Anastasia & Josie’s Shoot – Family Photography Derby

Anastasia & Josie’s Shoot – Family Photography Derby

Josie & Anastasia’s Natural Family Photography Shoot in Derby

Most of the people who come to me looking for a family photoshoot are mums with small kids. While I love shooting tiny children, I also love photographing adults. If wedding photography has taught me anything, it’s how to shoot in a way that captures the different bonds we have with people once we’re adults.

Anastasia contacted me about the possibility of getting some natural photographs with her sister. We emailed back and forth and she mentioned that she’s a proper adult with a proper job – and her sister is 13 years younger. I asked what kind of stuff they like to get up to, and then decided the best thing to do would be to wait until I met them so I could figure out what their bond is really like, rather than coming to the session with loads of wrong assumptions and being totally awkward.

These two ladies are so stunning. Josie’s a total boss at cheerleading, so we let her play around. They fed the ducks, laughed a lot and pranced around like sisters generally do. Their bond reminded me of my older sister and I – the banter and humour was just lovely. 

The girls’ parents dedicated a tree by the lake to their grandfather when he passed away. Its leaves were a bright, burning red colour, so we made sure to incorporate it in their photos. Their parents stood back and let us get on with things until we were almost done, then we did some more formal style group shots. 

I love the personality of this gallery, and the depiction of Josie and Anastasia’s bond. After I delivered their gallery, Anastasia emailed me saying “we love them so much! It’s exactly what we wanted!” and I couldn’t have asked for more.


I love the personality of this gallery, and the depiction of Josie and Anastasia’s bond. After I delivered their gallery, Anastasia emailed me saying “we love them so much! It’s exactly what we wanted!” and I couldn’t have asked for more.

Festival Wedding Photography Shoot Day

Festival Wedding Photography Shoot Day

As a self-employed wedding photographer I can get pretty lonely. I mostly use my kitchen to work in (a dangerous move when that’s where you keep the food). It’s handy having a kettle nearby, but the banter leaves something to be desired. Sometimes I miss the days of working in a busy wine shop, but then I realise how freaking awesome it is to make a living doing something you love.


But I digress…


I’ve talked before about how I started out as a family photographer, but that wedding photography is where my heart is. I’m always on the look out for opportunities to shoot with others, make links and get some primo shooting experience. A styled shoot ticks so many boxes!


When I saw that Jo and Jenny from The Alternatives had put together a double shoot in a single day at Jervaulx Abbey, I just knew I had to be there. I’ll blog part two (a Grecian Gardens theme – S W O O N) next week, but first, let me tell you all about part one.

Jervaulx Abbey


Jervaulx was built in 1156. You can imagine what’s left – impressions of an important building constructed of local stone, with arches and trees all over the grounds. Beside the ruins of the abbey is a large open space, with sheep grazing among and gently undulating hillside. Romantic as F.

The perfect setting for a yurt, decorated with florals and greenery, in a festival wedding style with a little ceremony space at the front. You can just imagine having an epic party right here!

A yurt and a small ceremony space set up for a festival style wedding in the grounds of an abbey in Yorkshire

The Details

One of the reasons weddings can take such a lot of time to put together is because you can really go to town on the details. Happily, we had a crack team of kickass wedding suppliers who were all pitching in and making this wedding shoot look utterly amazing. The full list of suppliers is included at the end of this post.

Here’s some of their finest work.

A wedding photograph of an alternative couple relaxing and holding each other as they sit side by side in their yurt

Rory And Becky


Both the couples modelling for us during the shoot day are real couples. Rory and Becky here hail from Derbyshire too (all the best folks do, duck). They have no modelling experience, like most people who are getting married and I thought they just oozed cool from the moment I met them.

Their connection as a couple was incredible. How many couples do you know who could gaze lovingly at each other for a whole day?! During a normal wedding I like to whisk the happy couple off for 20 minutes to nail their couples portraits, so this was such a treat.

The Couples Portraits

(AKA The Best Bit Of The Wedding Photography)

Kickass Suppliers

This shoot wouldn’t have been possible without this amazing team of inspiring vendors. They’re all super duper friendly and talented. All links are clicky, so if you’re looking for that certain something for your wedding I’m sure they’d love to hear from you.


Models – Becky & Rory

Dress – Meggie & Ma

Flowers – All Bunched Up x Emily The Florist

Ribbons – Bertie & Fred

Cake – Where The Ribbon Ends

Stationery – Photopress 

Venue – Jervaulx Abbey

Make Up – Lucy Hart Makeup Artist

Glitter Make Up – Lucy Hart x The Gypsy Shrine

Hair – Saskia Borrans

Ice Cream – Brymor Ice Cream

Styling – Emily K Weddings

Shooting With – The Alternatives


4 Ways to Choose an Epic Location for Your Family Photoshoot

4 Ways to Choose an Epic Location for Your Family Photoshoot

Not so long ago, if you wanted family photographs you’d call a photographer, ask to see their printed portfolio and then schlep out to their studio for a session almost entirely designed by them. Thank god the world is a different place now. Family photography has been totally up-ended, so now your photoshoot can focus on you.

But when the world is such an awesome playground, how do you choose just one location? You don’t need to be overwhelmed by the options open to you.

My handy guide to choosing a family photoshoot location that works for you is here to save the day!

Take a look at these images. Which draws you in more?

Do you love those dreamy photos of perfect children posing-but-looking-natural in a field, with the background blurred “just so”? These photos are really beautiful, it’s undeniable. They tend to happen during golden hour, around dusk. Fields and woodland are popular.

image from a family photoshoot of a mother and her toddler hugging and touching noses in autumnal woodland
black and white photo of a man cradling his baby girl at home during a documentary style family photoshoot

Or you might prefer an alternative style. The current minimalist, artsy trend for documentary style photographs works amazingly well for kids. Unlike the other photo, family photography in this style doesn’t involve posing, and the background is more of a focus.

Whichever of these photos you prefer, you still have the agony of choice over where to have your shoot. It’s not as straightforward as outdoor photoshoot = dreamy, posed moments and at home = more candid.

photograph of a small boy holding his mother's hand during a family photoshoot at crich tramway museum

These are the other things you need to bear in mind when picking a location for your family photoshoot.

How old your kids are

If your kid(s) are really small, then taking them to a cliff edge in the Peak District isn’t going to be the most relaxing time you’ve ever spent together.

Equally, if your kids are old enough to understand the risks of such a location, and they’d get all “ugh Muuuum” at being made to stand around a tree for 10 minutes, you might want to consider somewhere more exciting.

Older children like to interact with their environment in a more adventurous way. They climb trees and rocks, have races and go mad.

Little kids are generally happy anywhere, but you’ll require a stiff drink if you take them somewhere riskier.

photograph of a boy on his bed as his mother tickles him during a family photoshoot

Do you want to be directed, or would you rather play?

I hate having my photograph taken. I hate standing around and feeling like I have to smile. Every adult I’ve ever photographed has said it, and I feel it too!

Having someone direct you can really help if you’re not sure where to put yourselves, how to stand etc. But playing is amazing too. You can have both, but whichever one you choose requires a level of trust between you and the photographer.

If you opt to pose then be patient with your children. If you opt for a documentary flow then make sure you and the photographer properly plan the session, otherwise there’ll be nothing to take photos of.

What you all like to do

Do you like to discover new places and explore your surroundings?

Do you like to take the dog out for a big adventure every weekend?

Would you rather stay at home?

There’s just no point choosing a location that you can’t stand. So pick one you love! It can be your home, and it can be somewhere beautiful. If you ask nicely, it can even be both.

wide candid shot of a family in front of a snowy hilly landscape during a family photoshoot in the peak district
black and white photography of a child hugging her mother as her father holds a baby and smiles in the background - family photoshoot derbyshire

Does the location need to be significant?

Sometimes a family just wants to hang out at home. Sometimes they want an experience, something more adventurous where the kids can run around and explore. Some families want to do something, and have it be documented.

All these things are a good way to get natural, documentary style family photographs, which incorporates the setting.

Alternatively, if you’re after a more posed look then the location is not so significant. A local woodland or field with wildflowers is as good a choice as any.

photograph of a young boy with curly hair popping bubbles outdoors during a family photoshoot in nottingham
photograph of a mother throwing and catching her toddler in the air during a family photoshoot in derbyshire
image from a family photoshoot in which a father and son stand in front of a lake

If your kids are high energy explorers, you might want to consider having your family photography session outdoors. There are so many inspiring locations on your doorstep! A good photographer will take their ages and interests into account, and discuss all of this with you.

Alternatively, if your kids are young and prone to falling off cliffs, you can totally hang out at home and still capture some pretty awesome memories.

image from a family photoshoot as a boy plays with a foam water pistol at a local splashpad

The third option is always worth exploring – do both! Each family is different, I approach all of them with a totally open mind.

I love going on adventures, but I also love hanging out at home with a cup of tea and a few books, and savouring all those delicious cuddles with my kids before they grow up and stop thinking I’m cool.

If that’s you, then just say so. Choose home and adventure!

If you’re thinking about having a family photoshoot but would like to learn a bit more about it, take a look at my family FAQs page. I’m happy to go pretty much anywhere for family sessions, and design them around each family’s needs.


Interested in booking a family photoshoot? You can email me at hello@carolinegoosey.com to chat about everything you want.

A Morning With the Redferns – Natural Baby Photography Derby

A Morning With the Redferns – Natural Baby Photography Derby

As soon as I spoke with Natasha on the phone I knew that this would be a gorgeous session. She described her home to me, her family and what they liked to do, and we just clicked straightaway. I could tell she was a chilled out person, and a lovely mother to her six month old little girl. In fact the very first thing she told me was that she and her husband were “all for natural, unforced photographs”. I couldn’t ask for more than that!

Session day rolled around, and we were blessed with beautiful weather. We started off indoors, letting the baby play with some of her toys. As she was only just six months, and in a good mood, we were able to take everything at a comfortable pace.

a mother smile as she holds her baby girl up in the air in front of a gallery wall in their home - baby photography derby
a black and white image of a father holding his baby girl on his hip in a light and airy open plan kitchen during a baby photography session in Derby

Being a mum myself, I know how tricky it can be to balance the needs of a baby with a scheduled appointment, which is a major factor in why I visit families in their homes for sessions. Natasha and I had already discussed this, and she knew that I wouldn’t mind if she needed to stop and feed, change or cuddle the baby. As it happened, feeding and changing weren’t needed during their photoshoot, but there were plenty of cuddles with both parents.

The sun was high in the sky, and the light poured in through the patio doors. After a while we ventured outside into their garden. After such a long winter it was good to be back outside, feeling the warmth on my skin.

As with so many families I photograph, Natasha and Paul were a little uneasy about being in front of the camera. Over time I decided to stop posing people, or telling them to simply “act natural” because I totally get this feeling. I hate having my photo taken too! Instead, I like to find the best light for taking photos, and then set up a way for families to sit or stand together, and give them time to relax into it. As a result, my family photography sessions are really chilled out, and natural.

image of a family with a six month old baby in their home - baby photography derby
black and white image of two parents and their baby girl smiling as they play together - baby photography debry
close up photograph of a baby's feet as her parents hold her in dappled shade - baby photography derby
black and white photograph of a mother smiling at her baby girl - baby photography derby
colourful photograph of two parents at home with their baby in front of a purple wall - baby photography derby
unposed photograph of a father holding his baby daughter outside in front of trees - baby photography derby
black and white photograph of a father holding his baby girl with his head against hers - baby photography derby

I had a lovely morning with Natasha, Paul and Ella. If you’re looking for natural family or baby photography in Derby and the surrounding areas, then drop me an email or check out my family photography page for more info.

Don’t fall in! A relaxed family photography session at Shipley Park, Heanor | Family Photoshoot Derbyshire

Don’t fall in! A relaxed family photography session at Shipley Park, Heanor | Family Photoshoot Derbyshire

Don't fall in! A family photoshoot in Derbyshire.

March 25th, 9.55am. Slightly knackered from moving to BST and forgetting to prep the kids. My phone buzzes. I pick it up with a twinge of panic – I’m due to photograph a family late on in the afternoon, and I always worry that they’ll need to cancel. But no. It’s a simple question:


Lemon meringue, or chocolate brownie?


Chocolate brownie, obvsiously! I practically yell it into my phone, perplexed at what this might mean. Are they testing me? Could they be so generous to offer dessert to a person they’ve never met?

Hours later, intrigued and excited, I packed up my gear and drove a few miles in the early spring sunshine to meet Sam and Natalia, and their children, Alisha and Caspar.

I’d already chatted to Sam about what they were after and how to craft my family photography service to work for their family. He explained that the kids were very young, and wouldn’t be able to really be doing their own thing in the woods. They mainly wanted a few photos they could keep forever that captured their family bond in an authentic way.

I was instantly happy to meet this family – a funny dad, a lovely mum, and two awesome little kids to keep me on my toes. We’d decided to have a simple walk around at Shipley Country Park in Heanor, so that the action and the kids personalities could just unfold and I could observe.

Alisha and Caspar really are little kids. They’re both toddlers, with little over a year between them, and as always with such families, I was completely in awe of just how stress free Sam and Natalia were. I was so pleased to see that they were wearing the sort of clothes they’d usually wear – this is always a great indication for me that a family is comfortable.

Alisha has to be one of the prettiest toddlers I’ve ever met. Her piercing blue eyes seem to look right into you, weighing you up before she warms to you and rewards you with a huge grin. Once we walked down near the lake, Caspar was in his element! He was so happy to skim stones and just be near the water. I love seeing kids out enjoying nature, learning and delighting in what they find.

The sun came out as our session neared its end, and no one fell in the lake. Sam handed me a disgustingly humungous chocolate brownie flavour Easter egg, and all felt good.

Are you looking for a family photoshoot in Derbyshire or the surrounding areas? I’m currently taking bookings from May onwards. Email me at hello@carolinegoosey.com or click here to fill in the enquiry form.

7 Must-Have Baby Items for Style-Conscious New Mums

7 Must-Have Baby Items for Style-Conscious New Mums

Starting a family is a whirlwind adventure. But just like any adventure, the path is beset with obstacles to overcome. One of the first hurdles we encounter as new parents is bringing a baby home. What are the must-have baby items that will make this transition easier? What do they need? What can you not live without?

 Go on any parenting blog or forum and you’ll get a shopping list as long as your arm, and the truth is that there’s a lot you really don’t need – and even less that you’ll actually like.

While in so many ways we have it easier than our parents, we are also bombarded by so many adverts telling us we need the latest shiny bit plastic or our babies will never thrive. It can expensive and overwhelming when you don’t know what you need or what you’ll really use – and it’s even harder when you just don’t like much of what’s available in the traditional baby stores.

I feel your pain.

I’ve scoured the web to find practical items that you and your baby will love, without compromising on style. So ditch the list of clashing, colourful plastic gear, and find something you love instead.

7 Must-Have Baby Items to Add To Your Shopping List

1. A Different Kind of Changing Bag, by Tiba+Marl

Tiba + Marl was created in 2015 exactly for people like you. Two mums, Anna and Lydia, realised there were almost no options for cool, functional changing bags. So they created Tiba+Marl!

The Miller backpack is a utilitarian, unisex design that makes it easy to transport all the things you and your kid need for a day out – without compromising on style. And it can be wiped clean! It’s so useful and good looking that you might find you still use it years after you no longer need a changing bag.


2. Nursing tops you actually want to wear

One of the hardest adjustments to life as an expecting or new mum is the inevitable adaptation to your wardrobe. It feels like every day starts with flinging open the wardrobe in a fit of despair, which invariably remains whenever you try to shop. Until you get online, and dig out the hidden gems.

Your shape is going to be different for a few months at least. And if you’re breastfeeding you need clothing that can easily accommodate this. There are so few shops that sell decent nursing tops that work well as staples items in a capsule wardrobe. These items do exist, but can be hard to find.

If you want to look good and crack on without giving the old boys in Debenhams cafe a fright when your baby is hungry, I recommend Clary and Peg and Isabella Oliver. Dress up, dress down – having a baby doesn’t mean you’re destined to slouch around looking like a sack of spuds!

3. Peepul

Peepul is a brand of children’s peg dolls. Although they’re not suitable for under-3s, these beautiful handmade items are a great decorative addition to a baby’s nursery – especially when they’re customised to include your baby’s name!

They’re superb for the small world, imaginative play that older toddlers love to engage with. Made of FSC Certified beech wood, Kate then paints the dolls by hand at her home in Oxfordshire. She uses non-toxic child friendly paint and toy sealer, so you know you getting real quality that will survive even the dribbliest toddler.

Shop here

4. Little Magpies Teething Necklace 


Babies love to chew, and be close to mum. These soft, gummable necklaces are the perfect way to combine these two needs – and they double as an eyecatching accessory too.

Because they’re made of food grade silicone, and they’re BPA free, you can be certain they’re safe for your baby to teethe on without breaking the surface – so your skin won’t get scratched like it would with hard broken plastic.


5. Tula Baby Carrier

Baby carriers are a genius way to get out and about with your baby.

They distribute the weight evenly, so you should never feel sore if you’re wearing your baby properly. You don’t have to consider accessibility in the way you would with a pram, so you can still visit your favourite coffee shop. They fold up small and be stashed away, and they can even go in the wash.

What’s more, they come in a huge range of colours and prints so you can get a design you adore.

And when your baby is a bit too big to wear on your front, you can scoot them over and carry them on your back. My two year old still gets around this way – perfect for the school run.

6. Starry Night Play Gym


Fox’s Felts


Gone are the days of brightly coloured, ugly baby gear (or at least, they should be banished. I’m looking at you, Jumperoo!).

The Starry Night Play Gym from Fox’s Felts is small and can be placed directly on the floor, so you can move it around the house to keep baby entertained wherever you need to be.

It has beautiful hanging accessories that can be removed and taken with you in the pram or car seat, and they’ll withstand life with a teething baby.

Buy the Play Gym

7. Literally Everything from Little Bit Small

Little Bit Small is a one woman band making beautiful baby and childrens clothing from her home in Derbyshire.

The clothes are gorgeous, all made from funky premium fabric and some items are organic cotton. There’s lots of choice, and nothing looks like your average high street item. Caroline is massively helpful too, and offers lots of options to personalise your favourite items.

I highly recommend the harem dungarees for maximum flexibility – my toddler loves to test hers out in muddy puddles and they always come out of the wash looking brand new.

When pregnant with my first child I remember waddling into a babystore and immediately leaving without buying a single thing. It was all a bit too much. Ugly, cheaply made clothes and big bits of brightly coloured plastic (optimistically labelled as toys) just made me feel stressed and uncertain.

But now I know there are beautiful items available instead, things that don’t look out of place in the home you’ve thoughtfully decorated, and things that don’t cost the earth.