Every year we go pumpkin picking at Farmer Copleys. I’ve considered other pumpkin patches but Farmer Copleys just ticks all the boxes for me.

I bet most of you already know about his fab pumpkin festival. It’s kind of a rite of passage for us Yorkshire folk! First your baby has their hospital Bounty pics, then their newborn shoot, then you dress them up like a pumpkin and take them to Farmer Copleys for some candid snaps then it’s their first Christmas and, before you know it, you’re booking their Cake Smash for their first birthday! 

I’m a big fan of pumpkin picking for lots of reasons. Firstly, it wasn’t something that we ever had the opportunity to do when I was a kid so the first time we went I think I was more excited than all of the kids there put together! Secondly I love, love, love to support local independent businesses - I’m one myself after all. Thirdly, I like to show my daughter that things actually grow from the ground and not everything comes wrapped in plastic with a sticker on it. Finally, and most importantly, I love creating memories with my daughter. 

Pumpkin picking with a toddler

I’ve had people tell me ‘but she’s 3, she will never remember it’ to which I reply ‘but I will’. 

Also, you would be amazed by what kids remember (like the time I stubbed my toe and said a naughty word…). Even if she doesn’t remember going pumpkin picking in 10 years time she will remember it in 10 days time and the experiences they have now will mould and shape them into the adult they will become. 

Tractor ride at Farmer Copleys Pumpkin Farm

So we have lots of family traditions and I always take lots of photos. The photos aren’t for Instagram (although I do often share them on there and obviously I get a warm and fuzzy feeling when people like and comment on them - who doesn’t??) they are for my daughter to look back on. She loves looking at photos of herself and she loves talking about what she’s doing in the photos. 

Pumpkin picking at Farmer Copleys

For the longest time my partner and I were worried about her speech and I found the more I tried to sit down and do organised learning activities (flash cards, reading books etc) to improve her speech, the more she saw straight through me and refused to even try. So I’ve had to change my approach. I now take photos of her doing something that interests her and after I show her the photos and we talk about everything and anything to do with the image. We count the number of pumpkins in the wheelbarrow, we talk about the different colours, we discuss size and shape and I try and teach her new words each time. I’m not saying it will work for every kid but it certainly works for mine. 

Photo opportunities at Pumpkin Festival

So I drag my massive camera along with me everywhere and I try to get photos of her playing and I will sometimes push my luck and try and get a nice shot of her doing something cute (like sitting on a pumpkin) but these photos are few and far between. 

Toddler sitting on pumpkin at Farmer Copleys

Olivia has zero interest in posing for the camera (like most 3 year olds) so I work around her. I used to put a load of pressure on myself to get the ‘perfect shot’ and it honestly sapped all of the fun out of whatever activity we were doing. These days I try to predict Olivia’s next move and get my position and camera settings ready in time to capture the moment. 

Candid pumpkin picking photo

When I’ve had enough, I put my camera away. It means I will miss some epically cute shots but it also means I can actively participate in what we’re doing and I can be involved in creating the memory rather than just documenting it. 

I still have my iPhone handy though and I’ll get a few candid photos and videos which i can instantly share with my friends and family on Facebook. I’ll never print these photos, the quality just isn’t good enough, but my family (and genuine friends) LOVE seeing what we are up to so the iPhone snaps will always have a place in my life. 

Iphone family photos collage

So, brave the crowds, go pumpkin picking, make memories, take loads of photos and share them with the people you know love your little one as much as you do. 

Pumpkin picking at Farmer Copleys