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It’s taken me a while to decide on the title for my new photography project. I am known for being just a little bit of a perfectionist… and I wanted the title to sum up so many things and tell you everything about why I am undertaking this project. Which of course, one word can’t possibly do.

So, I’ve interviewed myself. Yes, slightly mad, but these are actually the questions I have been mulling around in my head. So, here they are: the inner working’s of my photographer’s brain and an explanation of my Playground photography project.

Why take on a personal photography project? Surely, taking photographs for a living is enough?
I used to think so too. But actually, two years down the line from starting my own business, I have realised that personal projects are really important to my own personal growth and skill enhancement as a photographer – it’s essential to push yourself creatively. The day I stop learning is the day I stop being a photographer.

Why choose your project to be based around children, when you already specialise in family portraiture?
It’s a fair question. But this is going to be a year-long project, so I need it to be something that floats-my-creative-boat. And I LOVE working with children. They inspire me, make me laugh out loud and challenge me on all sorts of good levels.

What is the project about?
I want to capture portraits of children connecting with nature: being enthralled with it, having fun with it, learning from it. Having little (or big) adventures.

What was your inspiration for this?
Firstly, on a very basic level, I just think that connecting with nature and the freedom of being outdoors is something that is both a wonderful and an essential part of childhood. On a personal level it is something that I love to do with my own children. Then I saw the National Trust’s “50 things to do before you are 11 3/4 project”. As I read through the list, photographic images started popping into my head and I knew I had found the inspiration I needed as a starting-point.

What does Playground mean to you as a title?
I wanted a word that might challenge people’s pre-conceptions. So, ‘playground’ would generally make people think of an outdoors man-made space, usually with man-made objects designed for children’s recreation. I want to demonstrate, though imagery, how nature itself can be a playground. A big, giant endless playground.

Who are you looking for to get involved with this project?
Basically, anyone who has children aged 2-16 that love being outdoors – outdoors in the wider sense, not just your back garden. People who feel passionately about the value of outdoors play and don’t mind their children getting grubby! Perhaps you might even be interested in your kids taking part in the National Trust’s “50 thing” project (although this is in no way essential), or just want to encourage their children to get outside a bit more.

Will it be like one of your Family Portrait Sessions?
No, it will have a completely different format and feel. It will be focussing wholly on children interacting with nature (with parents close-by to supervise). For my Family Portrait Sessions, I tailor-make each Session so they reflect each family’s uniqueness and I focus on capturing portraits showing you interacting & connecting as a family. If you are interested in booking me to do this for you, then please just ask.

How do I register my interest in getting my children involved?
Just pop me an email to and I will add you to the list, plus send you an email with all the details.

How about some images to start off the project?
All projects have to begin somewhere. Here is my beginning, in images.

Just before bedtime, I took my daughter out for a half an hour walk. The light was fading slightly, there was odd bits of drizzle. I didn’t direct her at all, I just told her to have a play while I took photos. Within 5 minutes she had found a stick and had become a “warrior princess of the woods”. Hunting for wild beasts, finding little bugs and building a campfire of sticks. I think she mostly forgot I was there. For half an hour, this was her playground.

Connecting with nature in photography in SurreyConnecting with nature: children's photography in SurreyConnecting with nature: children's photography in SurreyConnecting with nature: children's photography in SurreyConnecting with nature: children's photography in Surrey

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