Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Beautiful black and white family portrait photography in Fulham


The majestic Bishop’s Palace in Fulham, South West London was the location for today’s portrait session and this wonderful selection of baby, child and family photographs with Jennifer, Carlos and their beautiful children. I love Bishops Palace – from the first time I visited to photograph a family almost ten years ago, it’s been a location I love to return to. It has everything that I love – wonderful big trees, lots of shade, great spaces for the children to run around and explore, and some quirky details like the wooden sculpture of a cat at the base of one of the trees. Whoever sculpted the cat was a genius – it’s so beautiful and befitting to its surroundings, and so utterly captivating to children. Brilliant!

We had great weather for our photo shoot and after taking a couple of pictures of Stella at home in Parson’s Green while baby Thomas was getting ready, we were off. I did want to include a couple of the photographs taken at home on the blog today, though, as I absolutely love the shot of Stella in the box – pictures like this really appeal to my sense of the wonder and fun of childhood. Now that I am a grown up, a cardboard box tends to say ‘recycling’ to me (or most of the time, anyway – sometimes it does say ‘fire-engine’ or ‘car’, I must admit) but to children, it is always something fun – something imaginative and somewhere to play. A box can be anything – a bed for a teddy bear, a place to hide and jump out of, a boat to sail around the kitchen floor. The possibilities are endless and I find that wonderful, I always love a shot that incorporates a box!

And then we headed out to the beautiful Bishops Park in Fulham for our family photographs. As a photographer based in London, I travel a lot and see so many different parks and houses across the capital – there’s so much variety, and I love that. I do love coming back to a favourite location, though, and the fact that the pictures will never be the same. It’s the joy of working outdoors on location – the light will always be different, the trees and greenery are always different, where the children want to play and what we do will always different, and it is this fabulous variety that makes my work so challenging and so fun. It truly is a wonderful life being a family photographer in London.

But I digress, back to the photographs! We spent a great morning together and began by exploring the beautiful walled garden in Bishops Palace. Stella loved exploring the avenues of trees, especially when there were ducks to find (even if the ducks weren’t keen on being scooped up into a loving embrace). Thomas loved the shade of the trees as he did a bit of flying with mum and dad, utilising the lovely backgrounds to create interesting compositions for his portraits, really making the most of the environment.

I also love utilising different camera lenses and aperture choices to really add variety to my images, and the two shots of Thomas being held in the air really encapsulate this – I used an 85mm lens for one, and a 35mm for the other; my two favourite lenses for outdoor shoots and such different effects, I can never decide which of the shots I prefer; perhaps the 35mm image where there is more space, as I love the sense of scale in the image. It’s things like this that make my job so much fun – making choices, often in split seconds, as to which lens and which settings to use to make the image just as I see it in my head. I love to experiment and I love it when it works just as I expect.

The light was wonderful as I mentioned, and this beautiful sunlight rippling through the leaves was an important element of my compositions for this photography session, with the backlit leaves that Thomas reaches for making such beautiful shapes. I love shooting through foliage and using the curves and shapes that are naturally made by the leaves to frame elements of my pictures, whether it is a canopy over Stella as she looks at a pine cone, or a circle of leaves framing Jennifer as she rocks Thomas to sleep. Using what I find in the environment really makes location-based family photography so special.

There are so many elements to this shoot and I always like to provide variety in my work – I’d be writing a book if I talked about every elements, so I shall let the pictures do the talking: with hugs and laughter, beautiful individual portraits and fun-filled action shots, family group pictures and children’s portraits. This shoot has them all and I’m absolutely thrilled with this selection of pictures – I hope you will enjoy them too, a selection of children’s, baby and family pictures from our photo shoot in Bishops Park in Fulham, South West London.

If you would like to arrange a portrait session for your own family, please contact us – we would be delighted to hear from you.

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