A couple of months ago, in June 2020, I did my first face-to-face photoshoot after the Covid-19 lockdown. It was just a couple of weeks after BoJo (Boris Johnson) announced that we could meet with one person outside of our household, and I got a text from my friend and yoga teacher, Becca Brown, asking if I was available for a photoshoot as she’d found a stunning field of poppies in Shalford, near her home.
Becca is a holistic healing practitioner and works to improve health and wellbeing in her clients using various modalities, from massage and yoga to reiki and functional movement therapy! We don’t live too far from each other in the beautiful Surrey countryside so it was the perfect local shoot to get back into the swing of things.
Before this, I hadn’t really thought much about ‘missing’ photography during lockdown. There were so many other things going on in the world (so many lives lost to the virus, not seeing friends and family, the death of George Floyd and the rising of the Black Lives Matter movement...), so not being able to take photographs just wasn’t something I’d given too much thought to. However, this shoot reminded me how much I love connecting with my clients and just how positive and therapeutic the process can be for both of us.
Let me tell you - this location was something else. We decided to shoot in the early morning to catch the end of the morning golden hour and also in hope that the place would be pretty deserted. This meant getting up at 5.30am for me, as the location was around 30 minutes away and I cannot function until I have eaten breakfast and had a cup of tea (seriously, if I skip breakfast I get majorly hangry). I’m also generally more of a night owl than an early bird, but I am SO GLAD we did it at this time because everything just fell into place.
We arrived at the field a bit before 7am and got going pretty quickly to make the most of the morning light and it being so quiet. The light honestly could not have been better. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sun was still low in the sky, which gives that gorgeous golden glow. I decided to shoot 90% of the images backlit (with the sun behind Becca) because it created a beautiful halo effect around her and also made the poppies look like glowing tissue paper! I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to do the location justice because it was just that stunning, but both of us are so happy with how the images came out.
This photoshoot has reiterated to me that sometimes the best images come from the most simple shoots. Becca and I planned this shoot in a matter of days, mostly via a shared Pinterest board, which left no time for overthinking. We had one outdoor location, and although Becca changed her outfit a few times, they were all very relaxed and didn’t involve loads of planning. We planned a list of important yoga and lifestyle shots we wanted to get, but we also worked really intuitively and just went with what we felt like trying on the day.
This was definitely one of my favourite photoshoots to date - both the experience of doing it and the photos that have come out of it.
For anyone interested in the technical side, I used my Nikon D750 camera for this shoot, a reflector (which wasn't really necessary), and three different lenses - a 50mm f1.8, a 24-120mm f4 and a 70-200mm f2.8.
If you love these photos as much as we do and would be interested in having your own early-morning nature shoot, fill in my enquiry form here and I will be happy to have a no-obligation chat with you about it! There are so many great locations like this in Surrey, and I'd love to put them to good use.