Natural Family Session | Unposed Family Photography | Westonbirt Gloucestershire

The Season of Change

Autumn is my favourite season, mainly because of the changing colours of the trees, the cooler temperatures from summer and the stunning clear and bright sunlight we get. For me, autumn also meant the start of something new, or starting over. I feel this much more strongly than I do at actual New Year time in december, perhaps because autumn is the start of the school year, it always meant a fresh start and a sense of hope and optimism; a season of change.

My autumnal family photo shoot with Amy Jane and her husband, Gareth, and toddler son, Freddie, was beautiful. We were blessed with the sunniest of days and the natural light was beautiful as it dappled through the trees at Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire.  

 A young family of three stand under a tree during autumn family photo shoot at Westonbirt Arboretum.

They are a gorgeous family, so gentle with their son and so attentive and interested in everything he was doing. Never hurrying him along just going at his pace and allowing him to experience the Arboretum and letting him gravitate to whatever he liked. He was so curious! I love how little ones make you stop and look at the world through their eyes. Everything is new, everything is fascinating and exciting. It’s sad in a way how we lose that as adults, but so inspiring when a child allows us to get that curiosity back. A plane in the sky, a leaf, a twig, a tree to climb! 

 A toddler  crouches down and peers underneath a tree looking directly ar the camera during autumn family photo shoot at Westonbirt Arboretum.

As a photographer it’s also important to not snap away constantly but to get to know your subjects, especially the children and allow them breathing space in-between shots. It was nice to spend a portion of the shoot just chatting with Amy as Freddie played. Amy and her husband were so lovely, so kind and conscientious. Amy opened up quite quickly to me and was very candid about how she is parenting her son in a very gentle way. She has so much understanding, empathy and respect for this little person. She observes the natural rhythms of her son and often follows his lead. She is an incredibly mindful person and very aware of the world, the environment and what we need to do to make it a better place for our children. 

 A toddler tires to put his hat on his mothers head as his father holds him during this autumnal family photo shoot at Westonbirt Arboretum.

I heard on the radio today that we are the last generation to be able to salvage the damage we have caused to our planet and turn things around. If we allow our children to bear this burden and clean up the mess we have made, it will be too late and our planet will already be dying. 

Amy has really inspired me to become more eco-friendly in the home, by making really easy, small swaps. It’s all basic common sense really. When you pour bleach down the toilet, where do we all think it’s going?! And all the one-use non bio-degradable plastics? Probably end up in a turtle’s stomach. You don’t have to be ‘hippies’ or self-sufficient vegans living off your land in Hawaii to become more environmentally and ecologically friendly. If we all do it, you can make small sustainable changes, that will ultimately make BIG changes. 

What happens if climate change becomes so bad that the concept of four seasons may eventually become obsolete and our beautiful, sunny, chilly, red leafed season of autumn no longer exists? 

Don’t we want to leave the world in the best state it can be in for our children growing up? Why wouldn’t we want cleaner oceans? Why wouldn’t we want to save all wildlife species? And why wouldn’t we want to preserve this gem of planet that has been gifted to us?

But it’s up to us, the parents, don’t let it be our children’s job to clear up after us. 

Follow @amyjaneandbaby on Instagram and join her and me and thousands of others doing the #smallsustainableswaps challenge. 

See below for more images from this shoot!