Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Stories behind the Images No.4 – Father and Son


I’m really enjoying choosing pictures for this series as it’s really making me think about what it is in pictures that makes me really love them. Often it is down to a few simple elements – compositions, light and expression/emotion.
These elements are the building blocks of a great image. They can be used simply or in a more complex fashion.

I love this image of Harry and Russel because it is a simple picture that uses all the elements well to produce an image that I feel is greater than the sum of its parts. I absolutely love it and yet it isn’t a complex image, there are no clever tricks.

I love the composition, with Harry in the foreground and Russel behind. Their expressions are similar, joy and laughter and the fact that they are both laughing, this repetition enhances the image. I can feel the fun and also the love as Russel laughs with his eldest son.

The light is perfect, giving interesting modeling to their faces while allowing the background to face out and not distract the eye.

It is one of my favorite images from 2011, nothing complicated but simple ingredients used well.

It was a funny joke too, if memory serves…

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