Spring can’t arrive soon enough! As the season of new beginnings and growth, it’s a wonderful time to capture memories with your loved ones. As a West London Family Photographer, Chiswick House is one of my favourite locations and last May, I spent the most wonderful morning photographing a young family here.
A little bit about the venue…
Chiswick House is an 18th-century Palladian villa located in Chiswick in West London. Designed by the architect Lord Burlington, the house is considered one of the finest examples of Palladian architecture in the country. The building features a central dome, grand portico, and elegant interiors with ornate plasterwork and frescoes. The surrounding gardens, which were designed by William Kent, are also notable for their classical and English landscaping – a perfect combination for a beautiful family photoshoot.
Chiswick House is open to the public and hosts various events and exhibitions, and has plenty to offer for families including a playground, pond and cafe. It has a really grand but still relaxed vibe as a place and there are plenty of things for little ones to explore.
4 Tips for your own West London Family Photoshoot
As you plan your own family photoshoot in London, read on below for 4 tips for family photography in spring to help you prepare and make the most of the experience.
#1: Choose the right location for your West London family photoshoot
London is full of stunning locations that are perfect for family photoshoots. Other than Chiswick House, some of my personal favourites for outdoor photoshoots are Kensington Gardens (think cherry blossoms!), the Italian Gardens in Hyde Park, Holland Park and Hamstead Heath. Consider the look and feel you want for your photos and choose a location that will complement your family’s personalities and preferences.
Pick somewhere that is meaningful to you – it might not be one of the above, but your local garden square which will make for memorable and emotive photos. As your West London family photographer, I am always happy to make recommendations depending on your preferences and location.
# 2: Make the most of the soft light
As your West London Family Photographer, I enjoy shooting in spring. Spring brings with it a change in the light, with slightly longer days and milder temperatures. I love the soft light in the morning which can produce stunning, romantic photos that truly capture the essence of the season. The shoot above was around 10am which tends to work well with littles but I’m always flexible around your schedule to find the best time for our family photoshoot.
Also in terms of timing, pick something that works well for your littles. I always recommend the mornings around 9am or 10am which usually doesn’t conflict with nap or feeding times and the light is beautiful. Another amazing time is of course golden hour closer to sunset, when the light is particularly warm and we can get a beautiful glow in our images. Keeping the kids up past bedtime might not be your preference (trust me, I’m a routine person too!) but if you want to make one exception, this could be it as golden hour makes for truly beautiful images (and an exciting evening out as a family!).
# 3: Plan your outfits for your West London family photoshoot
Choosing outfits that complement each other and the season will make a huge impact on the final result of your photos. Take advantage of the warmer weather and opt for lighter colours, such as natural tones and pastels. When it’s still a little chilly, bring some knits which add interesting textures in the images. I love providing styling advice ahead of any family photoshoot and am always on hand for any questions. You can also check out another blog post I wrote on what to wear for your family photoshoot.
Naturally, the background will be more busy outside with the foliage and greenery you’ll be surrounded by. I would therefore recommend wearing something quite neutral or plain, rather than patterns (which is my general recommendation anyway but especially outdoors). Patterns and bright colours can just be a little bit distracting outdoors, but if you feel these truly represent you as a family then let’s chat and find an option that you love.
# 4: Be flexible
Spring weather in London can be so unpredictable. I will continuously check the weather forecast ahead of our shoot, but if it’s raining, we will postpone. On the other hand, don’t worry if it’s overcast. Many families worry that if there isn’t loads of direct sunlight, the photos won’t look nice. In fact, it is quite the opposite as too much sunlight can make the photos look more washed out, will cast lots of shadows on your faces and you’ll be squinting in the bright light. If indeed we have a gloriously sunny day, more often than not I will position you under some trees or find some other shade to make the light softer and more flattering.
If it does rain on the day, we can either find an alternative location (for example, Fulham Palace has a beautiful park but also a lovely indoors atmosphere) or I will reschedule to another date that suits you. As I only work with a handful of families per month, we can usually find another suitable day quite easily and ensure you will receive the photos you love!
I hope you enjoyed these 4 tips for family photography. I would love to talk to you and plan your ideal London family photoshoot. Get in touch and we’ll capture some memories together.
I am a West London Family photographer specialising in editorial style maternity, baby & toddler, and family photography. I cover Central and West London, such as Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth, Battersea, Clapham, Richmond, Chiswick, Westminster, Mayfair and Notting Hill. Please do still get in touch if you live outside of these areas but would be interested in a family photoshoot together. Not quite ready to book? Follow me on Instagram and let’s stay in touch.