Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family Photographs with a Toddler at Kew Gardens


Our second family photo shoot together

Fourteen months is a delightful age for a photo shoot, and I was thrilled when this session was booked in for the summer. A year and a bit ago we had first met for her newborn photography session in Chiswick which was one of those wonderful days which I’ll always remember.

We hit it off immediately when we met for their newborn session, bonding over a shared love of photography. I spent a wonderful day with the family working around the little one as she snuggled, snacked, and slept. Those wonderful early days that are a whirlwind of feeding and cuddling and such a privilege to be able to record in family photographs, I love newborn sessions and theirs was one of my all-time favourites.

So, as you can imagine, I was looking forward to our second shoot, not least because if I love newborn shoots, I love photographing toddlers every more. I love the joy of it and the fact that, in what feels like a blink of an eye, there’s so much personality shining through. Watching little people grow up is the privilege and joy of my work.

A photo shoot with a plan

We decided to take advantage of the members early opening at Kew Gardens and head there for our family photo shoot, meeting at 8.30 we had the place to ourselves, it was a perfect way to start the day.

Bright sunlight and dark foliage made it the perfect conditions for some bubble play and we started off with that along with every toddlers favourite games of being thrown in the air and walking with mummy and daddy. I love making sure to photograph all these little things, from eating berries of her fingers to riding on daddy’s shoulders, little moments that will be so important to the family looking back and of course everyone has a lovely time when they are doing their favourite things.

Keen photographers one and all

As keen photographers themselves Steve and Karina had thoughts a lot about the type of pictures they wanted, and we had some notes on what we wanted to achieve. This is always fun as I love the challenge of taking the ideas and running with them to give them a spin of my own.

Not every client has ideas in advance, most clients just say ‘do your thing Helen’ but it’s also a joy when there are ideas and pictures we want to achieve, both ways are great to work and variety always makes my job fun.

I loved her little toy camera, what a beautiful and thoughtful prop to have brought on her second photo shoot.

Letting little ones nap

After waking up very early in the morning (lucky mummy and daddy!) it wasn’t long before a nap was in order and the adults enjoyed a cup of coffee and an excellent early lunch of home-made sandwiches and delicous chocolate while the little one had a sleep.

I always think it’s important to keep to nap times on photo shoots as well rested babies are happy babies and it’s great to have the little ones full of energy.

When she woke up she was full of smiles and ready to play and so we had a happy time exploring some of the other areas of Kew Gardens, it’s one of those places where everywhere is lovely and there are so many different areas to explore.

Exploring and playing

From the wooden sheep to the tree lined paths and even some tiny daisies to look at, we had a brilliant time and took a wide variety of images. In years to come Steve and Karina will be able to look back on these pictures and remember the time they spent in London and all the many days they came to Kew to enjoy the peace and tranquillity it offers.

We finished with a few shots at home just to finish the story, a favourite piano, a story and some fun with the baby in the mirror and we were all exhausted after a long and excellent day.

Book your autumn session now

This is why I love my job, clients who become friends, wonderful creative opportunities, and the chance to create images that are full of memories that will be so important to the families I photograph now and in the future.

I love to think that in years to come they will all sit down together and look through the album and talk about the wonderful days they spent together.

I hope you have enjoyed what you have seen here today. If you would like to arrange your own family photo shoot then do get in touch. September is very busy now but there are still opportunities in the autumn. It’s a lovely time of year for pictures with the low light and long shadows and the snap of crisp crunchy leaves underfoot, just perfect for a trip to Kew, or your local park, and some family photography of your own.