Wakehurst Summer of Sound

Kew Gardens | Botanic Gardens & Country Estate

International Garden Photographer


Wakehurst Gardens

Wakehurst is a house and botanic gardens in Ardingly, West Sussex. Owned by the National Trust and managed by the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. Comprised of a 16th-century mansion, a 20th-century garden with wild elements, and a Millennium Seed Bank that safely stores the world's seeds.

The Campaign

For a garden photographer to produce a series of hero images that evoke a sense of stillness and wellbeing for viewers that will help promote Summer of Sound. Photographs should show Wakehurst in its purest form, capturing the atmosphere and raw natural beauty of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Images should evoke a sense of inspiration and contemplation.

Summer of Sound

Kew Garden's got in contact about their Summer of Sound project. SoS is a festival of architecturally interesting audio based installations of both natural and augmented  sounds. The sculptures are designed to enhance the sensory landscape of Wakekhurst where 'moments of stillness and tranquility' can be found.


  • London Photographer | Simon Callaghan Photography


Eye-Catching, Hero Photographs for Wakehurst Botanical Gardens

Wakehurst is a garden photographers dream; it's beautiful, vast, diverse and there's potential for an award winning photograph around every corner. This also creates a challenge in capturing hero photographs for the Kew Gardens Summer of Sound Festival. As Wakehurst is incredibly popular for photographers, and an iconic landmark for garden photographers in particular, there are dozens of world class images that already exist. Stunning photographs that already celebrate and encapsulate this stunning landscape in the perfect way. This creates a lot of pressure to in our hunt to produce hero images that invoke a sense of emotion, of stillness and reflectiveness, we had big shoes to fill!

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  • London Photographer | Simon Callaghan Photography


Garden Photographer - The Golden Hour

Photographing at golden hour is a classic garden photography technique. Softer shadows and directional light add dimensions and bring out textures that are missed when being photographed at midday. Colours become more vibrant as golden light washes over the landscape, all helping to create eye catching garden photographs for the Summer of Sound.

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  • London Photographer | Simon Callaghan Photography


Garden Photographer; Creating Fantasy

We wanted to create a fantasy element in the photographs to show Kew Gardens as having a wild and unexplored side. For younger visitors to Wakehurst, images with an other-worldly feel are engaging and create curiosity. A sense of wonder can go along way. It may do nothing, it may inspire a generation to explore this natural habitat or take an interest in conservation. 

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  • London Photographer | Simon Callaghan Photography
  • London Photographer | Simon Callaghan Photography


Garden Photography - Creepy

The wilderness can be intimidating and we wanted to capture this side of Wakehurst. To show more than the inviting style of garden photography. Kew asked for some darker, wilder photographs to show a less tranquil side of life. At the time of photographing, the final Summer of Sound installations hadn't been decided, so we wanted to cover our bases with the style of photographs that may be used alongside each exhibit.

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  • London Photographer | Simon Callaghan Photography
  • London Photographer | Simon Callaghan Photography
  • London Photographer | Simon Callaghan Photography


Drone Garden Photographer: Photographing from the Sky

Being a drone pilot has many advantages; seeing the world in a different perspective and showing scale not possible from the ground. As we become more accustomed to drone photography, the novelty wears off and they become simply another photographic tool that's used to help fill a garden photography brief. The Wakehurst Summer of Sound exhibition will likely take place in the middle of the open spaces below and drone photographs help show this.

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  • London Photographer | Simon Callaghan Photography
  • London Photographer | Simon Callaghan Photography


Photographing Wakehurst, The Wilderness

Wakehurst is beautiful. Venturing through the botanic gardens with a camera in hand, it was hard to walk by such picturesque scenes without snapping a few extra images that weren't on the brief. Below are three London garden photographer images that may or may not be used for the Kew Gardens Summer of Sound Exhibition. 

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  • London Photographer | Simon Callaghan Photography
  • London Photographer | Simon Callaghan Photography
  • London Photographer | Simon Callaghan Photography
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