A summer engagement session with all the family involved

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Let me start this blog by saying that this family are absolutely bloody brilliant and I love them. Now that's out of the way I'll shall begin...

I met Kelly and Anthony back in January to discuss photographing their wedding this December. We talked about their wedding for about 20 minutes and then went off at a tangent for about an hour and I knew that I was going to love working with this lot. They asked if they could use the pre-wedding session as their first family photoshoot as they're going to be two families becoming one. Of course I said yes; excited by the potential of getting intimate couples photographs with the energy that little ones bring to a photo session.

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When planning where and when we were going to do the session we knew the summer would be ideal to contrast their winter wedding and my brain instantly snapped onto Jephson Gardens in Leamington Spa. A place that would allow us get some lovely family portraits but giving the little ones space to run around and play.

Meeting on the morning of what turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far I'd scoped out some shadier areas so we could avoid unattractive squinting photographs!

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With 7 people to photograph we got the awkward 'smile at the camera' shots out of the way early. Knowing I had to level out the energies of a teenage boy and a three year old I knew we'd need a couple of games to loosen everything up. This lot are silly, energetic and totally unashamedly themselves and that's why I adore them!

Starting with some games to get to know them; from finding out who's the kindest to who has the stinkiest feet they were all soon laughing, playing and, in the case of one of the little ones, calling me 'Simon'. From the first shutter click this lot were just a riot and they were totally themselves.

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Once we'd collected some pine cones (you'll find out in December) we headed into the beautiful glasshouse in the middle of the gardens where we the kids were free to have an explore and I could get some lovely intimate shots of Kelly and Anthony (whilst 5 voices chanted "Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!" behind us). After a few more shots in the beautiful park we had a little stop to top up on the sun cream and an ice cream, getting my first taste of a Twister in years and Rhi feeling like she'd made a really bad decision describing hers as "average at best".

Once a bumble bee had been saved and as the temperature rose and we started to melt we headed down to the beautiful bridge over the river, watched the rude Canadian honkers (Owen introduced me to my new favourite Insta account Lucidchart) and into the shaded underpass because I can't resist something industrial before we all melted.

I loved the semi-organised chaos of this family session, everyone was just totally themselves and we concentrated on having a giggle rather than 'being in a photoshoot'.

I cannot wait to photograph this wedding in December as I know right now it's going to be an absolute BALL!