Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family Photography in Abu Dhabi


Glorious evening light for this family photograph in Abu Dhabi

My job as a family photographer has taken me to many wonderful places over the years but my recent trip to Abu Dhabi has to be one of the best. It was certainly the furthest I’ve travelled to photograph a family. I’m lucky enough to do regular shoots in Europe, but this was my first trip to the United Arab Emirates and it was incredible. I’m so grateful that my family photography work takes me to such interesting places and that I get to spend time with wonderful clients recording their lives in pictures that they will treasure through the years.

This session of family photography in Abu Dhabi was my fourth shoot for this family. We had first met back in 2016 for a newborn shoot when they had visited London for the birth of their first child. We had a brilliant morning taking natural newborn photographs and my abiding memory of the day was the amount of laughter, it was such a fun day.

Laughter has been a theme through the following annual photo shoots as the family are full of joy. Sessions are always brilliant fun and very relaxed as we work around Syavash’s routine and take pictures that record his favourite things to do. We’ve always made a point to include as many of the daily routines as possible from his ‘baby spa’ (early morning bath, but the name stuck with me) to reading his books as he winds down for his nap. These pictures have such resonance as time goes by and are the perfect accompaniment to outdoor pictures that include the environment and the cool locations whether that’s a London park of the wonderful sights of Abu Dhabi where the family are based.

There are so many favourites from our session of family photography in Abu Dhabi I’ll have to do a longer blog post in future but, as always, I love to share a single image while my clients are waiting for me to process the pictures. As often happens when I’m downloading my memory cards some pictures just leap out at me. Often these are pictures that at the time I knew would be something special and which I find myself searching for as the cards download.

This picture from a sunset shoot at the local beach is one of those images. Even at the time I knew I had something special. The light was glorious and even though we didn’t have long between arrival and sunset what time we did have was very well spent. Syavash had a brilliant time with his bucket and spade cooking ‘carrot soup’ (or sand to you and I) and we mixed that in with some family shots utilising the light and the location to create images of startling beauty like this one.

The low sun made a silhouette a wonderful choice and by positioning Patrick in front of it the light creates a natural vignette around the picture. I love that we can feel the energy in the image and the atmosphere of the picture is so strong, a slight breeze evident in the sweep of Laleh’s dress and the ripples on the sea as the tide comes in.

I love that we can see the city in the background giving us a sense of place in this beautiful country I was lucky enough to visit. I do hope to see Abu Dhabi again one day and explore it more, in the meantime I hope you like this example of family photography in Abu Dhabi as much as I do.

If you would like to find out more about my family photography do take a look around the website. I have pages for newborns, babies, children and also older children and teenagers so you can get a wonderful feel for the work that I do.