Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family Photography in Wisley and Oxted

14Jun

My twenty-fourth session with this lovely family

I spent an amazing day photographing a family in Oxted in Surrey last weekend, my twenty-fourth photo shoot with them and, as always, a real highlight of my year. Regular family photography sessions are an absolute joy and create, over time, the most extraordinary record for the family to enjoy. The albums we’ve produced over the past eleven year will be a treasured heirloom passed down to the children, and the children’s children in the future.

This idea got me thinking about how much I love pictures of my parents when they were young. I have wonderful images, my dad and his siblings playing with their pet rabbit, my mum and her sister in Trafalgar square feeding the pigeons. Iconic images in our family history. I wish I had more though, I wish I had pictures of them playing at home, maybe in their bedrooms so I could see how they lived on a day-to-day basis. I love to look through pictures when I visit home, hear mum tell me the tales behind them.

I marvel at the idea that in the future these children I’m photographing will sit with their grandchildren and reminisce about their childhood, their sibling, the amazing parks they loved and the joy they had in their pool. What a legacy to share and what a joy to add this latest set of family photography in Oxted to their collection of pictures

Family photography at Wisley

We decided to start our family photography session in Oxted with a trip to the nearby Wisley gardens, an incredible place which I hadn’t visited for years. I was so excited to go back. One of the children had been on a school trip and was keen to show us around. I love it when the kids are involved with planning the family photo shoot, you know it will be a brilliant day and that they will be brimming with enthusiasm for the adventures ahead.

We got there bright and early to beat the crowds and we were rewarded by wonderful open views and even a picture on the wisteria walk without anyone else in it. Fast lenses with a shallow depth of field help with this too, as well as skilful use of angle, but nothing beats just having the place to ourselves.

Exploring the gardens at Wisley on our photo shoot

There are so many incredible bits of Wisley gardens and in the three hours we were there I don’t think we saw half of it. It was all so beautiful; we were in awe of all the hard work that must go into keeping it looking so perfect. I think my favourites were the horses head sculpture and the orchard with lovely light between the trees, it’s possible that the cafe with the incredible biscuits might have been the favourite of one of my young subjects.

Heading home for the second half of our family photography session in Oxted

As lunch approached, we decided to mix things up a bit and head home for the remainder of the session to get some different pictures and because the kids were really keen to have a swim. As regular readers will know there’s nothing, I love more than a water element to my photo shoot so I was definitely keen on the idea. I didn’t have my underwater kit with me on this occasion, but we had a brilliant time taking pictures from the side of the pool and I’m so pleased with the results.

Sessions like this are an absolute joy for me. I love doing different things over the course of the morning and including a variety of locations and activities. There’s such joy in image making and such wonderful challenges in creating a variety of different pictures. This is what draws me to photography and why I feel that photographing families is the best fun in the world.

If you like the pictures you have seen here today and would be keen to organise your own family photography session in Oxted or elsewhere then do get in touch. The summer is getting very busy but there are still a few dates available, and I’ll certainly be fitting in as many photography sessions as possible over the holidays. It’s my favourite time of year and I can’t wait for the busy weeks and all the brilliant pictures we can take together. Drop me a line via the contact form or give me a call on 03456031373, I can’t wait to speak to you and plan your family photography session.