are surprised to learn that I do this and have expected that they’d need to do far more themselves during the session. But honestly, you should just sit back and relax.

My comfy Poole-based photography studio is spacious and welcoming, and there’s plenty of room for you to rest, put up your feet and enjoy the session. Take advantage of the soft seating, the complimentary drinks, flick through my portfolio brochures and look at the examples of art on the walls.

Or even feel free to even have a little doze if you wish, since you’ll almost certainly be a little sleep-deprived!

  1. Guidance on how to look your best for the photos

I believe that another important part of my job is to give you guidance and to make you feel at ease. My aim is to make you look your very best in the pictures, so I will direct you throughout the session.

If it’s a studio-based child or family session, I’ll use my experience of what works well to advise you on how to stand, sit or interact with the other members of your family.  Or if it’s a maternity session, I’ll guide you on how to pose in a way that’s flattering and elegant.

There’s nothing worse than not knowing how to stand, which way to look or what to do with your hands, I know. So, I take all that doubt away by giving you clear instructions. And we’ll be chatting away the whole time too, which will also help to distract and relax you.

When I’m photographing an outdoor lifestyle shoot though, I’ll be encouraging you to simply have fun. In these sessions, I may give you some direction but I’m more focused on capturing the natural moments, the smiles and the interactions that unfold.

  1. Tricks to get your baby to look to the camera

Of course, in a cake smash or a baby portrait session, young children don’t always take instruction! But, I have plenty of tricks up my sleeve that’ll encourage your little one to interact with the camera.

Again, my best tip for you would be to leave it to me – to be honest, if you wave your arms around or say their name, chances are they’ll look at you rather than me, so they won’t be looking into the camera.

During a baby session I am usually on the floor, singing nursery rhymes, using squeaky toys and rolling balls around the room – yes, I may look a bit mad at times! But these are tried and tested techniques for getting great photos, so I’d urge you to just go with it and leave me to it!

Remember, I’ve photographed hundreds of babies and young children over the years, so I know how to get the cooperation of even the most reluctant children!

  1. Poop happens!

When it comes to photographing newborn babies, you may also be surprised to discover babies often do poop or wee in my studio – either on me, on you or on the floor!

Many a time parents have looked at me in embarrassment and horror when their newborn baby does this for the first time, but honestly, there’s no need to worry!

I am fully prepared for life’s little accidents, and of course, it’s completely natural. Everything in my studio is washable, and I clean and sterilise everything I use in the studio before each session.

  1. Editing and refining your image gallery

When it comes to reviewing the portraits taken during your session, you’ll perhaps also be relieved to learn that I’ll do the hard work of whittling the hundred or so images I’ve taken, down into an edited gallery for you to choose from.

I select the images that are the best of the best, and then I spend time editing those pictures to achieve the final image gallery from your professional portrait session.

Wondering why professional photographers edit their photographs? I explain that here.

Parents are often surprised to realise how much work goes on behind the scenes and about the editing process. When I tell them it can sometimes take over an hour to edit each image, they tell me they didn’t realise!

Only once fully edited are the images ready for you to view. I will then send you a link to view your gallery or, if you’d prefer, you have the option of returning to my studio, where I have a dedicated area for viewing your portrait gallery on a large screen. This is the most exciting bit – the big reveal!

  1. Help with choosing your final images

A further, often unexpected benefit of hiring me is that I can help you to decide which are your favourite images from the final image gallery.

Choosing which images to purchase can be tough! It’s highly likely that you’ll love all of the images and will find it hard to select the ones you love the best. So, I can be there to guide you on your final selections if you did want some help with this.

It’s important for you to realise though, that I deliberately sit quietly while you view your gallery for the very first time. I don’t impose my preferences on you or make you buy images that you don’t want (or more than you want).

My sole aim with a viewing appointment is to help you choose your favourite images and to help you make the often-difficult decisions about which ones, and how, you’ll display in your home.

Initial reactions to the images are usually very telling, so I’ll be encouraging you to go with your gut and choose the images you love at first sight.

You’re now fully prepared for your professional portrait session!

So, there you have it. Seven things you may not have expected about your professional portrait session with me. I would love to know which of these surprised you the most? Do let me know in the comments below.

If you’ve yet to book but would like to, please complete this contact form. I look forward to hearing from you!

And if you know someone in Dorset, Hampshire or even further afield who may be interested in having professional portraits taken, please do share this article with them. Thank you!

Karen x