Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family and children’s photography in Brockwell Park, South London

26Jul

Today on the blog I’m delighted to share with you some more pictures from my wonderful children’s and family photo shoot with Lis, Tillmann and Anselm at Brockwell Park on the Brixton, Dulwich and Herne Hill border in South London.

I love Brockwell Park as it’s got such a wonderful variety of interesting areas which are brilliant for family portrait photography. We used so many of them for our pictures, utilising all the different environments for a range of interesting and varied portrait photographs. I love the different moods that we captured over the course of the morning, from exuberant joy playing with mum and dad in the long grass, to a quiet moment with a toy car displaying total concentration and precision driving along a picnic table track. It’s really special to me to photograph all these different moods, and to take pictures that really reflect the complexity of a child’s personality rather than just skimming the surface with a short session and a fixed grin. By spending time and digging deep, by playing and interacting myself for some of the time, but also knowing when to take a step back and watch the action unfold before me, I am able to create a set of images that tell a story and will remind parents and children alike of these precious childhood moments. It’s a privilege and a pleasure, and I’m very lucky indeed to be able to share this with the families that I meet.

As always, it was an early start for me to arrive in Brixton bright and early in the morning, and we had coffee while Anselm finished his breakfast and got ready to go out. It’s lovely to start early as we have so much time to really get to know each other and enjoy our session, and we have the benefit of lovely empty parks, too – Brockwell Park was practically deserted when we arrived with just us, some dog walkers and a variety of exercise classes gearing up for the weekend. It’s always a wonderful time of day to be out and about, and it’s always a pleasure to work with the beautiful morning light.

We started our photo shoot by exploring the formal garden in Brockwell Park – in truth, I’m not sure if it’s a herb garden or a flower garden, but whichever it is, it’s a lovely spot! With its beautiful flowers and a feeling of peace and tranquillity (even when occupied by a game of hide and seek with a delighted two year old), it’s a lovely environment for photographs. We had a great time as Anselm explored – we hid, he laughed – it was wonderful.

When then found some snails, which were clearly a great favourite with Anselm and this kept us busy for a time. I love photographing children when they are fascinated by something – the concentration, the excitement, and in the case of the snail, the mixture of wonder and squeamishness – it’s so much fun to be two years old!

Then we were off again – running, hiding behind trees and exploring the long grass. As always, I work hard to take a variety of images, to work with the light and the backgrounds to create interesting and inspiring compositions, images that are unique and exciting and use all my skill as a photographer. I love how young children have no awareness of the camera – they are just off having fun and it’s up to me as a children’s photographer to capture the essence of this childhood joy. I particularly love the photographs of Anselm laughing in his mother’s arms – these are pictures that show the enormous love between them and they make my heart sing to look at them.

And then on to coffee (for the grown-ups) and a cold drink for Anselm at the café. Anselm enjoyed playing with his car and jumping in puddles as the adults refuelled and then we began to head slowly back, stopping on the way for some lovely family pictures and my favourite shot of Anselm with his Dad that was the Just One preview image from this shoot – a lovely shot of them playing together in the grass, a shot full of joy and love, just perfect.

By this time, it was almost lunchtime so there was just time for a quick go on the swings and then finishing with an ice cream, the perfect end to a perfect children and family photo shoot. I had such a wonderful time and I can’t wait for our next family photography session sometime in the future. It was a pleasure to take these pictures and I hope you enjoy them, from our wonderful children and family photography session in Brockwell Park on the Brixton, Dulwich and Herne Hill borders in South London, SE24.

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