Outdoor Family Photography Reading, Berkshire

bringing family-shaped photographic joy to Reading

Hey! I’m Anna a Reading photographer travelling all over the Berkshire area. I work with delightfully genuine families who love lively, adventurous photography.

Not all heroes wear capes. Indeed, sometimes they wear dungarees, mum jeans, work boots, pyjamas on the school run, scrubs or (just occasionally) Saturday night heels around Reading town. When it comes to parents, there’s no one-size-fits-all template but make no mistake, they’re all utterly heroic. Anyone feeling their way down the path of parenthood deserves hero status in my book. 

No matter where you are in your personal parenthood journey, you’ll have heard this old adage before:

“They grow up so fast”

And it’s true. No getting around it, one minute they’re a tiny curled up ball kicking away in your belly, the next they’re packing up the car for Freshers’ Week. Childhood is precious and fleeting, so it’s a good idea to stockpile a few excellent family photographs before they fly the nest for good. 

I specialise in fun, gorgeous family photography that snaps up those lovely, fleeting moments and captures them forever. Your kids might leave home, but you can hold on to a memory forever.

Anna x

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Family

Child Portraits

Baby Photos

AS SEEN IN

As seen on Vogue Italia
As seen on The Berkshire Mummies Directory
As seen on Wokingham Rocks

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?

then let’s get to know one another

Hey!

I’m Anna a Reading photographer (but you’ll have guessed that from my website address) and I’d like to tell your story. My work has been featured in Vogue Italia and I’m a guest blogger for Berkshire Mummies. I photograph expecting mums, babies and families in a relaxed and natural style that makes for beautiful family heirlooms that will fast become the most treasured possessions in your home. Your milestones are exciting little chapters that make up one magnificent life story – let’s get them in film.

AM I THE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOU?

only one way to find out

01

You totally get the value of amazing photos that can be treated as an heirloom.

02

You want an easy and fun family photography experience even Dad will enjoy.

03

You don’t take life in Reading too seriously. The kids have feral days and that’s just fine.

FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG

must-reads

Frost Folly Bracknell Berkshire 1.4 Mile Oxeye Daisy Walk

Frost Folly Bracknell Berkshire 1.4 Mile Oxeye Daisy Walk

Frost Folly Country Park in Warfield, Bracknell is a lovely tranquil place for a walk especially in the spring and summer months. It was generously given to Warfield Parish Council by Chris and Jean Frost who have designed and planted the area to encourage a wide range of wildlife including birds, butterflies, bees and small mammals.

The majority of the park is a wildflower meadow with a diverse range of flowers and grasses. My favourite time to visit is in the spring and beginning of summer when the meadows are full of Oxeye Daisy. The natural twisting pathways throughout the site provide the perfect way to explore the flowers. And if little legs get tired there’s plenty of benches that have been strategically placed around the site where you can rest up.

This is the perfect time to take in the views north to Maidenhead and Knowll Hill and south to Bracknell and beyond. To the east is Warfield Church of St. Michael which you could visit as a way to extend the walk. This easy access route which is suitable for wheel chairs or scooters can be found here.

In mid-summer the Oxeye Daisy gives way to Knapweed and Thistles, turning the white meadow a beautiful shade of purple.

oxeye daisy facts

  • The oxeye daisy is our largest native member of the daisy family.
  • It flowers from May to September.
  • The yellow center of the oxeye daisy is made up of many small flowers which pollinating insects love.
  • Their flower heads have been used to make tea (pretty!)
  • The petals are used in the game of ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ to determine how lucky you are in love.

What to look out for at Frost Folly

  • Goldfinches feeding on nuts and seeds throughout the year.
  • The Skylarks song can be heard during the spring and summer.
  • Yellow Flag Iris flowers during the summer months which attracts lots of bees and hoverflies.
  • Redwing and Fieldfare can be seen foraging on berries during the winter months.

There’s lots of other family friendly Berkshire walks on the blog, here are some of my other favourites:

Anna x

FROST FOLLY CAR PARK MAP

Address: Frost Folly Car Park, Wellers Lane, Bracknell, Berkshire, United Kingdom RG42 6EN

6 simple photography activities for kids
Donnington Castle Newbury 3.6 Mile Circular Walk

Donnington Castle Newbury 3.6 Mile Circular Walk

Donnington Castle is a ruined medieval castle, just north of Newbury, under the care of English Heritage. It’s perched on a hill overlooking the Lambourn Valley making the steep climb up worth every effort. It’s even been reported that both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I stayed here in the 15th century. So you’re in good company.

From 1644 the castle was attacked numerous times. Then in 1646 parliament voted to demolish the badly damaged castle leaving only the gatehouse standing. If you look around the slopes of the hill you can see some of the large defences built to protect it during the English Civil War.

When we visited Donnington Castle we extended our walk to include Snelsmore Common and its network of paths across beautiful heathland. If you plan on going on this walk I’d suggest going in August or September when the heather is in full flower. My other favourite time of the year to visit is in the spring when the oak woodland section of the walk is covered in bluebells. This makes a beautiful backdrop for family photos but please be careful not to tread on the bluebells as they’re a protected species.

This circular walk through Snelsmore common, the castle ruins and woodland is suitable for all ages. Although you may have difficulties with a pushchair in some of the woodland parts. View the full walk here.

There’s lots of other family friendly Berkshire walks on the blog, here are some of my other favourites:

Anna x

Donnington Castle Map

Address: Donnington Castle Farm Cottage, Castle Lane, Donnington, Newbury RG14 2LE

6 simple photography activities for kids
California Country Park Circular Walk, Finchampstead

California Country Park Circular Walk, Finchampstead

Califormia Country Park sits to the north of Finchampstead and has over 100 acres of ancient bogland and lowland heath to explore. At the center is Longmoor lake with five islands making it the perfect spot for fishing. There’s also a play area which is currently being updated and due to open this spring. There will be new equipment including a sensory and water play area, a woodland adventure trail and tree houses. In the summer the paddling pool opens and makes the perfect spot for kids to cool off and splash about.

Jackson’s California Lake Café serves fresh, homemade, locally sourced food and is a lovely place to refuel and take in the views across Longmoor lake.  

There are two walks around the park which are relatively flat and good for buggies when the weather is dry. When it’s wet and muddy in winter it’s best to swap the buggy for a sling. Don’t forget to pack some good walking boots too!

  • Longmoor Lake walk is 0.9 miles long.
  • Woodland Walk is 2.2 miles long.

You can download a map of both these California Country Park Walks here.

When visiting we went on the longer circular woodland walk which takes you into the 8,000 year old Longmore bog and across the everglades board walk. With the rare sedges and mosses this is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a beautiful photo spot. The walk continues through the heathland where you may spot cows grazing to help with the conservation of the heath.

If you’re heading here in the summer look out for the heath spotted orchid in the glades. I’m planning on visiting when it gets warmer as these would make such a pretty backdrop for portrait photos.

I have lot’s of other family friendly Berkshire walks on the blog. Here’s a few of my favourites to check out:

Anna x

California country park map

Parking: California Country Park, Nine Mile Ride, Finchampstead, Wokingham RG40 4HU

6 simple photography activities for kids
Simon’s Wood 1.3 Mile Walk at Finchampstead Ridges

Simon’s Wood 1.3 Mile Walk at Finchampstead Ridges

The National Trust has cared for Simon’s Wood at Finchampstead Ridges for over 100 years and is one of their oldest acquisitions. Finchampstead Ridges was purchased by the local community in 1913 and donated to the National Trust so its spectacular views across the Blackwater Valley could be enjoyed by future generations. They really are breathtaking especially at sunset!

Check out the Friends of Finchampstead Ridges website to see how the local community continue to protect the site. If you’re interested in volunteering you can also register your interest on the website. I’ve volunteered at Simon’s Wood a number of times and really enjoyed the experience. The National Trust rangers are so knowledgeable about the local area and I’ve always been amazed by how much can be achieved in a day when we all work together.

There are three walks we’ve really enjoyed as a family:

For nature photographers there’s a huge variety of wildlife but some of the most impressive are the dragonflies. The ponds and heathland provide the perfect habitat for these pretty insects. This is a great time to test out your macro photography but you’ll need plenty of patience and a quick shutter speed! To help get you started check out this article with 10 tips on how to shoot dragonflies.

My favourite spot for photos is the Ridges itself, with views as far as the Hogsback Ridge in Surrey. Pop the kids on the bench looking over the views and wait for sunset, you won’t be disappointed!

There’s lots of other family friendly Berkshire walks on the blog, here are some of my other favourites:

Anna x

Simon’s Wood and Finchampstead Ridges Map

Address: Simon’s Wood car park, Wellingtonia Avenue, Finchampstead, Wokingham, Berkshire RG45 6AE

6 simple photography activities for kids
Arborfield Cross Circular Walk With a Coffee Pitstop

Arborfield Cross Circular Walk With a Coffee Pitstop

I found out about this walk near Arborfield Cross from a lovely client whilst on a sibling photo shoot. It’s one of those walks that I would never have discovered if it wasn’t for someone sharing their local knowledge.

The walk starts on Cole Lane off the Arborfield Cross roundabout. From here you follow the path up the hill where you suddenly stumble upon Ellis’s Hill Farm with a little tearoom offering drinks, cake and it’s famous Wysipig Breakfast Bap. The farm shop sells an extensive range of Christmas products including turkey and gammon but its best known for its range of quality pork products.

From here you can take a number of different routes depending on how far the little ones legs will allow. We love exploring the woods and seem to take a different route every time we go. In Autumn this walk really comes into its own as the trees turn bright red and gold.

It has a special place in my heart as I took one of my all time favourite photos of my son playing by a little stream at the beginning of the walk. He was lost in imaginative play pretending his stick was first a sword, then a magic wand and finally something to whack his sister with. Which is when I had to put my camera down!

Often at the end of the walk we’ll either pop into the Bull Inn Arborfield for a drink or head to Lockey Farm to treat ourself to something yummy for dinner. Henry Street Garden Center is also just up the road if you’re looking for something new to plant in the garden.

Check out my other recommended family friendly Berkshire Walks on the blog or follow #PhotoWalksBerkshire on Instagram or Facebook.

Anna x

Arborfield Cross and Wysipig Map

Address: The Bull Inn, Arborfield Cross, Reading, Berkshire, RG2 9QD

Directions:

  1. Cross the roundabout and follow Cole Lane all the way to Ellis Hill Farm Shop (don’t forget to grab a cuppa!)
  2. Take a right at the crossroads and follow the path through the woods
  3. Take the second right and follow the path all the way down to Barkham Road
  4. Turn right and follow the B3349 road all the way back to The Bull Inn
6 simple photography activities for kids
Wilder’s Folly and Sulham Woods 2.4 Mile Circular Walk

Wilder’s Folly and Sulham Woods 2.4 Mile Circular Walk

Wilder’s Folly, near Sulhamstead, is a little ruin that sits on an open field above Nunhide and is a popular location for many photographers. If you’ve lived in Reading a while you may have heard it being called ‘The Pigeon Tower’. But whatever name you give it, what’s special is the enchanting story that sit’s behind it.

It was built in the 18th century by Henry Wilder when he was courting Joan Thoyts and positioned in such a way that both could see it from their own homes. You can still see Sulham House through the south arch of Wilder’s Folly looking north. The couple later married in 1769 and had 11 children so this grand love gesture obviously did the trick!

The windows have now been bricked up and the tower is a dovecote with a few nest boxes built into the brickwork at the top. But to my kids Wilder’s Folly is the ‘little castle on the hill’ where they get to pretend they’re kings and queens. It’s also the perfect spot for a picnic so make sure to pack some food fit for royalty!

The path leading up to Wilder’s Folly takes you through Harefield Copse. If you time your visit in spring you’ll be presented with a carpet of beautiful Bluebells mixed among the trees. This makes the walk up to the folly that extra bit more magical.

This is one of our favourite family walks and one we try and time around golden hour in hope of an epic sunset. The best place to park is on Little Heath Road near Little Heath Skate Park. From here walk up to Pincents Lane where you will see a narrow path on your right labelled Harefield Copse on Google Maps. Follow this all the way until you see Wilder’s Folly appear on the top of the hill.

There’s lots of other family friendly Berkshire walks on the blog, but here are some of my other favourites:

Anna x

Wilder’s Folly Map

Parking: Tilehurst Skatepark, Little Heath Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG31 5TQ

6 simple photography activities for kids

Anna was amazing from start to finish! She went and scouted out the best spot, in our chosen location; she took all of our wants and needs into consideration; she made us feel at ease throughout the photo shoot, which resulted in some beautiful natural photographs, with genuine smiles.

HAZEL – READING, BERKSHIRE MUM

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