Once In A Lifetime Extended Family Photos In Essex Flower and Confetti Fields

I. Introduction: Capturing meaningful photography that celebrates this family

Last month, I captured this gorgeous extended family in Hatters Farm, near Takeley. My client wanted to include her mother in the frame because she has been recently unwell. This event was super important for everyone involved, on multiple levels. In this blog post, I will take you through my process from beginning to end, and I will tell you a funny story that happened to me at the end.

II. Preparing the Photoshoot and choosing the right photographer

1. The Importance of Capturing your Extended Family

Getting the grandparents in the frame is super important, as mentioned above, you never know when they will leave us, and photographs will be our most precious way to remember them. More generally, family photography is a great way to celebrate the special bond with family members. When I feel low, watching photos and videos of my friends and family is one of the best ways to cheer me up! It brings a sense of belonging and union.

2. Exploring the Confetti Fields in Hatters Farm, Essex

The mum was super keen on finding a flower field as a background for this special event, so we both searched the internet and within a few days, she found a farm that had planted a new confetti field. That farm is called Hatters Farm, it’s located near Takeley. They have different crops and welcome the public across the seasons. You can find a cornfield maze and pumpkin patch. This location is great as it’s only a 1 to 1.5-hours drive from London. The farmer rents the field to professional photographers in the evening, after the closing time. The permit was only £60 and there was no additional entrance fee. The best thing is that it allows you full private access to the field for 2 hours from 6 to 8 p.m. There is a confetti field but also a wildflower field at the back. I invite you to check Hatters Farm’s website here to learn more about future openings and events at this venue.

3. Planning for the big day

I like to prepare with some posing inspiration on the Unscripted app prior to the session, in case I run out of ideas.

I usually scout the location in advance, but in this instance, it was scheduled at too short notice and it was quite far for a round trip, so I had to make my own search online prior to the event. We arrived at the location early to make sure we selected the best place to work, and I explained to them how it would go. If you wish to use this location, I suggest coming in the evening golden hour. Make sure you have a row of trees filtering the light for best results, then, once the sun is low behind the tree, you can start capturing the family facing the light as it will be soft and golden. On that day, we unfortunately had quite a lot of clouds so we were a bit freer in our movements.

4. Choosing the Perfect Time and Season to shoot outdoor

In the UK, confetti is usually in season from the end of June up to mid-July. Hatters Farm confetti matured later, as their opening this year was early to mid-August. We visited on the 11th of August and I think they were getting slightly dry in some areas. This isn’t that important as you can’t really see it in the photos as it’s not focusing on it. The wildflowers in the back were in perfect condition, and this was my favourite backdrop. My favourite frame is this gorgeous image of the father squeezing his daughter lovingly.
To my opinion, the best time to work outdoors in the fields is at golden hour. It can either be morning or evening golden hour. I much prefer the evening golden hour as the light is prettier and if you finish late, it will fall in the blue hour. Blue hour in the morning is before the golden hour so you only get bright light once the golden hour is gone.

5. Selecting the Right Photographer for Your Extended Family Photos

It’s important to pick a professional who’s skilled in shooting outdoors and knows how to use the available natural light. I have years of experience as an outdoor photographer, but it took me a while to figure out how to make the best out of each location and lighting. Make sure to check their portfolio to see their previous work and check if their editing is consistent. Do they have good reviews on their Google profile?

6. Creating a Meaningful Theme

I used to be opposed to props and themes, but as more candid images come up on my social media feed, I become more open to it. Let me explain. I believe that the session should focus on the family and not on some props, but as I move along on my professional journey, I realise that having a theme or using props can be a way to tell a story. 

For example, you could be going for a picnic with your family, so the props would be a picnic blanket, a wicker basket with some cute crockery and cupcakes. Or it could be relaxed reading time sitting in the field, with some nice books. I think as long as it’s something that you would do in your spare time with your family, it’s okay to create a narrative and have a theme, along with a few props. I think a theme can be a way to relax and forget about the camera, and it shouldn’t stop us from doing simpler portraits without the theme towards the end.

IV. During the Session

1. Posing and Styling Tips for Memorable Photography

If you decide to hire me on this special day, I will guide you on what to wear. Prior to our big day, I will send you my styling guide, depending on which season we’re in. We will try to make the best use of your current wardrobe so it doesn’t get too costly. I also provide a few dress options if you prefer to try something new. 
As I love sitting, laying and cuddling shots, I will bring three blanket options that will work perfectly in this setting. 

On the posing side, I’m looking for natural, focusing on connecting with the other family members instead of smiling at the camera. I have funny jokes and prompts that make everyone break into laughter, but I also appreciate the quiet moments, hugging and smuggling. If you select me as your personal cheerleader you won’t have to worry about anything, I will be directing you along the way, but also give you some free time and let your imagination speak. 

2. Managing Young Kids and Pets During the Photoshoot

Unless it’s a safety issue, forget about managing and being in constant control with your kids. Think that for an hour, everything they do is cute and adorable. I want them to show their true colour and have fun, not being told off and micromanaged. If they do something that could ruin the moment, then let me handle it. Be the good cop!

If you have a dog like in the photoshoot, make sure they are comfortable; bring some water, toys and some treats. It’s best if they can be taken off the lead but if not, make sure to bring a lead that has a bright colour so I can edit it out easily.

III. After the session

After 2 to 3 weeks, my clients receive their images through a password-protected gallery, where they can purchase prints and digital images.

1. Best Editing for Brilliant Results

I like to use my Lightroom Signature Preset and adjust it for each location. At this location, we had a partially cloudy sky with some bright sun coming through, so I had to edit the sky selectively to bring it back. With those edits, it creates a magical and moody atmosphere.

2. The importance of printing your images

I get it, we live in a digital world, but why pay for a great professional if you are going to stare at a small screen? If you know me already, I’m a huge advocate of printing your images. I offer affordable print boxes and luxury albums that will last a lifetime. My signature albums are available in two sizes, and offer discounts if you order additional albums for the grandparents. Printing and displaying your images in your home is also a great way to encourage that sense of belonging to your family. I wrote a whole blog post about why prints matter, you can read more here.
If you still wish to have digital images, I offer packages including digital images, you can check my pricing here.

3. Sharing and Showcasing Your Photos on Social Media Platforms

When displaying your images, you could create a creative carousel on an app like SCRL to make it more storytelling and less like a slideshow. 

As each image is edited with love and care, I kindly ask you to not make any edits or alterations. If something is bothering you like a pimple or a mark on your face that I missed, please come forward and this could be fixed easily. 

Another important point is to credit your photographer in the description. This could bring great exposure and new business for them so don’t forget to tagg!

Hi I’m Alba, a Family Photographer based in North London!

III. Conclusion: A unique extended family booking

I hope you enjoyed this article, I had great fun capturing this unique moment for this family. Remember that immortalising portraits of your loved ones is a great way to celebrate your family and create this sense of pride,  tradition and belonging. If you like the great outdoors like me and want timeless, candid, and connected art of your family get in touch with me in the box below:


Pssst! Do you want to know what happened at the end of the session? I locked myself out of my car! I threw my boots, camera bag and key in my boot without opening the other doors! I know! Luckily I had my phone on me and I called my partner, who booked me an Uber to bring me my spare key. I patiently waited in the farmer’s marquee watching Netflix. Oops!

Related blog posts:

Big Family session: a Fun shoot in Hampstead Heath

How to get ready for your extended family photos? A complete guide

Tags: extended family, confetti fields, shoot planning, editing, preserving memories, family bonding


If you’re after a candid, relaxed and intimate photography experience, you’ve come to the right place. 
My work focus on emotions, no stiff poses and forced smile; only gentle love and embraces. I offer a very hands-on experience, connecting over a video consultation with each family beforehand ; we explore their stories of love, loss and wins and turn it into a beautiful, meaningful session. Each family and session are unique and crafted with patience, love and understanding. 

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