In late September I met up with Elodie and her mum, Emily, for a photo session near Chesterfield. Emily chose to go to the woods around Linacre Reservoir – and once I’d googled the location I was adamant that that’s where we must have their session. It’s a beautiful, peaceful location with plenty of trees in full autumn colour. I loved it so much it’s gone on my list on preferred locations!

Family Photography Chesterfield, outdoor family photography Chesterfield

Those who follow me on social media might remember Emily from a session I did earlier in the year with her horse Zak. You can see photos from their equine photo session here. I was over the moon when Emily decided she’d like some photos taking of her daughter too.

The Plan

I briefly ran through everything I’d need to plan this session. What kind of photos did Emily want? What kind of things does Elodie like to do? What’s her happiest time of day? We also talked about what they should wear, and Emily dressed them both perfectly for the season.

Family Photography Chesterfield, outdoor family photography Chesterfield

They wanted a session bursting with autumn colour, with minimal posing if any at all. We opted to have the photoshoot in the morning as Elodie has a nap around lunchtime. I’d never choose to do a session at midday, as the sun’s position can cast some very distracting shadows, so I was happy with the mid morning start. I allotted them a one and a half hour time slot in case Elodie needed a break to let off steam, but as it turned out, 45 minutes of full on playing was plenty.

Family Photography Chesterfield, outdoor family photography Chesterfield

Thankfully Emily was wise to the possibility of Elodie running off and refusing to cooperate, so between us we hatched a plan. Emily brought Elodie’s favourite toy and some snacks, and I brought a huge bubble wand. Elodie was fantastic though, and we didn’t even break out the snacks until the session was over. The bubble wand was much appreciated and I did have to snap some photos of Elodie with her favourite toy, but the look on her face was so worth it.

Family Photography Chesterfield, outdoor family photography Chesterfield

Photographing two year olds comes with quite a long list of challenges. Any parent knows how hard it can be to win them over once they’ve decided they’re not going to do something. Snacks and bribery are always a good option to get toddlers back on board, but they can be prone act like you’re physically attacking them if you come near them to clean up the mess. The absolute worst thing that can happen in a session with young kids is that they get cold, and won’t be happy until they’re warm again (and who can blame them!).

Capturing Elodie

Elodie is nearly two. She’s a funny, cheeky little girl with a big personality. She’s mostly quiet and likes to explore, then whacks out the most beautiful smile when you least expect it. She also has one of the most expressive faces I’ve ever seen.

This was a hugely successful family photo session. Emily and her whole family adore the photos I’ve shown them, and they’re currently putting their order together. I can’t wait to see what they decide to buy.


If you’d like to book a family photography session I’d love to hear from you.