Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family Photography in Islington in a Documentary Style


I’m thrilled to share this set of images from a fantastic morning photographing Dilveer and her family in Islington. North London has so many great areas for family portraits and within minutes of Dilveer’s beautiful home we had a little garden square and also the fantastic canal walk. I love to explore new places and it’s always so much fun when the children want to show me where they love to go and to play their favourite games. Alex loved riding on his daddy’s back and playing one-two-three-swing as we walked along.

Using light is one of the most interesting elements of my job, assessing on a minute-by-minute basis which angles will give the best illumination and how I can use light and shadow to really create an interesting picture. The shot of the family under the bridge was one of these. It was very dark but I knew that if I exposed the picture for the family I would have wonderful bright illumination from the other end of the tunnel giving the image a really ethereal feel. I love Alex’s expression as he shouts loudly to get the very best echo and the scale of how tiny he is compared to his daddy – so tall his head just touches the roof. Images like this really make me smile, as I’m sure that Alex will remember this game, a clear family favourite, as he gets older. This picture will bring back so many memories when he grows up.

From the canal we walked on to the playground. As we were up so early and it was a cold morning we had the whole place to ourselves and Alex loved it, climbing and sliding and laughing with his parents. All the little interactions make really lovely pictures and tell us so much about the family and how they enjoy each others company. When Dilveer booked the session she said it wasn’t for any particular reason, just to ‘remember the good times’ and this is just what these pictures will do, remind everyone of all the fun they have together.

As we had been out and about for a couple of hours we then headed back to the house for a snack and some indoor play. Whatever the weather I love doing some pictures indoors as it’s wonderful to get a feel for the games the children play each day. We spend so much of our time indoors when we are little, it’s nice to record what we do. We had such fun playing with cars and then making some delicious food on Alex’s wooden cooker although I’m not sure that the ‘tea’ got universal approval!

It was such a lovely day and I’m so thrilled with the pictures. As always I have aimed to provide a really lovely variety of images that covers portraits, family shots, and pictures of everyone playing together – I love the playing images the best, the documentary images that tell the story of every day life.

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