family photography

Outdoors lifestyles photography

Outdoor lifestyle photography is so much fun, we can play, get muddy, get wet, climb fences all within an hour. These were all taken at the bottom my garden. They are things we do all the time but I don’t always bring my camera out. My niece was here today both her and my daughter went straight for the mud kitchen, one dressed as a princess both covered in mud while my son played football. I love to just watch them play and that’s why I love lifestyle photography. You get to capture their little world and adventures. My son told the girls that snakes were in the the cage they found in the lake so they came up with a plan to get the cage and capture the snakes again. These photos tell me a story and that’s why I love them. 

At home lifestyle photos

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Some of my favourites photos are not planned!

They’re not the result of an elaborate preparation and staging like at other times. Sometimes I’m just taking pictures and things fall into place.

Some times things just click

This was the case with these pictures. My daughter plays with her collection of dolls everyday and I had the intention of taking some photos of this. By chance that day I had dressed her in a dress where the colours matched the dolls and doll house she was playing with to such an extent that she became a part of the scene rather than simply interacting with it.

The pops of colour and lighting from my living room window give the image a fun and vibrant feel and capturing my daughter doing something she loves and is natural certainly helps.

Sometimes if you take pictures, everything else falls into place.

DIY photo studio

To create great fun photos you do not need to spend an absolute fortune. I can show you how to take some stunning head shots in your own home just by using some coloured paper and your camera nothing more. I love to do studio photography but I sometimes I want to create something a little more interesting than your standard white backdrop shoot and this is a really easy way to do that.

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No backdrop stand or Flash 

For the background I brought a roll of coloured paper from eBay for £6, 76cm x 10m - Non Toxic Display Paper. I brought yellow and pink as I wanted two colours that would really pop in the pictures. I cut the paper to fit a head shot size (around A0) and stuck the paper on the wall with some tape. This paper is quite thin so you might struggle to re- use it for a few shoots once it has been cut.

As I was shooting in my living room I had no space for a backdrop stand. Taping the paper to the wall saves space and money. I chose the wall in my living room right next to the door as the glass let’s in some great defused natural light. I also have a window on the same side which lets in quite a lot of light. By using the natural light found indoors I didn’t need to use my flash which I would normally use in a studio shoot. 

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My lovely assistants are 2 years apart and there is quite a big height difference so I got my little one on a step. This just saved on using more paper it is also more appealing to the eye. 

Natural Lighting

I shoot on a canon 5D mark iii and have a Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 lens which allows me to let in more light through the f stop, if you do not have access to a low aperture lens push up your ISO and you should be ok to get the lighting right without the picture becoming to grainy. These photos were taken f2.8 with an ISO 1000

Using the natural light does create shadows and highlights on the face so just and adjust this on the camera to save time in post production.

I like to make these shoots a little more playful, I don’t have the room to do full body shots so I try and really make it about the expressions in the face. Getting the kids to pull faces and getting real belly laughs always look great.

I hope you found this helpful. Let me know, if you try it your self.

Ria Brennan, your next photographer

I just thought I would just get on here and tell you a little about me and why I got into photography.

i was born and bread in the wonderful west London but I am now based in a small village called Wraysbury which is about 10 min from Windsor, Berkshire. I have been in photography for 10 years now, shooting weddings, families and newborn’s. Although my style has changed through the years, my main focus is to capture people in a way that others see them, their true natural self.

My Family

I am a mum of two children a 5 year old and a 3 year old and you will see tone of photos of them on my site. I think after having them my passion really grew. I love to take photos of them being silly and crazy because that is what they are. My kids are the real driving force of my photography, because I see how quickly they grow. I know as a mum I want to capture as much as I can as we all slowly forget how small they really were.


My love of photography

When I was younger I loved looking through my aunt’s photo albums (she had loads of them.) Seeing photos of me and my family gave me a glimpse of life once forgotten. I would go through pages of printed photos, all in those sticky back albums. Photos of my mum and dad when they were younger, baby photos of me and my brother, photos of me and my grandparents. I loved them.

After uni I started working for a photography studio, it was there where I honed my skills in studio photography, I did photography course and editing courses but I felt something was missing. I became bored of the same staged poses that the studios want you to do.

Once leaving the job and being a little disheartened about my hobby, I moved to a normal 9/5 job and took up doing weddings on the side. Boom my passion was back. I could really put my own spin on to my own work. I could meet the clients, get to know them and their families and try to bring their personalities to life in the photos of their big day. I loved it.

Life after Kids

Unfortunately, weddings had to slow down after my two amazing children came along. I couldn’t work all week then spend my weekends doing a 12 hour shoot and then editing in every free moment. I missed my babies too much. But this is where I found out what my real passion was, my kids. I wanted to capture as much as I could of them so that they too could one day get those photo albums out and go through all my memories and see how I saw them. I didn’t want them to have iphone images that are store on a cloud never to be seen again. I wanted well printed, great quality photos that they don’t need to swipe through.

So, I went back to my camera and started again. As much as I loved the posed photos I wanted to capture the true moments between my two little babies. I wanted the chaos and the wild hair, the giggles and the jumping, the closeness and the snuggles. I changed my style to capture these and became more of a lifestyle photographer.

Families, dealing with cancer

Family photography


I wanted to write this blog mainly to speak about the wonderful family I met last weekend as well as giving people an insight into what motivates my photography. Jaxson is the son of my cousin’s cousin. Before their shoot I heard that the dad had not been well. He had been diagnosed with cancer. When you are not directly exposed to these life altering situations, you forget that people of all ages can suffer from such awful circumstances and how fortunate your life can be. 

As soon as I walked in the house I felt the warmth of a loving family and was immediately at ease. Jaxson’s dad bears a striking resemblance to my own cousin and his older brother was the spitting image of my cousin’s son as well as being the same age as my little boy.


During the shoot Jaxon’s mum had told me how ill his dad had been, how it’s effected his life at both work and home. I also found out that Jaxson was taken back into hospital after a week of being born due to breathing difficulties. 

I looked down at this gorgeous little boy asleep without a care in the world. I then looked up at his mum with such admiration. What an amazingly strong woman she is, she may not feel it at times, when sleep deprived, or rushing off to another hospital appointment but she exudes resilience and determination. Where do I begin with Jaxson’s dad, he looked at his little baby and his son with such pride, he was so happy you would never have known this grey cloud was hanging over him.


This family have decided that this is not the end of their story. A house full of love and hope for the future has no room for self pity or doom and gloom. They are just grateful and excited for the beautiful gift they have been given and are looking forward to sharing many years together creating new memories. I feel extremely privileged to have been given a small glimpse into their lives and look forward to taking photos of this beautiful family for years to come.