A big part of being a photographer is keeping your mind open to new ideas and creativity.
This can be particularly difficult for me at this time of year as my work has a tendency be seasonal and it's easy for a couple of weeks to pass without me picking up my camera.
Whenever I start to feel like I'm in a rut I do what I did yesterday, I get in the car and I go exploring. I'd seen the forecast, I knew it was going to be rotten and I spent the first hour of my day staring out of the window, having a little chat with myself about the fact that I would need to put my shoes on at some point if I was going to achieve anything...
Discussion over and I was in the car heading over to Grace Dieu Priory (thank you Debbie Fagan for the heads up) armed with winter woollies and an obligatory flask of tea. The rain was too heavy for me to risk taking my camera so I had to make do with my phone - the camera isn't bad but I way prefer my proper gear!
Once I had my wellies on I was in my element - what a place!! Wonderful Railway arches, woodland, a stream that you can paddle in (I checked!) and the ancient ruins of the Priory. With magnificent arched windows to boot. This place is like a playground to me. So much so that 3 hours had passed without me realising.
Back in the car, a cuppa and one of Ellie's biscuits that I found lurking in the bottom of my handbag and I was back on the road. This time heading for Blackbrook Reservoir (Jessica Gurley-Ward's recommendation). The sat nav took me up a long single track road, at the end of which was a huge set of iron gates and a sign saying "dogs loose" - I didn't fancy my chances so I turned back and searched for a while longer before giving up and heading over to Sence Valley (thank you Lizzie B).
I get the impression that the Sence Valley is fairly new and yet it sits into the countryside as though it has been there forever. It promises to become a beautiful oasis as it matures and the wildlife continues to take residence. A number of lakes and ponds, plenty of meandering paths and some fabulous woodlands.
I came away feeling fresh and revived with loads of ideas buzzing around my head - how can I incorporate that old bike into a shot? What can I offer for toddlers midweek (watch this space!) and desperate for some warmer days so that I can get outdoors again, but next time with my proper camera...
I was lucky enough for one of my first tutors and mentors to be Jill who trained me in newborn photography. She is one of the world's leading baby Photographers and is based in Abu Dhabi - if you want to know how she finds inspiration check out her latest blog here.
Please contact me ASAP if you would like a Spring Photo Shoot - I only have the following weekends available: 7th April, 14th April, 5th May and 19th May. Outside of these dates I have a number of weekday sessions remaining.
Julie is a Children's and Family Outdoor Portrait Family Photographer specialising in the Charnwood area. Bookings can be made for locations outside of this area, please contact Julie for further information. More of her work can be found on her website.