"Behind the scenes" - Light beats Location

People often remark about what beautiful locations I use to photograph the children and families I work with.  I've photographed my subjects in some truly stunning homes and gardens which provide a perfect backdrop.... BUT, this post is all about showing you the perfect location is not always necessary.  The right light, however is a MUST.  I want to show you behind the scenes of some of my photographs...  


This portrait of my daughter was taken on my driveway around 7.30pm.  I stood her on a stepladder so she was standing almost inside the blue flowering shrub.  When taken from the right angle with the sun coming in from behind, and using the correct framing, you can't see the rest of her surroundings.

This family shoot took place on a wet wild day in March.  At one point during the session, it started raining quite heavily.  I asked the family sit together on a small stool inside their woodshed whilst I pulled on my rain gear! I stood outside and was able to get this great shot of them with the dark logs piled high behind them and beautifully front-lit faces.  

This was a styled 'fine art' image I entered for a competition.  It won a bronze bar from The Guild of Photographers!  I knew I wanted a colourful background to emphasise the red book so the pink outbuilding at the model's home was the perfect choice.  The peeling paint, moss and creeping ivy provided the texture I wanted too!

My son often rides his bike around this car park near us when its not being used.  There are old crates, overhead power cables and lots of stinging nettles.  I took this shot of him here one evening around 7.00pm.  He is sitting on the wood you can see in the foreground having a break from his bike, and the sun is setting behind him.

I walk past these beautiful hollyhocks most days with my dog and an idea about a picture came to mind.  One night when the sun was setting and the light was gorgeous, I grabbed my daughter to take this beautiful portrait of her sniffing the pink flowers.

Whilst bluebell woods and poppy fields provide perfect picturesque backdrops, they are certainly not necessary to create beautiful family portraits.  Finding pretty light and working creatively with the location you have can produce stunning results.

Louisa Williams is a family portrait photographer based near Newmarket in Suffolk, covering Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding areas.  You can see more of her current work and enquire about commissions here and can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.