Dream Maternity Photoshoot at Lauriston Castle Gardens in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh is a photographer’s dream – a veritable treasure trove of natural and man-made wonders. Being based here, I take full advantage of what’s on my doorstep by photographing my clients in wonderful locations all over the city, as well as the surrounding area.
When it came to selecting the location for Daniela and Mikk’s maternity session, I couldn’t think of a more perfect place than Lauriston Castle. Recently named one of the UK’s top hidden gems to visit in 2023 by Coast & Country Hotel Collection, the grounds are free to visit and only a 25-minute drive from the city centre. The setting is truly spectacular – overlooking the sparkling blue waters of the Firth of Forth, across sweeping farmland, the castle presides over 30 acres of gardens and parkland.
The three of us gathered in the castle grounds at 9 o’clock on a late January morning. The peaceful atmosphere and soft early light that greeted us created the perfect ambiance for the shoot. The weather was unseasonably mild, so Daniela and Mikk were able to remove their layers to reveal cosy knits. The muted tones of their clothing contributed to the soft, calm feel of the final maternity photographs. And to our absolute delight, Daniela was able to showcase her beautiful bump!
When it came to finding photography spots, we were spoilt for choice. Typically, January offers a limited colour palette due to a dearth of flowers and foliage. I instead opted for the structural backdrops of bare trees, stark in their beauty, and the architectural features of the castle itself – a late 16th-century tower house with 19thcentury extensions. One of my favourite shots is of Daniela and Mikk standing at the foot of a curving stone staircase, with beautiful wrought iron detailing, both tenderly cradling Daniela’s rounded belly.
We took the session at a relaxed pace, strolling from spot to spot over the course of about an hour. I thought it was important not to rush with Daniela being so heavily pregnant. I also wanted the photographs to capture the couple’s aura of contentment and I knew the only way to do this was for us to take our time and go with the flow. A feature that perfectly complemented the overall mood was the pond and its tranquil waters. In the background, a statue of Diana, goddess of the hunt and the countryside, can be glimpsed standing on her little island. Come spring she will be surrounded by vibrant rhododendron blooms.
And this is what is so wonderful about shooting outdoors, each location is constantly in flux, evolving with the seasons – and these changes can be documented, along with familial changes, in a series of lifestyle photoshoots, if my clients wish. For instance, if I were to arrange a photoshoot at Lauriston Castle in the spring, an explosion of colour and texture would await – drifts of soft pink cherry blossom, pathways lined with cheerful yellow daffodils and woods carpeted in violet bluebells.