Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family Photography in Esher in Surrey


I love this time of year as I see so many regular clients and I was thrilled when Rob got in touch back in the spring to book his family photography session in Esher. Rob decided when his first child was born that he would do a family photo shoot every three years and has kept to that, a wonderful decision that is producing a beautiful record of his girl’s early lives.

Regular photo shoots are such a great habit to get into, whether you do them every year as the majority of my clients do, or every few years like Rob. The important thing is not to let too much time go by. I often chat to clients who photographed their first child as a baby and then haven’t done any pictures for ten or fifteen years, so much time has gone by, so many memories unrecorded. The thing about pictures is you can always take more, have another shoot, but you can’t go back to the time you have missed.

Both our previous sessions had been brilliant fun, days of laughter and joy and wonderful pictures taken near the family home, first in 2013 back in Balham and then in Esher in Surrey in 2016. This year was no exception with a lot of laughter as we explored a nearby wood and played games joined by the family’s new puppy. They say don’t work with children and animals; I love to work with both.

For once this year the weather was kind and we had low winter sunlight to work with for our family photography session in Esher in Surry. This can be a challenge to us as photographers, but the results are often phenomenal as the light adds an extra element into our sessions elevating images into a different sphere. I love to work with complicated light as I do enjoy a challenge and I find as time goes on, I experiment more and more in these situations to use the light in different ways to add variety and creativity to my client’s selection of images.

I love how we, as photographers, can interpret the light in different ways and by using our camera settings we can alter the mood and feeling of an image. I’ve shared two pictures today to demonstrate this.

As we were walking back towards the car, I saw the potential of this spot, a fallen tree that was backlit by the sun. Most importantly though was the leaves on the tree in front, illuminated and providing a glorious canopy of light. I decided to shoot in two ways, light and airy for the shot of both the girls on the log. I wanted to see their facial expressions and to bring the light up to create a feeling of a light ethereal forest around them.

For the second picture I chose to darken the image, to almost show the girls in silhouette with the halo of light on their hair from the back lighting. I wanted to use the light on the leaves as a counterpoint to balance the action in a darker and more mysterious image. I love it, such a tender moment and the way the light catches on their hands as they help each other, it is what siblings are all about.

I think both have worked beautifully and one complements the other. I hope you like them as much as I do and I’d love to hear from you if you would like to book your own family photo shoot. I’m fully booked for this year but taking bookings for the spring and summer of 2020.