Photoblog: January 2016 Archive

Baby and Family Photography in Victoria Park, East London

Posted in Babies at 09:06 on 30/01/2016

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A fabulous morning in Victoria Park in Hackney hits the blog today and I hope you will enjoy looking at these baby and family photographs.

Rana had got in touch as she had seen her cousin’s beautiful photographs up on the wall from a session we had done together a couple of years ago. It was great, Rana booked in and within the week her lovely cousin organised a new session too. I got to see them both last summer and we had a brilliant time on both sessions. I love this about photography, I photograph one family member and then the word spreads and I meet friends and relations and get to know the whole family really well. It’s one of the very best things about this job, I feel very lucky.

We were also lucky with the weather for Rana’s photo shoot, a lovely warm day perfect for being out and about and Darius had a brilliant time exploring the park. I love seeing his early steps, held up by mum and dad and I know that by now, when I’m writing the full blog post, he will be steady on his feet, probably running around and getting into all sorts of mischief. The first few years really do fly by, it’s so lovely to capture these moments in photographs that will be kept and looked back on for so many years to come.

Victoria Park in Hackney is a fabulous place for a photo shoot, it’s a park I have only got to know in these last couple of years and it’s a wonderful spot. I do feel that we are lucky in London to have so many incredible parks. For those who haven’t been there, Victoria Park is huge and varied with so many different areas and different things to do. For older children it has some of the best adventure playgrounds and for adults they also do incredible coffee in the cafe by the lake, a perfect pit stop for us while Darius had a sleep in his buggy.

We had a great time and I loved how interested Darius was in everything we saw and all the games we played. His laugh is infectious and we all found ourselves laughing as we played peek-a-boo with a muslin, the old games are most definitely the best games.

When the morning drew to a close - we had rowed our boats, chased our pigeons, read our books, explored our pagoda, played peek-a-boo and hide and seek and enjoyed a wonderful time - we headed back to the flat for a couple more pictures before we finished. It’s nice to mix things up a bit in a session and particularly when photographing babies I like to do a bit of the session indoors as well as a bit outdoors where possible. This really adds to the variety of images I can give to my lovely clients.

Darius had a lovely time rolling around on the bed and laughing with Rana before we finished for the day leaving a tired and happy baby ready for his lunch and a nice long nap. It was a wonderful morning and I’m thrilled with the pictures. I do hope you enjoy them and please do get in touch if you would like to arrange your own baby or family photography session in Victoria Park or elsewhere in London, I’d love to hear from you.

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Helen Bartlett Photography Interview on Canon Europe

Posted in In the press at 15:00 on 29/01/2016

It's been an exciting start to the year with a lot of fantastic things going on here at Helen Bartlett Photography, not least my continued involvement with Canon. I'm thrilled to share a link today with a recent interview that I did about how I got started in photography.

It seems so long ago but it's only thirteen years since I bought my first digital camera (a Canon 10D) and set up my business. I find it fun to look back over all the lessons I have learnt - both photographically and from a business point of view and it's lovely to be able to share a few tips for the next generation of photographers.

I feel so lucky to make my living taking photographs, and I hope that I can inspire others in this challenging but rewarding career.

To read the article

It's also on all the Canon European blogs - how cool is that? I have people reading about me in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, France and many more countries. At this rate 2016 is going to be the best year ever!

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Fun Family Photography in Richmond Park

Posted in Family at 08:30 on 28/01/2016

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This was my second family photo shoot with Nina and I had been really looking forward to it. A professional photographer herself Nina always gives so much thought to our shoots, ensuring we have wonderful activities planned that will keep us going all morning and to make sure the children have a great time and we end up with a fabulous set of images.

I arrived at 8am to be greeted by the wonderful smell of bacon and the comforting sound of the kettle boiling for coffee. As the children finished their cereal we hatched a plan for our day. The family tradition, which I thought was brilliant, is to cook a big pile of bacon first thing on a weekend morning. This is then packed up along with lovely fresh rolls and the choice of sauces (red or brown, what’s your poison?) and then taken out for a picnic in the open air. We headed out to the wonderful Richmond Park, truly one of the best places for family photography in London.

Walking there we stopped for a few family shots including the picture of the family in a tree, a particular favourite of mine. I loved hearing from Willow about the importance of a reading tree. Having no balance myself I had to read in a reading den, I’d have fallen out of a tree, but I loved the idea and happily chatted books, swapping recent favourites. Do tell me if you think of a brilliant children’s book I should read, I do like to keep up with the kid’s literature.

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But I digress, on with the photo shoot, and we headed out into the park. The family have a particular tree they always head for - The Magic Faraway Tree -complete with a slippery slip (the entrance into the Magic Faraway Tree for those who haven’t read the book) and I was so pleased that this was where we headed. It’s brilliant to include all the really special places when taking family photographs, places that will be so important in the children’s memories of their childhood.

Lucky for us the magic faraway tree also provided shelter and we needed it as the heavens opened. Clutching our bacon sandwiches (with red sauce of course, what did you expect?) I felt very glad of my waterproof trousers, which enabled me to stay outside the shelter of the tree in relative comfort as I photographed the children sheltering in their den and munching happily on their sandwiches. They thought it hilarious that I stayed out in the rain to get the best pictures. I love how completely unflappable by the weather children can be and I love these pictures that record this special place in the wonder of the British weather!

Then with a break in the rain we headed out for a bit, jumping the grassy tussocks from one to another, the family had a great time. Soon though, the rain returned, and rather than get everyone too cold and wet we decided to head back and reassess for the second half of the shoot.

One of the best things about starting my family photography sessions so early - usually 8am - is that we have a huge amount of flexibility to visit different locations and to regroup if we are hit a curveball by the weather. We were home again by 10am, still so much of the morning to play with and so many options for family photography.

A cup of tea, a chocolate biscuit, and a marked improvement in the weather so we decided to head out to a new location for a few more pictures and some added variety to the photo shoot. Richmond Park is such a big place that a short drive took us to a completely different area with a totally different feel. The sun came out and beautiful back lighting produced some stunning halo effects on the group shots.

We had a brilliant time, playing games, running around and even having a picnic (which was a massive treat for me, two picnics in one day!) before tired, happy, and full of jelly beans from our jelly bean hunt (see what I mean about Nina planning the best photo shoots!) we headed home. It was a brilliant family photo shoot and I’m so pleased with the pictures. I do hope you will enjoy looking at them and do get in touch if you would like to arrange your own family photography session either in Richmond or elsewhere in London this spring, I’d love to hear from you.

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Portrait Photography with Teenage Siblings - Just One - Joanna

Posted in Just One at 08:24 on 25/01/2016

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This was my eleventh photo shoot for Joanna, I’ve been photographing the family in and around Kensington since 2005 and I always look forward to our annual photo shoot.

This year we headed to Holland Park for our family photographs, a place I know very well and have always loved. It’s always a pleasure to see the family again and to hear what they are up to - there are always wonderful tales of their summerhouse in France and what the children have been getting up to. I love to hear about school and their favourite subjects, which ones change from year to year and which stay the same as time goes by. It’s such an interesting time, that move from childhood into the teenage years and it’s hard to believe that I first met Julian when he was just five days old, now he’s choosing secondary schools and Lauren is going into GCSE’s. This last ten years really has flown by.

It’s always a pleasure to see the kids again and I love how the portrait photographs have changed and developed over the years. I must do a blog post with our Christmas card shots from 2005 onwards, that would be really interesting, but in the meantime I thought I’d share this year’s favourite of the three children together, a lovely shot of all of them and one I’m very pleased with. I hope you like it, today’s just one from a recent family photo shoot in Holland Park.

Stunning Family Photography in the Cotswolds

Posted in Family at 09:00 on 22/01/2016

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On the blog today, a shoot that might be one of my all time favourite sessions, a fantastic family portrait session taken in the Cotswolds. I’ve known Jackie for a number of years now and I was so thrilled when she chose to update her family photographs at their beautiful home in the Cotswolds, it’s always lovely to travel to different bits of the UK taking pictures, I love the variety that it brings.

As it takes a while to get to the Cotswolds on the train I had travelled up the night before and stayed in a local B&B, enjoying a lovely run in the evening sunshine before a meal at the local pub and a very early night. Up bright and early I was thrilled to see the most incredible coffee machine on the kitchen counter and I enjoyed a phenomenal coffee as final preparations were made to the children’s outfits, hair was brushed and we were good to go.

Connie showed me round the garden and I knew we would be in for a treat, there were so many incredible opportunities I knew we were going to end up with a spectacular set of family photographs from our Cotswolds shoot.

We started with some shots of the children together, I always like to do a few first thing as we can then relax knowing we have those under our belts, often more relaxed family shots will come later (as they did today) but you never know what the morning will bring. We then moved on down the garden to the most incredible bridge - absolutely stunning and with light to die for. I was absolutely thrilled with this family image that I took - back lit and showing the environment to it’s very best, the beautifully engineered bridge and the lovely lush foliage making the perfect frame.

From the bridge it was a short step into the river and the whole family gamely crossed the stepping-stones for a really interesting family shot. I love days like this one where everything comes together so perfectly. We went from here to a set of hay bales, which the children had a brilliant time jumping across and off, it was such an idyllic spot and the pictures have a really lovely timeless feel that I think is particularly suited to black and white photography.

Favourite garden games came next wit the children showing me their zipwire, rope swing and hanging tent. I loved the hanging tent and I imagine if I had had one as a child I would have spent almost all my time in there, head in a book, in a wonderful world of my own. It was a fantastic activity for pictures the children laughing their heads off as they swung around.

After a snack we did some tennis shots. Tennis is clearly a much loved family game and the children showed fantastic skills for their ages, returning shot after shot with practiced ease. I enjoyed the challenge of looking for new and interesting angles and compositions on an activity that can be quite hard to photograph well. I was thrilled with the results.

Our final area for pictures was the incredible kitchen garden that held the family’s prize vegetables, soon to be competing in the local fete; Connie’s sunflowers were particularly impressive. We played hide and seek in the long grasses by the lake and the lake itself provided a stunning backdrop for some really beautiful environmental portraits of the children. I loved how reflective it was on such a still day and love the shots of the boys walking around the edge, their silhouettes reflected in the glassy water below.

The day finished with some formal portraits by the door of the house, the light had moved round giving us a lovely soft illumination which works fantastically in these formal portraits.

All in all the most wonderful day and I’m absolutely thrilled with these pictures from our children an family photography session in the Cotswolds. Do get in touch if you would like to arrange your own family photography session, I travel throughout Europe, do get in touch for a quote.

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