No, I haven’t diversified into house finding on the telly!
This is all about locations for photography sessions. I live in SW London, right on the border of Surrey…my address boasts the words Surrey but this is still very much London.
If you did a quick drive around the area you would find a few superb locations right on my doorstep and some of them are my preferred shooting locations. And then there will be some locations that are tucked away and you may drive past them regularly and not even realise they’re there. So let’s begin.
- MORDEN HALL PARK, MORDEN
Ah this National Trust treasure!!! You drive off the busy A297 and you’re in this calm, tranquil oasis. There is so much to see here, the rose garden, the river that meanders through, the wetlands boardwalk and most of all the white bridge that has been voted one of the top places in the country to play ‘pooh sticks’ – my kids and I have dropped many sticks off this bridge and rushed to the other side to see which one floats passed the quickest. The Wetlands boardwalk is fairly new (in the last couple of years) and it’s fantastic, throughout all the seasons, each bringing a different feel and colour to the time of year. So if you haven’t visited it before, you should get around to doing it and if we organise a photo session here, why not pack a picnic for afterwards and you enjoy it’s beauty and wide open spaces.
2. NONSUCH PARK, CHEAM
Situated between Stoneleigh and North Cheam, Nonsuch is a firm favourite. There is so much scope here, the Mansion House (where they have gorgeous weddings) that overlooks the formal gardens and then the open fields, wooded areas, beautiful bluebells in the spring that are in a circle of trees. Kids have the freedom to run around and be themselves and a short stroll around gives so many different areas to photograph in.
3. MAYFIELD LAVENDER, BANSTEAD
Now, ah, I love this place. I need to repeat that sentence, I LOVE THIS PLACE!!! From a personal point of view, I have been visiting this field since my son was 6 months old. I have photographs of both my children in this field from when they were 6 months old and my eldest is now 9…so we’ve been going there for quite some time. In recent years, it has become quite commercial and fair enough, this farm is the family’s livelihood and even though it can get busy, if we head there early morning or late afternoon/evening it’s usually a little quieter and not to mention, the light is better at that time of day. As I write this post, this field is just about in full bloom so it’s the PERFECT time to go. Photographing here does come with an extra charge from Mayfield Lavender.
4. RICHMOND PARK, RICHMOND
Let’s go see some deer. Richmond Park is just amazing. Being originally from South Africa and having visited the Kruger National Park many times, there was something familiar the first time I went to Richmond Park. When you visit the Kruger, you wind your windows down and look and listen for the animals, the first time we drove into Richmond Park we did just that – it was so quiet and lovely. With it’s wide open spaces and the deer grazing in the background, it can make for some really lovely imagery.
5. BOX HILL, SURREY
Another National Trust gem. The first time I went to Box Hill I remember driving up the hill, we went past the first car park and suddenly to our left the trees opened up and there was this view that literally stopped us in our tracks. A view that looks over the whole of Surrey, it was pretty special. There are so many walks and trails there, a lovely cafe to get an ice cream on a sunny day and of course countless areas to have your picture taken and even if it’s busy, it’s so big that there will always be somewhere that’s lovely and quiet.
6. HORTON COUNTRY PARK, EPSOM
This country park is lovely and fairly quiet, lots of wide open spaces but also great wooded areas that the kids can play in and then there is the equestrian centre that boasts a lovely lane and fence opposite which of course makes for beautiful photographs. The park itself covers 400 acres, but that also includes a golf course and Hobbledown, an adventure farm and play area which would be great to make a day of having your family photoshoot and pop in there afterwards so the kids can run off steam and you can have a bite to eat.
Any other gems out there that you know of? I once photographed an extended family in a huge open space just behind their house, we had to climb over the wooden stile to get there and it was such a great location…so what I’m trying to say is that there are so many options for your outdoor photoshoot and I’m always up for exploring new places.