Kids and family photographer, Loughborough, Leicester | So I decided to try something a little different - what do you reckon? Did I manage to pull it off?

I'm sure that it is of no surprise to you that whenever one of my children have a birthday I like to mark it by taking them out for their photos.  I see this as an opportunity to experiment and to try something new.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, Ellie turned 4 - WHAAAT???? I hear you cry. I know. I'm shocked too.  You'll also be thinking, well she doesn't look it. I know this too. I'm sure that she will surprise us all with an almighty growth spurt anytime now. Or maybe not...

Anyway, she is definitely 4 - you can tell as soon as she opens her mouth and to mark it I thought we would celebrate the first warmish day of the year by a trip to my beloved Beacon Hill.

"You're always taking them to Beacon Hill" I hear you cry. This is true. It is one of my favourite places and only 10 minutes from my house!  Well that's not different.  

Hold your breath ... I decided that instead of my usual bold and colourful style I would turn to the dark side and have a dabble with black and white.  Black and white lends itself perfectly to candid photography.  For some reason it makes any emotion in an image so much more raw and I love to use it for weddings for this very reason.  But I very rarely go with Black and White for my outdoor family portraits.  I think this is because I am so in love with our landscape so try to show it in it's full glory.

I knew that on this occasion my children were not going to tolerate being given any direction whatsoever.  They have been stuck indoors for the best part of 2 months and are starting to go a little crazy.  So we left the house telling them that we were going on an adventure and that they could do whatever the heck they wanted (within reason).  Jacob was so excited by the prospect that he even agreed to wear jeans in contrast to his usual attire of football kit (he still snuck a football shirt on but I hid it under a big coat).

Oh, and yes, I'm sure Ellie was cold especially as she waded way too deep into the stream resulting in her wellies needing to be poured out but she INSISTED on stripping off...

I'd love to hear what you think - it's always a risk putting experimental work out there into the public domain... but here goes...

Julie is an outdoor children's and family outdoor family portrait photographer, based in Loughborough, Leicester.  She takes you to a favourite location of your choice where she will spend 1-2 hours photographing you and your family.  Please visit her website for more information.