It’s always a treat to photograph clients at Kew Gardens - there is so much variety and beautiful spots for family portraits all throughout the grounds and through the year. I am a member there and go all the time both for work and otherwise! I am always seeing new areas I want to use for my shoots - at the moment there are gorgeous peonies and alliums in bloom. This family however were clear that they wanted to make the most of the cherry blossoms for their session and so I had my eye out through April and early May for the best locations. In West London, Kew is one of my favourite spots for cherry blossom and we managed to time it perfectly, both with the amazing weather and the blossom being in full bloom! It doesn’t last long, especially if there is heavy rain or wind around, so it’s important to get booked in early for these particular outdoor photoshoots. It makes the prettiest backdrop!
Professional family photos - what time of day?
I am always asked what time of day is best for family portraits. Ideally it is early in the morning (around 8am), or late in the afternoon/early evening. However, I appreciate that children's nap times will often get in the way of these times; it’s definitely more important to have a rested happy baby! This photoshoot was done at around 11-12pm on a hot sunny day. As any photographer will tell you, this time of day is generally to be avoided, because of the harsh overhead sunlight, which creates heavy shadows in the eye sockets and causes people to squint. However, the secret here is to photograph your subjects in the shade, which will be full of soft, luminous light reflected in from the non-shaded areas. You can see in the photos below just how soft and flattering this light is - even in the heavy shade of some of Kew’s large trees. This type of lighting would never work on a cloudy day, but on a bright sunny day at noon it is just perfect!
Professional family portraits
This family was a joy to photograph - I love how involved the dad is here and how many natural, genuine expressions we captured. Here’s some of my favourite photos from our shoot.