Art Photography | Light & Shadow at the Preston Castle

I took my daughter to the Preston Castle for Photographer Day earlier this month. It was a morning shoot (my daughter's choice, believe or not!) and I enjoyed photographing the variety of ways the light presented itself in the different rooms of the castle. 

We started our morning in the bedroom on the second floor. Seeing the child-size beds that are still here makes me imagine the children that used to call this place their home. I wonder (and hope) if sharing this space helped them feel less lonely and scared. 

This room is a popular one with photographers, and it's easy to see why. It is surrounded by windows on 3 walls and has lots of space. We must have chosen this area at the perfect time because we had the space to ourselves. I loved the shadows created by the morning light. They made everything look dramatic - even scenes as mundane as my daughter opening her fan.


I forgot that this was my daughter's first visit to the Preston Castle...many of my "favorite rooms" were either closed off or occupied, so I focused on the areas where we could take pictures. While we walked around, I noticed her brown eyes widen at the old furnishings, dilapidated rooms, the main staircase, and high ceilings -  I had to remind myself to let her take in the atmosphere so she can appreciate where we were. 

I remembered from Emily's shoot a few months ago that the wine cellar had amazing light, so we went there next. A lot of the light was filtered, which was nice, but when we turned one of the corners, I saw a pocket of diagonal light that I wanted to play with. I loved how it gave drama to Ashlynn's portrait!


We ventured outside - there is a large lawn beyond the large concrete patio that I had never noticed before. We brought the black parasol (her favorite prop, I think LOL) and I thought that it would be fun to see if could capture some images with the light coming through the lace. An experiment, for sure, that we will have to repeat. 


Claire Toney is a Northern California-based photographer. Artistic photography sessions feed her soul. If you are interested in modeling for a creative session such as this, send her a message at, or better yet, sign up for her email list below to be notified of upcoming model calls.

She is currently booking Mom & Me Photoshoots and Generation Photosessions for the month of May. Visit her Mom & Me scheduling page to see what dates she still has available and grab your spot!