Lifestyle Family Photography South Wales - Fun Family Portraits - Graduation Celebration!

Back in August I had the pleasure of meeting Angharad. She reached out to me to help capture her fun family portraits to celebrate her graduation from university. Together we planned a sunset session in the woods with her, her boyfriend and her parents. It’s not often I get to shoot a family session where there are no children or babies involved….so I got a little carried away and told Angharad I’d love to help her celebrate so long as she brought along a bottle of champagne!

Of course back in August life was very much upside down (let’s be honest, it still is) thanks to covid 19. Sadly Angharad wouldn’t be able to have the big graduation ceremony that we expect after working hard for your degree. She wouldn’t be able to share that moment with all her family and friends. So, she took action and decided to celebrate as best as she could and in a way she would be able to share with everyone else in her life, with joyful, relaxed family portraits! I say power to you Angharad, you’ve put the work in and you deserve to be able to celebrate it all!


Angharad wanted to be able to send photos to her extended family, like her grandmother, so that they could still be a part of this brilliant chapter of her life. So we first created some more traditional, ‘smiling with her scroll’ shots. The kind of image you know your Gran will proudly hang in the living room so she can have a good boast about her brilliant grandchildren!

But you know me, I love images to tell a story, so I also managed to capture a few candid moments at the beginning of our session. As everyone tried to figure out exactly how a robe should be worn, in particular the hood! The hood caused plenty of confusion but thanks to a quick google image search from Dad everyone soon had Angharad looking ready! I maybe could’ve helped but I just thought this was a funny little moment that needed to be documented! Family portraits should bring back lots of little details from the day, moments that make you laugh. Moments that you otherwise could’ve forgotten.

Once we got the serious shots out of the way, this family let they’re hilarious fun side come out. There were so many jokes shared, funny stories and everyone doing their best to embarrass Angharad! Angharads Dad reminded me so much of my own Dad, a big joker always looking for laughs! We joked about how Angharad was giving us all some serious Harry Potter vibes in her robes and hummed ‘headwigs theme’ as we wandered around ‘the forbidden forest’!

When I first got Angharads enquiry in my inbox I wanted to help her craft a session that was a true celebration of her graduating university. So I suggested she bring a bottle of fizz to pop in her family portraits and share with everyone. I believe a session is more than just taking photos, it’s an experience in itself. One to be enjoyed! Angharad cautiously popped the cork on the bottle then poured everyone a glass. I have to say some of my favourite images from this session are of the family all sat together, clinking glasses and sharing stories.

It was great fun and as a newborn photographer it was a little different to my usual sessions! Lot less booze usually when I’m shooting!!!


2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. We’ve all faced our own struggles, all missed out on something, all had our worlds turned upside down. It’s been hard for everyone and even harder for some. I am thankful everyday for the good we still have in our days and Angharad is the same. She managed to find a way to change the narrative of her covid disrupted graduation and she managed to create some fun family portraits full of happy little memories.


A note from Angharad: “Sarah is lovely and took wonderful photos!

Organising the shoot was straight forward and professional but felt very friendly from the get-go. Once at the shoot, she made us all feel at ease and joined in with laughing and chatting away to help make the photos very natural and full of genuine laughter and happiness.

Will definitely be hiring again and would recommend to anyone looking for a photographer!

Thanks again ”


If you loved seeing this wonderful family finding a way to celebrate during this time then you should check out this blog too. Are you on Instagram? Come find me let’s connect and find the positive in the everyday together!


If you want to know more about a family session with me then head over to my portfolio page for more!

  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

Sarah Haile is a Mother, Wife and Photographer based in Abergavenny, South Wales. Since her transformation into Motherhood she uses her camera to celebrate and empower the journeys of the Mothers she meets.

….she also quite likes speaking in the third person..

Get in Touch

hello@sarahhailephoto.com