May is the perfect time of year to see bluebells in Devon’s beautiful landscape. A few parents have asked me recently about how to photograph their children during this magical time so I’ve put together a few hints to inspire you!
Location – We are very lucky to have so many bluebells in Devon. The Deer Park, near Castle Drogo, is my absolute favourite and never fails to deliver. Another good place for finding bluebells is Emsworthy Mire, near Widecombe. It is a Devon Wildlife Trust area and also well worth a visit. Buckland Abbey, near Yelverton, is a National Trust house with way-marked trails through the carpets of bluebells and the National Trust also have a ‘bluebell woods near you’ section on their website if you need more inspiration.
Time of day – On a bright sunny day, the light can be very dramatic. Often woodlands will have pockets of dappled light – you need to be careful about shadows on faces but this can look beautiful if you position your subject with care. Overcast days, on the other hand, offer diffused flat light which can be very soft and flattering. Early in the morning or just before sunset are also great times to photograph if you can convince your kids!
What to wear – Probably the most important question! I always ask my families to stick to neutrals – soft pinks, greys, silver, creams all work really well. And co ordinate, don’t match!
Composition – There is usually a lot going on with the light, trees, flowers and background and this can be distracting. Try to simplify by focusing in on your subject and get down low to surround them with flowers. Wider shots showing carpets of bluebells amongst the trees can be gorgeous with children meandering along a path. Use natural props such as rocks and trees to add some interest and don’t forget to vary your children’s position.
Finally, bluebells are a protected species and care must be taken not to trample on them or pick them and only to walk on established paths.
Have fun and enjoy and I would love to see some of your images!