Not so long ago I was asked to photograph two playful little girls – Millie and Taylor. The consultation was held at Cafe Celias one sunny afternoon in Ammanford.
It was funny really – I set up my laptop near the window completely unaware I was being watched by a lady on a nearby table. Thankfully the lady recognised me – it was Millie and Taylor’s mum, Jo! We said our hellos and laughed at ourselves before settling down into figuring out what the shoot was going to be.
I learnt that they’re a very outdoorsy family, often going for walks out and about. The girls are very girly and love the Disney princesses, flowers, glitter, bubbles – all fun things to work with, basically! Jo wasn’t sure about being photographed herself, but didn’t rule it out. I told her she hadn’t been photographed by me yet…it all turned out beautifully!
Once I got home I started planning more. I created a pinboard as I usually do and pinned everything that came to mind that I thought the girls might like. You can see it by clicking here.
Since they’re also so outdoorsy, it made sense for me to hold the shoot outdoors. Easy decision, really!
So, I got to scouting.
My first idea involved photographing the girls amidst a blanket of bluebells. I knew they were due around this time of year, so I got hunting for locations nearby.
While not completely classed as ‘nearby’, I found a forested area just outside of Carmarthen town centre. I packed my camera and head over for a look to see if the bluebells were out yet.
It was a lovely day for a walk and the area was very pretty as you can see (in fact I’d love to do a shoot here at some point). Sadly the bluebells weren’t out yet due to all the cold wet weather, so I had to search elsewhere.
My thoughts next went to the country park down the road from me – Mynydd Mawr Country Park (or ‘Big Mountain Country Park’ in English). I went for a walk a few days later, again with my camera though this time with Hudson our Malador (d’aww) since I wanted to test the light and he makes a very good model:
I envisioned tall grass with the setting sun, and that’s exactly what I got!
It had a sort of magical feel to it. It was definitely calming. It also turned out that Jo and her family often went for walks around there, so it was perfect!
The day of the shoot finally arrived – only to be postponed due to the weather. It was windy and the clouds were rolling in over the valley, and as you can imagine, clouds do not make for a good golden sunset! So we decided to wait until the day after, and everybody was very glad we did!
We arrived at the park and started getting ready. I introduced myself to the girls and we all walked up to the location I’d preselected.
Out came the bubble machine, the hand-made confetti and magic purple fuzzy caterpillars that live in my camera (no lie).
The girls had great fun; running races, chasing bubbles, blowing confetti and making bubble thrones for the fairies.
Jo, somewhat apprehensive about being photographed, played with the girls, tickled them and gave them hugs and kisses, and they seemed to forget I was there.
I crawled around into all kinds of positions trying to get the best angles. At one point I was on my back, perched rather precariously on the edge of a ditch.
Jo later told me that though she generally isn’t keen on photographs of herself, this one of her and the girls was one of her favourites! Mission accomplished!
I gave the girls their special rewards (they each got a disney princess bubble wand which they loved!) and we started to head for home with the sun setting behind us, tired but happy.