Through out the year, one of our favourite locations for an outdoor dog photo shoot is at Shouldham Warren in Norfolk. Many people will have heard of the woods before, it is uniquely located where the Brecks merges with the Fens and only about 20 minutes drive from King's Lynn town centre but why do I think it is a great location for dog photography?
Here's where Shouldham Warren is: (W3W///assets.hourglass.october)
As a dog photographer, when considering a location for a photo shoot there are many key factors we look out for. I don't simply choose a photo shoot location because it is "beautiful" but I delve into other factors such as the dog's welfare, accessibility and local amenities. As you can imagine in order to give our clients and their pooches the best experience, we are rather picky about our choice of locations!
Reasons why Shouldham Warren is a great dog photography location:
Beautiful woods and paths
It's an incredible feeling realising how vast this woodland is when you first arrive, yet you're only about 10 miles from King's Lynn train station. During our dog photoshoot we needn't wander too far away before we see a beautiful backdrop of evergreen and deciduous trees, ferns, summer heathers, rhododendrons and logs perfect for creating stunning dog portraits.
Paths along the main walking trail are well maintained with uneven surfaces being few and far between, officially the trail loop marked by Explore West Norfolk is 2.5 miles making it a 'moderate' difficulty walk and by no means an arduous. If you decide that you'd like some action photos during your photoshoot, then let us know in advance because we know areas where there are suitable logs that would make for an amazing log jumping photo. If you are keen on shooting and have a working lab or a working spaniel (or any gundog for that matter!), you can bring your own pheasant or partridge to create a more "shooting" themed photo shoot in the woods.
Stunning autumnal colours
Shouldham Warren has some of the most stunning autumnal colours I've seen and photographed to date. The light is soft and non-intrusive, depending on the time of day when your photo shoot takes place I would describe it as a 'golden glow', this makes for an incredible backdrop for your dog's portrait photo - almost painting like. In my experience to get the most of these beautifully saturated orangy vibrant tones, mid October to beginning of November is the best time. At other times of the year such as late winter or spring, you'll find the colour changes to a subtle peach pink.
Kids won't feel left out
If you have children that like going outdoors and love to meet wildlife then they won't feel left out. There's plenty of places to explore and birds (Red Kites and Common Buzzards are a frequent sight!) to see during our photo shoot. Whilst I am a dog photographer, we often have kids that come along to our photo shoots to join in for family photos with their dogs. As a dad myself too, I know too well how little time there is before they start to become bored so don't worry I've got that covered!
Parking and accessibility
Parking spaces are plenty, so finding somewhere to park even on the busiest of weekends shouldn't be difficult. If you're thinking of bringing your pony along with your dogs to our photo shoot (please let us know in advance) you'll find plenty of suitable spaces large enough to manoeuvre your horse box in and out of. Lastly, the entrance to Shouldham Warren is within a stone's throw from the car park making it highly accessible, if you need to use a wheelchair or mobility scooter, you'll find Shouldham Warren reasonable accessible as majority of its grounds are flat with very few hills.
There's no reason why you can't make a photo shoot a proper day's out in the country by visiting the local dog friendly village pub King's Arm at the heart of Shouldham. The 17th century traditional pub is located just one mile from Shouldham Warren and is West Norfolk's first community owned pub. It's ideal for finishing off the photoshoot day with some pub grub and real ales straight from the barrel.
Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI)
This article would not be complete without a brief mention of Seasonal Canine Illness. Past cases of this rare condition have been diagnosed in September and October from dogs whom have been to the woods of Sandringham and Thetford but it is not limited to Norfolk and have been seen throughout the country. The main symptoms to look out for are vomiting, diarrhoea and tiredness within 72 hours of being in a woodland area. The cause is unclear but may be related to harvest mites picked up during walks. Dogs who regularly visit woods seem less susceptible. Preventative treatment in the form of a fipronil spray is readily available and can be applied prior to our photo shoot before going to the woods. Other potentially useful measures may include a thorough brush and bath after visiting.
For more information visit The Healthy Pet Club.
I hope this quick article has been an interesting read for you all, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me or leave me a comment below.