Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family Photography in Forest Gate and Wanstead


East London family photo shoot

I love a photo shoot with a plan and so I was thrilled when I got a message a week before our family photography session with a selection of ideas for what we could do.

Start at a favourite bakery – what a brilliant idea

The train journey home to celebrate how easy it is to travel around London with kids – what an excellent suggestion

Baking – one of my favourite activities

Playing in the garden with balls and bubbles – bring it on

The local park – absolutely brilliant

Fair to say I was looking forward to this session and I was not disappointed, we had an absolute blast and I love the pictures so much.

As we chatted in the bakery and I enjoyed my flat white, and rather regretted having eaten a massive bowl of cereal before leaving home as the croissants looked incredible, I discovered that I was in the company of a well known food blogger and immediately was excited to hear about the best bakeries London has to offer. I was pleased that our local favourite Sourdough Sofia got the seal of approval.

Travelling by train

Our trip home was lots of fun, travelling after rush hour (we’d started bright and early) there was plenty of space and nobody batted an eyelid to me taking some pictures as we journeyed home. The overground has lovely light too being above ground, the tube wouldn’t produce such nice images.

I like to record these types of activities on my photo shoots – the every day things that little ones do as they go about their lives. I grew up in London and think it’s such a wonderful place to  be a child and it’s even better now as there are so many more activities and facilities for little people.  I have such vivid memories of being able to ‘go into town’ with my friends in my teens, travelling on the train and tube up to Oxford Street, and the sense of independence and confidence it gave me. It’s such a great place to grow up.

Home for baking

Baking was a real theme for our photo shoot and we made some delicious cinnamon biscuits but also visit the play cafe for the worlds tallest ice cream. I’m not sure which I liked more, they certainly both produced fantastic photographs.

We played Scalextric too, as well as some of the other favourite indoor games – memory matching (with only a tiny bit of cheating) bed bouncing, book reading, car maintenance, all the little things that make up the world of a four year old


Garden play

We also had a brilliant time in the sun drenched back garden. These bright days give us very hard light but it’s fun to work out how to use it best and directional light creates wonderful rim lighting that works particularly well with bubbles making them really jump out from the background for a very graphic image.

Wanstead Flats

We finished with a trip to Wanstead Flats for some family photos with a bit of greenery. I like to mix up the images I create for my clients and a combination of the more urban shots with some in a local park works really well. I’d not been to Wanstead flats before and it was beautiful. A small collection of trees provided some much needed shade and a perfect location for a game of hide and seek.

This session was fun from start to finish and I can’t wait to share the full selection with the family. in the meantime I hope everyone has enjoyed this sneak preview and it’s given you some ideas for your own family photo shoot. 

Planning your own family photo shoot

Take this session as a guide – not the actives themselves necessarily – but the idea of taking the things that you enjoy as a family, the activities you do regularly, and incorporate those into your pictures. No two sessions are ever the same and whatever you enjoy together that’s the perfect starting point for your pictures. Drop me a line via the contact form and we can hatch a plan for a unique and wonderful family photo shoot that records your life as you live it, in pictures for you to treasure.