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

maternity portrait

Maternity portraits: Exciting collaboration with European maternity fashion designer

Maternity Portraits

I don’t get a lot of spare time, particularly during the summer holidays when I have been juggling the care of my two children with a busy photography business, but last week I did get a day off!

I used it wisely. I escaped the studio and got out and about to do some experimental maternity portraits, along with my friend and fellow photographer, Gary Hill.

in the news

As you may know, maternity portrait photography is one of my core services and I love taking photos of gorgeous mummies-to-be.

Photographing a woman in her final stages of pregnancy is truly special.

The pregnancy ‘glow’ and the fully rounded tummy make for stunning portraits.

My maternity clients tell me that they love looking back on their pregnancy photos, long after their babies have been born.

Developing my portfolio of maternity portraits

So, in a bid to continue developing my portfolio of maternity portraits I took a day out recently with some beautiful pregnant ladies.

I recently collaborated with the amazing European maternity fashion designer, Mii-Estilo, and I had some of her gorgeous gowns for my maternity models to wear.

Designer maternity dresses

Based in the Netherlands, Ingrid of Mii-Estilo creates the most stunning maternity dresses. They accentuate every gorgeous baby bump and curve and come in the most flattering colours and designs.

I literally have fallen in love with her dresses, and so was thrilled to be able to use a number of them for my test shoots. I even got to use some of the dresses from her latest collection!

The gowns I used came in the most striking colours, for example, this rich red wine hue of this ‘Bordeaux Red Bellis’ Dress. It had an extra-long train – which I just loved too!

Experimenting with light and working in all weathers!

I took photos of my models in the forest and at the beach, to get a variety of shots.

The weather and the lighting were certainly a challenge! I battled strong winds and bright sunshine to get these great maternity portraits.

But that was the whole point of the day really. I had wanted to try photographing the ladies in difficult circumstances; at the times of the day when the natural light was harsh and therefore most challenging to work with, and in all weathers.

In this lovely beach shot, it was dark and spitting with rain so I think Beth did an amazing job!

maternity portrait

In this one, this beautiful lady braved the gorse which was super prickly too!

And in this one, the sun was really bright but this portrait worked out brilliantly.

I’m thrilled to share the results of those test shoots with you here. I thoroughly enjoyed the day (big thanks to my lovely models Lindsey, Sarah, Beth and Kimberley), and I am absolutely delighted with the maternity portraits I took.

Which is your favourite? Do let me know in the comments!

Kids photoshoot Dorset

My top tips for photographing reluctant children

Have you ever tried to photograph a child who does NOT want to be photographed? (I presume you are nodding your head right now.)

Yes, it can be very difficult, for sure!

Photographing reluctant children

I have literally photographed thousands of children over the years and, believe me, not all of those have wanted to have their photo taken.

Delaying and avoidance tactics? You name it, I’ve seen it!

You could say that photographing reluctant children is a day to day occurrence for me.

Over the years I’ve developed lots of coping strategies for handling even the most resistant children.

I often see parents getting stressed when their child doesn’t cooperate during a photoshoot. But there really is no point.

I always get the shot I am after eventually. If you heed my tips below you will too!

My three top tips

1. Be prepared to wait

While it can take time to get reluctant children to cooperate, you’ll usually be rewarded for your perseverance and persistence.

Don’t rush the child or make them feel under pressure to perform to the camera.

As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait!

2. Let them explore the environment

Whether I’m photographing on location or in my photography studio, the setting is usually new to the child.

So I let the child get comfortable in the surroundings first, before attempting to take their portrait.

I also often pull out props for younger children to climb on – chairs, a rocking horse, or a toy car for example.

Kids photoshoot Dorset

Toys such as teddies and softballs are also good to distract a reluctant child.

If outdoors, encourage them to find sticks or leaves, and run around for a while to burn off some energy before you attempt to take their portrait.

Baby photographer Dorset

3. Make them laugh

If a young child is refusing to look at the camera or, worse, is crying or having a tantrum, I sing!

A quick rendition of ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’ or ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’ usually induces a smile. Or at least a cursory glance.

And that’s despite my terrible singing voice!

Noisy toys – things that squeak, rattle or jingle – also work well to get them, at least, looking in the right direction.

Cute sitting baby girl in wooded bowl

newborn baby

Radio Ga Ga , adventures of a Newborn Baby Photographer

Those of you who’ve met me will know that I’m not someone who craves the limelight, but when I’ve something important to say I’m happy to make my views known. And, yesterday I got to share the important message about safe practice in newborn baby photography when I was interviewed live on BBC Radio Solent and on BBC Radio West Dorset.

It’s something I’ve been talking about a lot on here recently as I believe the safety of the baby MUST come first, and that newborns shouldn’t be put in danger for the sake of a photograph. All safety-trained professional photographers know this of course, but parents using newborn photographers don’t necessarily realise how complex poses are created. So, I wanted to do my bit to increase awareness.


I arrived at the Bournemouth International Centre early yesterday morning and was chaperoned to the unmanned studio based there, shortly afterwards to be linked to Julian Clegg and his team who were broadcasting live from Southampton. Eek! At this point the nerves really set in!

Julian was great though and, after a friendly introduction, gave me five minutes of airtime to discuss how newborn photography can be practiced safely and to explain how posed shots, like the ‘head in hands’ shot is created using digital imagery techniques. The subject sparked a bit of controversy as not everyone is a fan of newborn photography of course but, as I stressed in the interview, I prefer the more natural baby poses myself although am trained and able to safely create the composite images such as the head in hands if a parent requests it.

newborn baby safety

I had a second interview on BBC Radio West Dorset as well, and have also recently been featured in the Bournemouth Daily Echo.

newborn baby

I hope that my small part in spreading awareness about this important issue helps to keep more babies safe during their newborn photoshoots.

Until next time,

Karen x

lucky the duck

Lucky the Duck Newborn Photoshoot

I am always one to take on a new challenge I try to never shy away from tricky photo shoots. Sometimes I get some very strange Newborn photoshoot requests, from weird and wonderful props to can I bring my Duck?!? Well of course I said yes! , and i was delighted to meet lucky the duck our adorable little feathered duckling. This duck is just a fluffy bundle of gorgeousness, i really wanted to keep him or her ( I’m not actually sure!)

Never one to shy away from the challenge I invited Lucky the Duck to the studio in Poole with his grown-up helper 5-month-old Edie. Edie was super cute herself in a fluffy yellow tutu to compliment the duckling’s downy feathers. The pair of them got along just great!

Well, Lucky the newborn Duck just a few days old was a pro….He/she enjoyed their photoshoot especially enjoyed the cuddle with the photographer 😀

lucky the duck

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to photograph this bundle of fluff, so much fun was had when the duck came for its baby photoshoot. I mean how fantastic it is to welcome this cute duckling into the studio. I was quite worried it was going to get really messy but actually, we got away with the minimal mess from the duck and baby. The session took about 30 mins and we made sure the bird wasn’t stressed out at all during the session. In fact, quite the reverse happened! We managed to find some perfect friends for the duckling with the little bath ducks to keep him company, he preferred to cuddle up with me in the barrel of my lens. I wonder if id be allowed to keep him? Im not sure my two dogs would appreciate this fluffy newborn as a friend.

Bye for now

Karen x