October has been the busiest month of the whole year, with so many autumnal family portrait sessions and maternity photoshoots! Everyone imagines that the summer is the busiest time of the year for portrait photography, but far from it. I have a theory that everyone comes back after their summer holidays, realise that another year is zooming by and decide to squeeze in a shoot before the weather turns. It's either that or everyone needs photos for their Christmas cards! There are also the lovely autumnal leaves too of course. What people tend not to realise is that because the days are already shorter, the other advantage of shoots at this time of year (and through the winter months) is that the light is very soft because it is lower in the sky and weaker in strength. It makes for such pretty photos!
We have been particularly lucky this year with a gorgeously sunny and warm October; check out these beautifully backlit pregnancy photos from a shoot in Kensington Gardens.
What to wear for backlit pregnancy photos
Ok, so a sequinned floor-length maxi dress can draw a few curious looks in the park, but it photographs so well! I love how the sequins reflect the light from the water and make everything so sparkly! Generally the rule of thumb is that soft muted colours photograph best for outdoor maternity portraits, as they don’t compete with the natural landscape around the subject, and reflect sunlight more so than dark colours (which absorb light). This is especially relevant for my style of softly backlit photography, which relies on light bouncing around the scene. I deliberately shoot into the sun, creating intentional sunflares and a very flattering luminous light on the skin. Sometimes I also use a reflector to add extra oompf - it’s handy to have my client’s partner hold this for me from time to time! It’s also worth mentioning how wonderful the shimmery eyeshadow looks in these portraits (and the diamonds). These little details really can add so much to a photo.
Maternity photos in Kensington Gardens
I am really starting to love photoshoots in Kensington Gardens and I have done so many sessions there lately. It’s a popular spot, especially for my clients visiting London on vacation. The option to have water in the photos is a real plus, especially in London - and creates such a different clean look to my usual trees and long grass. I love the ripples on the water in the Round Pond in these first few photos. There is the Palace too, and some lovely flower beds full of different colours and textures. Here’s some of my favourite portraits from our session!