Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

A firebird on Hampstead Heath


Gymnastic skills on Hampstead Heath

I last photographed Margot back in 2010 and so I was thrilled to visit her in Hampstead to update her pictures. In the intervening years Margot has grown into such an incredible young lady – confident, funny and incredibly company. I had such a brilliant time chatting Harry Potter and and marvelling at Margot’s gymnastics skills. It was such a fantastic way to spend a morning.

For the first half of our shoot we went out onto Hampstead Heath. The weather was kind and although there was a chill in the air the light was beautiful, soft and mysterious, perfect for the pictures we took in and around the trees.

I loved watching Margot demonstrate her gymnastics – handstands, jumps, it was incredible. I’m constantly trying to improve my yoga prowess but I’m such an amateur, I think I know just enough to really appreciate how incredible her skills are. I’ve done a bit of yoga photography recently, mainly for my club in North London, and so it was great to put those skills to good use on this lovely family shoot.

I find that my work is a mix of portraiture and action shots and I love to make the best use of the environment in which I’m working, whether that’s indoors in my client’s home or out and about at places like Hampstead Heath. I’m always looking for good backgrounds and ways to frame the action in interesting and beautiful ways.

This shot, today’s Just One, I took as we were heading home from the heath. Walking along a path I saw the way the trees created a frame at the top of the hill. Showing Margot on the back of my phone how the branches encircled the area of light we worked together to create this picture. Working with older children and teenagers is such fun as we can collaborate on ideas like this.

Margot was amazing, getting into just the right place and then showing me some of her wonderful jumps, I think this one was called the Firebird, she certainly looks wild and free and amazing.

I hope you like it as much as I do, today’s Just One from a recent family shoot on Hampstead Heath