Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Stories behind the Images No. 7 – Mary Poppin’s Chim Chim Cher-ee dance


I always know that I am going to have an amazing time when I visit Adam and Henrietta to capture pictures of their wonderful children, Poppy and Edward.

This shoot was no exception. We had left the house to go for a walk down the lane leading from their house – it’s a lovely spot with a small stream, ponies to chat to over the fence, big open spaces to run around in, and also woodland – a wonderful variety of options for children and family photography.

My eye was drawn to the railway bridge, which is a lovely old brick structure with some of the most wonderful light underneath it, as the bright sun moved into shade providing lovely softly-diffused light.

We started taking some family shots in this beautiful light, but then Edward got a bit distracted – like all small boys, he wanted to be running around and not standing still for a (very quick) family picture.

Henrietta – who is a trained Opera singer and now a professional singing teacher – broke into song to entertain him. This was oh-so-different to when I do the same, and warble tunelessly my best renditions of ‘zoom zoom zoom, we’re going to the moon’! As Henrietta moved through a number of the top hits of Mary Poppins, Edward gurgled with laughter and when the whole family started to do Dick Van Dyke’s famous dance, well, I almost collapsed laughing and had to really concentrate to take a picture.

So here we are – isn’t it fabulous – Chim Chim Cher-ee as brought to you by Henrietta and her wonderful family.

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