Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family photographer in Brockley, SE London

19Jun

Despite the fact it was wet and windy, I knew it was going to be a brilliant day as soon as I arrived at Joe and Victoria’s stunning Brockley flat for our photography session. The flat was lovely with beautiful high ceilings and the most incredible directional light in the living room. To be fair, there was not a great deal of light but, as a photographer, the quality of light will always trump the quantity. In this case, I was thrilled by its exceptional quality and knew that I was on course to get some great photographs.

We started indoors taking some pictures of Fleur as she introduced me to her favourite bear, a wonderful toy considerably bigger than she was and almost as big as me. Wistfully, I remember myself as a child wishing I had a teddy just like this one.

A break in the weather allowed us to brave a trip to Hilly Fields for some outdoor pictures. The family, along with Gus the dog, all headed out to brave the elements. I feel it is a good sign when a family is happy to be out in all weather, especially if they have a dog. Needless to say, Fleur and Gus were only too delighted to be running around outdoors. The photograph of Fleur outside the café, turning and looking back to say ‘come on mummy and daddy, what’s taking you so long?’ is a firm family favourite. This is a picture that sums up this time in their lives when, whatever the weather, many a day is spent out on Hilly Fields following Fleur as she explores and plays. A happy, confident toddler, Fleur is happy just revelling in the fresh air, and I really love photographs like this. These are images that speak to parents, not only of a time and a place, but of the special relationship between them and their offspring. For me, this image is personality-laden and filled with memories. I’m so glad that this is now framed and hanging in the family’s home. We had a great time at the park. Fleur particularly enjoyed the adult exercise equipment. As far as she was concerned, this was far more fun than the children’s playground, which didn’t even get a look in during our run around.

And then, as the weather begun to take a turn for the worst, we made our way back home for the second half of our family photo shoot.

One of the best things about a rainy day photo shoot is the variety of images that you can expect. Although we’ll often get out and about for at least a part of the time, we also end up taking a lot more images indoors, spending time thinking about all the little things that make up a normal day. The rain can be a great idea catalyst for photo shoots, producing pictures that really show the family as it is – with all their favourite toys, favourite games, and all the little things that define childhood. It is a privilege to photograph these things, especially in the knowledge that such images will have such resonance in the future.

We had a fabulous time playing in the different rooms of the flat, reading books, playing with favourite toys (a toy phone being a particular favourite), and also making sure that Gus the dog was included in the pictures.

And then, to finish our morning, back where we started in the front room with the magical light streaming in where I photographed Fleur, with her pots and pans, cooking us a lovely lunch. This is just one of many favourite images from our morning photography session – a laugh out loud classic, full of life and an expression that makes me smile whenever I see it. I also loved the side-lit portraits.

I came away feeling it was a wonderful session. I hope you agree and enjoy looking at these family portraits from our children’s photography session in Brockley in South East London SE4.