I have known this family for a long time and we talked often about booking an outdoor family photo session. They knew it their beautiful daughters were growing up fast and these would make lovely gifts for the grandparents. However, life got in the way and time passed.
But then lockdown happened and we all suddenly had lots of time on our hands, to reflect and decide what is important in our lives.
As the rules of Lockdown were relaxed we decided it was finally time to have that session.
Why book a session?
Lockdown has made us realise that life is short. We continue everyday thinking “I’m going to do that” but then time passes and we don’t get things done.
My dad passed away with me never having photos of my family with him. Back then I dabbled with photography but I never even thought about booking a photo session. I would love to have some photos of us all, with him messing around and making my children laugh.
It’s so easy to capture some of our phones but the quality will never be good enough to put on the wall and most often it doesn’t include the whole family.
I was so pleased to be able capture some photos for the family because it’s about creating memories to look back on.
Outdoor family photo sessions are great because they give children more freedom to run around and be themselves. Being older girls though, this is no longer what you do so for these were happy to sit.
Mum was nervous about the session so it was very important to make her feel comfortable. Like most of us mums, she wasn’t used to having her photo taken and “posing”, so it was all about making her relaxed and offering a couple of tips.
Being a super smiley family it was easy for them all to relax and interact well with each. I absolutely love the end result and it really does show the true relationship that this family has.
The area we used was a gorgeous little space in Southwater and made the perfect backdrop. Outdoor sessions can even be set up in your garden so if this the kind of session you would like please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can do this by cicking HEREand contacting me via my contact form. The page will also provide you with prices and more information about the session.
Can you imagine having this collection of wall art taking pride of place on your wall for years to. It will also be a beautiful pice of art for your children to treasure for years to come.
I can offer gift vouchers in full or towards a session.
Things to do in West Sussex with children – Tilgate Lake
During lockdown, it is so hard to come up with things to do in West Sussex with your children, that
a; aren’t full of other people and
b; don’t cost a fortune.
Tilgate Park and Lake, in Crawley, is fantastic. It is the perfect place to go to, especially for the evening, after a hot day in the sun. It was away from the crowds and a wonderful place for the children to relax and enjoy.
Tilgate Park also has so much to offer . It has a a couple of lakes, large green to play games or picnic, wooded areas, play parks, trim trails, golf course, cycle trails and nature centre. It also has a cafe, restaurant and a Go Ape high ropes course. In the summer it has some fantastic inflatable games plus boating on the lake and in the winter Father Christmas comes to visit. There is so much to see and do, it really is a must if you haven’t been before.
About Tilgate Park.
The address for Tilgate Park is: Tilgate Drive, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 5PQ
There is one free car park near K2 and the rest are paying but procedes from the car parks do go back into the park!
Dogs are allowed in the park but not in the walled garden or nature reserve.
This jetty was perfect for chilling out on but as we arrived a couple of teenage girls, also thought the same.
Unfortunately, for one, she managed to drop her phone through the slats of the jetty, into the water below. As we had fishing nets, we offered to help, also because she was panicking her mum would be really mad at her. We managed to locate the phone and helped to guide her underneath the jetty to pick it out.
I have to say, if this was my daughter, even if the phone had broken, I would’ve been so proud of her! She didn’t hesitate to get down to her swimmer, to enter the water to retrieve the phone. She even went under the jetty where there were all sorts of things lurking.
Having left, to give mum the bad news, we then had the jetty to ourselves. To enjoy the evening. From across the lake we could even hear music, from someones stereo, and the air was so warm, as the sun started to set. It was so peaceful!
Whether you want to walk, cycle or take your scooters Tilgate Park is great for burning of energy with your children. It is also perfect for picnics and playing games on the large green.
All photo sessions are meant to be fun!
A little bit of photobombing while taking some photos.
Family Photo Sessions
If you are interesting in booking a fun, relaxed outdoor photo session, capturing the true personality of your family please visit my Home page by clickingHERE
Family photography after lockdown.. sessions now available as lockdown eases in Southwater, Sussex
Family photography after lockdown is more important than ever. Having been through such a tough few weeks as a family, why not celebrate and book a photo session? We have all come to realise our families are extremely important and sadly during Covid 19 many people lost family members and wished they’d booked that last photo session.
Now that lockdown has eased slightly, I am available for outdoor family photo sessions around Horsham, West Sussex.
My studio space is not suitable for adhering to social distancing safely. So, unless you have a large enough indoor space any session will need to be done outside.
It is still possible however to use backdrop. The headshots below were all taken outside, on the same day, using various backdrops.
Outdoor session venues
There are so many beautiful areas in Sussex! I am happy to travel to your favourite area or can choose a suitable place for you.
Being outside is ideal for families because it enables your children to be free. They are able to be themselves and play during the photo sessions.
Having a long lens means I am able to stay further back from your family. Keeping you safe, at all times. Also allowing you to interact with your children without me getting in the way.
If you would like to know more about a family session please clickHEREto be taken to my family photo page. If you would like to know more about head shots and personal branding please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I book for later in the year?
Yes, I am taking bookings for later in the year, including Christmas and Autumn sessions. I believe Claire Wilders Photography will get extremely busy as families update their photos, so it is important to book sessions as soon as possible. If you are pregnant and wish to book your newborn session, we can discuss the options, so please do get in touch. You will find more information on my newborn photography page HERE
How do we keep safe and are you following guidelines?
I will take all the necessary precautions when taking bookings and during sessions. At the moment only 6 people from different families are allowed to meet so I will adhere to these rules too. You as clients are extremely important to me and I intend to keep you safe. As the numbers ease and we can meet in larger groups, I too will work to this.
10 free activities for children during the holiday
Keeping children busy during the holidays can be so hard. So, I thought I would share a list of 10 free activities for children during the holidays, that I have loved to do with my own.
Children tend to get bored because they don’t know what is available for them to do. As an adult, how many times have you sat doing an activity with your children, they then walk away and you’re still sat there doing it? I know I do.
The following activties can be done with any age group, if they’re bored and you join in with them they will enjoy it.
1. Visit Tilgate Park
Now, anyone that knows me knows I love to visit Tilgate Park and Nature Reservebecause it has so much do. You can walk round the lake, visit the animals, play in the park, go boating on the lake, fishing, cycling, Go Ape and more. The list goes on. Parking is available but it does fill up fast in the summer. There are plenty of toilets plus a cafe in the walled garden and Smith & Western restaurant.
2. Sleep out on the trampoline
I’m not sure who loves this more me or my children. Some parents leave their children to it but this is where I used to get my best nights sleep. Fill the trampoline with blankets, putting some underneath you because it can get chilly in the middle of the night. Add some duvets, pillows and fairy lights then lay back and relax. Eventually, we turn off the fairy lights to enjoy the stars and maybe even a comet or shooting star. In the morning my children then get up and play in the garden, leaving me to sleep! (This never normally happens!)
3. Watch a sunset or star gazing
There are some fantastic places to go in West Sussex for star gazing. It can be done anywhere near your house, as long as there are no lights to stop your night vision. The perfect time is during the no moon phase, as the sky will be at its darkest. It takes about 30 minutes for your night vision to work so keep torches to a minimum but if you do need one try to use one with a red filter. A great website is Go Star Gazing as you can view on a map which local places are good for viewing the stars plus it will tell you which phase the moon is in.
4. The beach
There are so many gorgeous beaches in Sussex. I think my favourite is Goring. It has free parking, two amazing cafes right on the beach (Sea Lane Cafe and the Bluebird Cafe, the latter allows dogs) which are perfect for walking between and has beautiful sunsets.
5. Lancing Sea Front
We love to head over to Lancing in the evenings, as it’s normally quiet and is a great place to take scooters. There is plenty of parking, plus a large green for playing rounders or having a picnic. The The Perch Restaurant is lovely for food or there is a small kiosk next door. The beach itself is stony and there are also toilets nearby.
6. Pond Dipping
This is such a simple activity but one that can entertain children for ages. It doesn’t need to be a large just big enough for a child to use their to see what they can find. Don’t forget to take a tray or bucket to see what you can catch. Please be safe around the water and take care of your children.
7. Cycling along the South Downs Link Path
This is a, mostly, flat route than goes from Guildford to Shoreham. Click the link HEREto view the West Sussex guide to cycling the Path and the various cafes, car parks and local amenities.
8. Den Building
There are so many places to go Den Building. Firstly it can be done indoors or outside. My children love to build a den in the living room and then have a movie and sleepover in it. Great places for den building outside include: Box Hill, St Leonards ForestorLeechpool Woods
9. Shaving foam painting
This is such a fun activity. On a piece of paper, spread some shaving foam across it then add dollops of paint. With a tooth pick you can then draw patterns in the shaving foam and leave it to dry.
10. Fire Pit & S’Mores
What better way to end the day than with a fire pit and S’mores. If you don’t know what S’mores are let me explain. These are originally from America and are made by roasting a marshmallow over the fire then sandwiching it between two Graham Crackers and adding a piece of Hersheys chocolate. A quick way to make them in England is to use marshmallows but then put them between chocolate digestives biscuits. They are so tasty but please take lots of care around the fire.
If you like any of the ideas I have added please let me know, or even tell me if you have any of you own.
Debbie runs her own Women’s Wellness Business, focusing on those approaching or going through the menopause. Providing guidance, health and food tips plus fitness sessions, she really is a wonderful help to her clients. Helping them through what can be a tough time.
Debbie’s head shot and branding session was arranged during lockdown, so it was important to adhere to social distancing. We weren’t allowed to meet indoors, so I met Debbie at her house. She had a fantastic area outside, where we could easily set up for the session.
It was easy to have a range of backdrops and Debbie was able to pop indoors to change her outfits, truly maximising the time.
Your own branding or headshot session
£75 for 3 digital images. Retouched up to 3 times. Extra digital images can be purchased at £50 per image
Together we will discuss the options for your session, whether you would prefer formal or casual images. Head shots or personal branding, to show your business and what you would like included.
Not many of us enjoy being in front of the camera, so, I will work with you to ensure you feel relaxed and get the images that you love. I am happy to continue until you are happy so the session could last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour depending on your goal.
After the session I will then send you the digital images on a private gallery, where you can choose your favourites. We can then discuss any further “touch up” work that you would like.
If you would like to discuss your options for a session please get in touch using the contact form below. Or feel free to call me on 07904 980885.
Contact Claire to chat about a Head Shot/Branding Photo Session
For more information on Claire Wilders Photography please click HERE to head to my homepage.
Fathers Day is coming and we can all agree that 2020 has been a crazy year. When we celebrated the New Year, none of us could’ve imagined that a couple months down the line we’d all be shut indoors, trying to keep our families safe.
Fathers Day Mini Sessions are for that special man in your life. I want to help you remember Lockdown of 2020 and the special times that you had as a family.
This session can be purchased for Fathers Day and used at a later date. I can provide you with a gift voucher to be given on the day and redeemed when lockdown is relaxed even more.
These sessions will be run outside, to ensure you are safe and to maintain a social distance.
If you have a large garden I can run the session from there, or alternatively it will be in a local beauty spot, such as Southwater Country Park. Backdrops can either be natural or I can provide a plain one.
Who can be in the photos?
A maximum of 6 people can be in the session. This can be parents, children, grandparents, cousins, the choice is yours. If you wish to have more people included, please get in touch so that we can discuss the options.
How does the session work?
Prior to your session we will discuss the best place to meet, normally in the Horsham area. The great thing about outdoor sessions are that children tend to be more relaxed. Allowing us to get fun, smiley images.
Clothing plays a large part of the photos, therefore, I will give you some guidance on what to wear. Although, ultimately, as long as you are all comfortable, it really doesn’t matter.
Being relaxed and having fun is definitely a main part of the session, as we really want to capture the love and happiness within your family.
Fathers Day Mini Session
Up to 6 people
Includes a 30 minute photo session
10-20 images to view on a private online gallery
Three free digital images
One 7×5 inch print
Fathers Day Mini Session Plus
Up to 6 people
Includes a 30-45 minute photo session
20-30 digital images to view on a private online gallery
Ten free digital Images
Three prints up the A4 size
Fathers Day Mini Session All Inclusive
Up to 6 people
Includes a 30-45 minute photo session
20-30 digital images to view on a private online gallery
All digital images included
Three prints up to A4 size
PLEASE NOTE: These sessions are only valid until August 31 20120, unless lockdown is extended further.
What happens afterwards?
After the session I will edit your photos and provide you will an online gallery. You will be able to choose your photos from the comfort of your own home, at your own leisure.
I do sell wall art and additional prints if you wish to purchase and photos for gifts.
For more information about Claire Wilders Photography please click HERE or you can email me at email@example.com
Walking at Ditchling Beacon in West Sussex, near Brighton is just beautiful. From the top you have the most amazing views of both the lush green countryside AND of the sea, in the distance. Amongst the green, however, was a tiny splash of red…
Poppies… Seeing the pop of red in a field of green is just wonderful! But I think unfortunately most farmers see them as weeds, so tend to get rid of them. They also don’t like people trampling over their crops to get to them, which is probably another reason. I decided to take the dog for a walk around Ditchling to see what I could photograph. Being a beautiful afternoon, I wasn’t disappointed!
These cows were so cheeky! I was following a footpath along the top and either side of the path were cow fields. As I walked along they came running up to me. Thankfully, there was a very strong fence between me and them, as they seemed quite keen to get close. I did love the one of them all walking together, it made me wonder where they were off to. Once I got to the end, though, I needed to go through their field, so decided to head back, as I didn’t want them coming near me or the dog. I’d love to know if anyone has walked though this field and whether the cows tend to stay away.
There is a car park near here, at Stamner Lodge, which is only open from 9-5pm. From here there are lots of lovely footpaths, so please do stick to them and do not cut across farmers fields. The fields also have cows in them, so do take care. If you are walking towards the poppy field please only use the footpaths and remember these crops ARE a farmers livelihood.
Meeting a lovely couple and offering to capture some photos of their bump.
When I arrived at the field there was a lovely couple taking photos. The lady was expecting a baby, so I offered to take a couple of photos of them, together. Due to lockdown, I kept my distance as all times. When I got home I then emailed them their photos as a reminder of their evening together.
If you walking around Ditchling Beacon, I would love to know your favourite walk and what you like to photograph, using the comments below.
Feel free to contact me using the contact form below or pop over to my maternityphotography page for more infomation. For anything else head to my main page, by clicking here.
Why did we decide to run 5km for the NHS during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Running 5km for NHS was our way of saying THANK YOU because during Lockdown I feel very guilty but privileged to able to stay at home, safe, with my children.
Unable to work, as a non essential business, this to is a small price to pay. At home I am able to spend time with my children: having fun, homeschooling and teaching them life skills. All the while, others are out there risking themselves everyday and then coming home to their family….Still trying to keep everyone safe!
Getting fitter during Lockdown.
A few times a week I have been able to get out for a run. Away from others and slowly building up my fitness. Something that lots of NHS workers have probably been unable to do, during this troubling time.
My children have been spent days with me, as a family: playing on the trampoline, cooking, taking the dog for walk; enjoying carefree days.
Saying thanks to the NHS.
My daughters football team, Southwater Royals Girls Under 13, challenged the girls to run 5km for NHS. So I decided my two children should attempt that challenge.
Having just built up to 5km myself, I told them we would just take it slowly, as neither of them had run that far before and nor had they done any training for it! Although as children they are constantly on the move. My daughter also loves athletics so she did have a head start in fitness. All because other people out there are working VERY hard to keep us safe.
The 5km run for the NHS
We set off early morning and both children were quite excited. The start was tough because it took a little while to warm up and set our pace.
Before long we all settled into a good pace and we were all smiling and chatting. The route we did was great because it had 4 sections, which meant you felt like to were checking off the miles pretty quickly. It was also through the beautiful countryside around Southwater so really nice and peaceful!
The final leg is where things got a bit harder but both children were still brilliant. Preferring to sprint, my daughter would run off and then went for us to catch up. Whereas my son, who doesn’t normally run took the slow and steady option. I was amazed by his determination because he didn’t walk even when he was really tired!
What amazes me most is how normal they both looked when we finished. I’m really proud of them both because they took the challenge on without any complaints and it was a brilliant thing to do as a family. If anyone would like to give a donation to the NHS please click 5k for NHS
If you would like to find out more information about Claire Wilders Photography and the services that we offer please click here
If you wish to keep up to date with future offers and information you can also like my Facebook page by clicking Claire Wilders Photography
Photographing your own baby at home can be really tricky. During Lockdown photographers aren’t allowed to work, so there is no one available to record these precious moments for you.
TOP TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR BABY AT HOME
When my children were born, I loved photography but I didn’t know much about photographing a new baby. So, the photos I took, although I love them, definitely don’t look as good as I thought they would. As a newborn baby photographer in Southwater near Horsham, I would like to give you share some top tips on how to photograph your own baby during this time. Hopefully you will then have some lovely memories of your baby to look back on. It doesn’t matter what camera or phone you have, the following can be taken on anything.
My first tip for photographing your baby at home is to think about the light. If the light is rubbish the photo will be rubbish.
Firstly, when it comes to light, you do not want it too harsh! Rather than place your baby in full sunlight, find an area where the light is softer. This way the beautiful light falls on your baby because you don’t get the strong shadows. The way to do this is move your baby away for any bright spots, where direct sunlight is hitting it. Imagine you are out in the sun on a cloudless day. On the floor you can see lots of shadows and lots of bright spots. This is the type of light you want to avoid. A cloudy day is much better because the sun is covered by the cloud, so doesn’t cause harsh shadows but a nice soft light. That’s how you want it in your home.
Secondly, you want the light to coming from the head end rather than their feet to the light. An easy way to see this is to get a torch and stand in the dark, in front of mirror. Now turn the torch on and put it under your chin, see how it gives you a really scary look? This is what happens to your baby when the shadows go the wrong way. With faces you do not want the light coming from below! You can see by the catchlight (white bit) in the eyes of the baby below that the light is coming from top left.
2. Positioning your baby
The easiest place to photograph your baby at home is on the bed. Imagine the window is on your side of the bed. To get the best light for you baby, turn them towards the window, so that they are laying 45 degrees to it. Their head should be towards your pillow and their feet towards your partners feet end of the bed. This was they are getting lovely light going across their face. When taking the photo tilt your camera slightly, so that the babies head is higher that its legs or at least level. If you have the head lower that the bottom in your photo, it feels like your baby is falling down. Using blankets and little scarves to wrap your little one will make them feel secure and stops them wriggling quite so much. Also stand slightly towards their head end, as you don’t want to be looking up their nostrils or at their private bits.
Ensure that your baby is well fed and that the session fits in with their schedule. Ideally, you need them to be asleep, or at least very relaxed. You are lucky that you are photographing your baby at home so you can easily time it so they are asleep. It is also important that the room you are using is nice and warm. Ensure you also have books or things to do for siblings because they may want to become involved. Changing mats are also a great place to photograph your little one as these can be easily moved around the room to make use of the best light. Just make sure someone else is near to help keep your baby safe.
4. What to photograph
Getting close ups of your new baby are great for capturing their tiny features. Using items to show perspective are perfect, such as the wedding rings, shown below.
You can straight away see how small the features are because bands fit easily on the the babies tiny toes. Ensure the features are in focus when you take photo and if you’re zooming in be sure to keep your camera very still.
Close ups make wonder collages too and with phone editing software such a Snapseed and collage software such as Moldiv everything is so much easier.
siblings love to get involved, whereas others hate it. By laying your baby on the bed with a lovely fluffy blanket and some pillows underneath, it is an easy way to get brothers and sisters involved. They can either just sit near the baby or lay down with them and give some gentle kisses. When kissing the baby I tell siblings to give really slow kisses. That way you have time to capture it. Otherwise they normally give the fastest kiss ever and you miss it! Another tip is to wrap your baby in a blanket, so that arms and legs aren’t flailing all over the place and they feel secure. Always ensure that another adult is on hand to assist with the baby while you take the photo. Children do suddenly get bored and offload baby.
Using hats, blankets, wraps and toys are a great way to record gifts that you have been given and provide you with additional ways to capture photos of your baby. By using clothing that fits properly means you get the true perspective of how tiny your baby is. Wraps or scarves are a great way to secure baby or an easy way to hide their bits, while making them look even more adorable.
Good luck in capturing your own memories. During a time when photographers aren’t available I hope these tips help you. If you do manage to capture any photos, feel free to share them on my Facebook page If you would rather not photograph your baby at home and would prefer to book a session. Feel free to pop over to my Newborn Section for more information. Due to current Lockdown we do not know when Claire Wilders Photography will able open for newborn sessions but feel free to get in touch. We can then get you in as soon as possible.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN DIY CANVAS PHOTOGRAPHY BACKDROP
Being on lockdown and having watched many photography training videos I decided to attempt to paint my own DIY canvas photography backdrop.
Photography requires lots of equipment to keep photos current but none of this equipment is cheap. However, there are lots of ways that props can be made on a budget so I thought I would have a go at one. A new backdrop.
Paint of your choice – being on lockdown I couldn’t get to the shops and because I wanted it beige or brown I used some old fence paint. I used Ronseal One Coat in dark oak matt because that is all I had. I also used some old white matt emulsion.
A 12ft x9ft canvas backdrop. Click HERE to visit Amazon where I bought the backdrop
A fluffy roller. Click HERE to see which roller I bought.
Old trampoline cover to lay on the floor to stop it staining the grass. Tarpaulin or plastic sheets could also be used.
Being impatient when it comes to DIY I decided to just wing it! I laid the canvas on an old trampoline cover, so that the paint didn’t wreck the grass. I had heard of people priming the canvas or buying a primed one but I didn’t do either. Others had also pinned their canvas to the ground but I didn’t do this either. I wanted to use the texture and bumpiness of the grass to help me when adding texture to the canvas.
With the paint, I didn’t have a plan because again I wanted it to be random. Using a roller was easier because you could add a decent amount of paint to the canvas and then spread it around at random.
Mixing The Paint
To start off I added white emulsion to the paint tray and then added a small amount of fence paint so that its wasn’t too dark, as I wanted the centre to be lighter than the outsides. I also added a small amount of water to thin the paint down a bit. A few people have added fabric softer to the paint, so that the canvas is more supple at the end. I forgot to do this but the crustier feel doesn’t bother me. To paint the canvas I started in the middle but just slapped the paint on and continued all over the place until I emptied the tray.
Each time I filled the tray, the mixture got darker plus the paint wasn’t always mix it properly. Meaning there was bits of dark and light paint all over the canvas, to add to the texture. As it dried I did make certain areas a bit darker, as the white came through as it dried. Although this is better than the canvas coming out too dark. This day was also really warm so the canvas did dry quickly.
The Finished Product
As a first attempt I was really pleased with this canvas, especially as it only cost me the price of a backdrop. Which was £21. I did cut the backdrop down a bit as it was rather large for my space but the length is brilliant. There is a seem in the middle but with a wide aperture you can’t see it. Plus if you cut it down to make smaller backdrops, this won’t be an issue. TOP TIP… make sure you have the seam underneath.. you’ll notice mine is on the backdrop side! Something I didn’t think about in my haste to start painting.
I’m really pleased with the finished product. It cost me a day out of my time and was pretty easy to do. Both emulsion and fence paint seemed to work okay and I really like the texture it gives in both colour and black and white. Neither of these photos were taken with studio lights, the canvas was hung up and I took a quick photo of my son looking out of the window. Am I going to paint more? YES! Watch this space!!
If you’d like to see this backdrop in use during your photo session please visit my Families session to view details.