The 5 Best Times for a Portrait Session

In the past week, I've been asked a few times when the best time is to have a Family Portrait Session.

Portrait Sessions are indeed a luxury, something that you may only have once every couple of years. So I've been thinking about the times when photography has been precious to me.

Here are my thoughts, originally written a couple of years ago, but still so valid now!

1. A Little Person's BIG Milestone

For our little ones, starting school is a big deal. And, hey, it’s an absolute rollercoaster of emotions for us parents too. Pride at how grown up they are, excitement for them to be learning about the real world from people other than us, and that feeling that time is passing by waaaay to quickly! My little B starts big school this September, and I’m already feeling all of those, plus the Mummy guilt of not making the most of every afternoon with him. The summer before their first day is the time that we truly want to remember forever, and to look back on fondly when they’re suddenly so big. This is a photograph of the two of us taken my Paul Wilkinson, and one that I treasure.

2. An Important Anniversary

I look back on our Wedding Day with such amazing memories, and we’re lucky enough to have a gorgeous luxury album to look through (thank you to our amazing photographer Anna Rosell for teaching us that value of albums! This is one the photos she took on the day) We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last year, and life being busy we celebrated with a simple meal out (and a few cocktails of course!). But thinking back now, I wish we’d had a Family Portrait Session to mark the occasion. We did spend a lot on our wedding photography and gorgeous album, something that I feel was absolutely money well spent, but after the wedding, when else in life do you stop time for a day in that same way, and say ‘This is us?’ 10 years on, an album of us as a family right now seems a fabulous update to our story, so we’re going to have a family portrait session later on this year (even if it is a bit late!).

3. A Family Reunion

Last October, my husband’s brother and sister in law came over to visit us from Australia. They emigrated with their 2 children the day before O was born in 2012, and so our boys had never met their cousins. It was a magical time when we all got together, with Andy’s parents too, and so I had to make sure we captured that moment. This photo is certainly not one of my best, taken with my camera balanced on a bar stool, but it is one of our most precious photographs now, especially as Andy’s parents are also moving over to Australia later this year. For our boys, this photograph is a big part of their story.

4. Your Favourite Time of Year

We’re so blessed to have so many gorgeous places around us that we can visit and shoot at. Mayfield Lavender is one of those amazing places with stunning colours, and we’re very lucky that Brendan and Lorna let us use their gorgeous farm as our backdrop during June and July. Boxhill is another stunning venue, with views overlooking the towns and villages underneath the hill itself. During the spring, new spring flowers are popping up all over the woodland, and in the autumn the colours are truly glorious. And it’s quite handy for a cuppa and a slice of delicious cake too! And don’t forget the gorgeous daffodils and bluebells that start to appear in own gardens and local parks from February. Using the scenery around us we can create some wonderful backdrops for your family portraits, using colour and textures to really bring your photographs alive.

5. Just Because…

Often we look for reasons to do something, to justify why we should go somewhere, or buy something, and I don’t know about you but I spend so long trying to decide I often don’t get around to actually doing it! It took us almost 3 years to finally decide to take the boys to Disneyland Paris, and I’m so glad we did, as it was the best family holiday we’ve ever had. If it’s not something we actually need, it’s easy to dismiss it, but sometimes, when something we've wanted for a while will also give us pleasure for years to come, actually committing to it and spending the money feels wonderful too.

You'll never regret photographs you've had taken, just the ones you didn't.

So there are my top 5 reasons for having a Portrait Session, I’d love to hear your reasons too!

With Love,

Rachel x

Ps. If you have enjoyed my blog, I'd love you to head over and follow me on Facebook or Instagram to follow my story and my work!

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Rachel Thornhill ABIPP ASWPP LMPA  - Beautiful story-telling photography and stunning wall art for fun loving people, Rachel is an award-winning professional portrait Photographer based in Lower Kingswood / Tadworth, Surrey, UK.    Tel: +44 (0)1737 244745     

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