Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Child and Family Photography in Tunbridge Wells, Kent


Today on the blog I’m pleased to be sharing some images from a photo shoot in Tunbridge Wells in Kent. I travel to Tunbridge Wells a few times each season to visit regular clients and to meet new ones.

This was my fifth shoot with Tom, Amanda and their boys. We first met when Will was only three, it’s hard to believe he’s now ten years old, time certainly does fly. I’m so incredibly lucky that many of my clients have regular sessions as it’s such a privilege to watch the children grow up and to create these wonderful photographic documents of their childhoods.

Tom and Amanda had chosen the stones at High Rocks for our first location and I couldn’t have been happier. I’d been to this location once before a few years ago with another family and I was so pleased to go back, it’s a fantastic spot. The rocks are so much fun to play on and there are so many interesting opportunities for pictures. I could photograph their every day for a month and I don’t think I would get bored. We had a brilliant time playing hide and seek and the boys loved it.

Then we decided to move on and explore the woods, taking a ball with us. Sports are now the number one activity for the boys and they were very keen to show off their football skills. I always really enjoy the dynamic nature of family photo shoots, how we move from one thing to another never letting the children get bored and ensuring we are all having fun. I love photographing large families with three, four, five children; I really enjoy the dynamics and find that the opportunities for pictures are fantastic as the children play together.

Mid-morning the call of snacks and coffee took us back to the family home which I was very pleased about, Tom and Amanda have a brilliant garden and I’ve enjoyed utilizing it’s photographic opportunities on four occasions now (our first photo shoot having taken place before the family moved from London). Each time is different as the children grow and use the space in different ways.

We had a brilliant time with Nerf guns and using the play area – swings and slides never fail to amuse and I’m always trying to find different angles and get interesting and unusual photos. I love images that really capture personality and have what I think of as ‘real’ expressions rather than cheesy photo grins, which can be such a feature with children of these ages. By playing together the camera is forgotten and I am able to take pictures that really capture the boys personalities.

A game of cricket gave each of the boys a chance to show off their skills and then, because the weather was good we finished with a water fight. When Will suggested we emulate the ice bucket challenge and tip buckets of water on their heads who was I to disagree? He was right, the pictures were wonderful and, as so often happens, I was thrilled that the family photographs are a collaborative effort between me and my young subjects. By working together and having fun we can create fantastic pictures that will be enjoyed for years to come.

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