Autumn portrait session at The Boat House Canberra

When I moved to Canberra everyone said, “just wait until Autumn”. Two years in and all I can say is, I love Autumn. The weather, the colours, the transition in seasons and the feeling of new growth, it makes me feel alive, refreshed and expectant of my own personal growth.

If you’ve been following along for a little while you’ll know that I’ve been making time to play more and consciously spend time doing things I genuinely enjoy. That’s not to say I don’t love my job, I honestly do! But sometimes I need to spend time creating without a deadline, a brief or any expectation. Over the weekend, that is exactly what I did with Natalie.

I met this beautiful soul at a networking event hosted by The Women’s Collective and we just clicked. Fast forward a couple months (after finding out that Natalie was no stranger to being behind a camera lens), we set up a day to shoot together. With shoots like this, I don’t like to plan too much. I have a general idea but I love leaving room for spontaneity. I’m always trying to use new and interesting locations and somehow completely overlooked the incredible Boat House which is literally 5 minutes from my home! Before a shoot I always like to go to the location, walk around and let me mind wander. It helps to relive any pressure on the day and gives me a starting point.

With perfect weather, cloudy skies and a basket full of clothing, we pieced together a few outfits and started to find our first location. Before we began shooting, I ran Natalie through some ideas of poses to start with and transition to but I emphasised, keep moving. My biggest piece of advice for capturing real, authentic moments is to make your subject feel as comfortable as possible from the minute you are together. Real movement, real laughs and real emotional connection is always better than any staged pose. A few ideas are to create shapes with your body, run your hands through your hair, trace your fingers up your arm, bend over and flip your hair, twirl, skip, dance; all of these things may feel silly but once you move through a few they tend to forget about any insecurities and begin to have fun! As an added bonus, I tend to do the poses or movements with them so we’re both on the same level. If I can let go and have fun, it allows space and trust for others to do the same!

I hope you enjoyed a little behind the scenes look into my process and learnt a couple things! If you’ve like to see more posts like this, let me know!

For now, scroll on through the images we created together on a perfect Autumn afternoon in Canberra.

Until next time,

Jess x