Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

London City Sights – Family Portraits

16Mar

I had a brilliant time with Michael and Noelle for our family photo shoot in the City of London taking in some of the capitals famous sights.

I’m often asked about photographing older children – Will it be fun? Will the children get bored? How will we get really natural pictures? and the answer to this is yes. It will be fun and it won’t be boring, by doing fun things and having a great time we will ensure the children enjoy themselves and because they are having fun the resulting pictures will have the lovely natural smiles you are looking for. It’s certainly true that, unlike a two year old, once the children get older, head towards their teenage years, they won’t just ‘play’ while I work around them with a camera, we need to have interaction for a successful photo shoot.

I love photographing older children and teenagers and it’s this interaction that makes it so much fun. I had first photographed Michael and Noelle in 2015 and it was such a pleasure to see them again for our annual photo shoot recently. Photographing children annually is such a lovely thing to do – you can record the changes that you sometimes don’t notice when you are around the children on a day-to-day basis. It’s only when you look back on the pictures you realise how much they have grown and changed, and also, in some ways, how much has stayed the same (I particularly love looking back at the newborn shoots of children who are now reaching their teenage years and seeing some of the same expressions, there in those very first days).

Last years photo shoot had had a very rural feel with the pictures all taken in the park – lots of trees and beautiful natural backgrounds. For this session we decided to do something different and work with some of London’s famous sights. Up very early in the morning to avoid the crowds we met outside the Tate and headed out on our photographic adventure.

Michael and Noelle are brilliant fun, it’s so interesting to hear what they have been up to and especially what all the new cool things for kids are – our photo shoots are close to Michael’s birthday so it’s a good opportunity to hear about his presents and get ideas for my own nephews and nieces in the future. They are such intelligent and interesting children, it’s a real pleasure chatting to them and by talking lots, exchanging ideas, stories and jokes the children relax and I’m able to get these really lovely expressions, natural and fun.

Jumping in a cab to the area around Shad Thames we had a brilliant time utilising the incredible architecture and the reflections in the glass to make really interesting pictures. Michael and Noelle loved getting involved in the idea of the photographs, particularly Michael who is keen to pursue a career in acting or film direction and already has so much knowledge of the subject he was keen to share.

On our way back to the tube station we stopped in at the park for a few pictures in the playground – possibly the last time we might do this on a photo shoot as teenage years approach and they become too old for swings – but then again, I’m not sure you can ever be too old for a swing. I guess we’ll discover next year, I’m looking forward to it already.

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