Autumn is my favourite season by far! Nights start to draw in, with a nip in the air there’s an excuse to have a real fire and dig the scarves and hats out. True, this autumn has been a little strange so far with frosts few and far between. But the autumnal colours have been spectacular especially over the last week or so. And in just a few short days the trees and bushes could all be stripped bare of their fiery glory – it will only take one gusty day or a sharp downpour.

With the ephemeral nature of Autumn in mind I have packed several photo shoots into the last couple of weeks. Of course the backdrop of scarlet, gold and burnished yellow leaves is perfect for outdoor portrait sessions but so is the light at this time of year. The sun is lower in the sky, shadows are softer, the light is kinder and if you can work quickly in the magical hour between 2.30pm and 3.30pm you can maximise all of this, resulting in stunning images.

Beautiful light on the edge of the wood

My chosen location for these recent shoots has been Marbury Park but I imagine any park with decent stands of trees would be as good, as long as you’ve scouted out a few good spots first. Woodland can be tricky – if the canopy of leaves is too dense then it can be a tad too dark and flat but if you can find somewhere towards the edge of the wood the light can be wonderful.

The birdhides made an unexpectedly great place to take portraits, as the viewing slots allowed my subjects to be lit naturally from both sides and the green wood of the hide was a very complementary backdrop.

Kids love messing about in woods and no more so than when there’s an ankle deep carpet of leaves on the ground. I adore the fun of the piggyback shot but just look at that light in the background!

The other thing I love about Autumn is that the colours all go together so perfectly – Mother Nature never makes mistakes with her seasonal palette! I particularly like the fact that in my last shot here the family dog also matches in so well!

So don’t hang about – you’ve got about a week at the most (don’t hold me to that!) to get out and about with your cameras. We will have the magic of that cold Winter light next but it’s not quite so pleasant doing a shoot then and kids’ noses have a nasty habit of turning red and a bit runny!

Thanks to the families who have allowed me to share some of their images – these kids were wonderful – very photogenic and really fun to work with!

By Jane Burkinshaw. Share this post by clicking on one of the Share buttons on the right hand side. I’d love to hear your comments too!

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