Rutland Water Photography: Not just a place for Rutland Wedding Photography

Family Lifestyle Photography

I cannot believe it was around about this time last year I was delivering photographs to a Rutland family from a family photography session at Rutland Water. It was far more like a winter than the crazy warm weather we have had very recently. The session had been freezing but everyone was wrapped up, there was only one (possibly two) muddy puddle incidents with only one child losing a boot and no, no-one climbed a tree.

boy standing in muddy puddle with boots

boy with a muddy sock

three boys in a tree sitting

They were strategically placed there by a very tall father!

Rutland Water, I’m a #loyalfan

I am a massive fan of Rutland water, not just because of the weddings at Normanton Church and the beautiful wedding photography you can capture there, but also as a place to have a family photography session. It’s easy to get to in Rutland, there are so many areas to explore and there is water, sandy shores, rocks and boulders, thickets of trees and flat ground with paths to walk and cycle on. All of this means one thing to me and that’s: plenty of lifestyle outdoor family photography opportunities.

family looking out at Rutland Water

What is lifestyle outdoor family photography?

Very simply, lifestyle family photography is a style of people photography which aims to capture and document real-life situations and events in an artistic manner. It’s a session where a family will hang out, against a well-loved backdrop (be it at home or outdoor) and where I will document the events. The session will include the odd posed photograph and may even be able to capture a portrait (if a child can sit still for long enough!) but for the majority photographs are of the family in action and interacting. I believe these make for far better family photographs as they really lock that moment in time and tell a story of the day. You will look at those photos and see how happy you all are and how much you love there is between you all. There is no stress that someone isn’t looking at the camera or worry over a double chin. You won’t flick through the photos and simply remark ‘oh that’s a nice photo of you all’ but rather, be thinking ‘What was it that made him laugh so much?’ or ‘Do you remember when he lost his boot in the mud?’ and possibly the best thing of all – you’re all in the photo. It’s not up to one of you to take the photos on your mobile phone camera.

What do you do in a family photography session?

First of all, we meet. We talk. I like to get to know you so I can work out what situation would be natural for you all to be photographed in and where your favourite family spots are. As I am based in Rutland, I am often meeting families also from Rutland and it is natural we end up at Rutland Water. However, I have done a family photography session outdoors in Uppingham, in a family home in and even at East Carlton Park which is really not very far and just as picturesque. We discuss clothing, colours, what you will do with the photos after (gifting, printing) and book in two dates. One for the session and one as a back up in case it really rains or, I dunno, snows in July. It could happen.

boy laughing into camera parents embarrased

toddler following mother in allotments Uppingham

Rutland Family photography sessions

My sessions are really informal and fun. After a walk and chat, I normally start photographing the younger ones by themselves and then get the parents involved. I photograph you interacting and having fun. Simply enjoy and be distracted by the little ones and each other. Just have fun, be silly, tickle, play games. The best results are when you all interact and try to forget the camera is there!

children playing with father on floor

family playing parachute with picnic blanket

You may see me pop amongst some branches, create some distance or even be there next to you to capture the perfect portraits. You may also find that I will give a little direction at times just to ensure everyone looks comfortable, but more often than not, I am capturing you all interacting as a family as your time unfolds.

family walking at Rutland Water

What makes a good family photography session?

A good session happens if you and your family are prepared. Arrive fed, comfortable and throw your nerves away. Being hungry, needing the loo and not making eye contact with me will show in your photos.

family walking holding hands at Rutland Water


  • Have a look at my photographs. Know my style and see a typical full session so you know what will be expected of you. Come with a bag of tricks that you know will get the kids laughing. Pick them up, throw them around and enjoy a walk. Re-enact ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ if you have to! Talk about what you’re going to have for dinner, talk about what you did last weekend. If you are stuck, don’t worry, I’ll have a few suggestions.
  • Dress appropriately. If we’re going for a walk at Rutland Water then leave the heels at home. If you’re at home then walk around in your socks and no need to wear a watch or swanky jewellery (unless that’s really how you roll!)
  • Try not to look at the camera unless I ask you to! This will only happen in a posed group shot, the rest of the time….I am NOT there.

family sitting at by Normanton Church Rutland Water

  • Avoid worrying about your kids behaviour. This is not about your ‘Sunday best’, this is about capturing you all as you naturally are.
  • And lastly, if you are booking on behalf of someone else or as a gift, do be sure it is something they are after and are comfortable with doing. Photography sessions are a lovely idea as a gift and often we all have different ideas as to what a photography session is. My style is a documentary approach so just ensure that whoever you are booking on behalf of, that they know what this means and that they are prepared to have FUN! In fact, point them to this very blog!

lady stroking dog Rutland Water

Family sessions with Gina, the Rutland photographer

If you know you want an outdoor or indoor family photography in Rutland then do get in touch to discuss. No obligation to book. Family photography sessions are an hour but I do also do half hour sessions (mini sessions) for those of you who just want a taster. Many families consider family photography as an annual event, as a way to document their life as a family. If this is you, then let me know as I would be happy to discuss a package that could accommodate this.

family portrait at Rutland Water



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Leicestershire wedding photography based in Rutland, near Leicestershire.

 © 2019 Gina Fernandes Photography