Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family portrait photography


Many years ago, when I first started my business, Alison was one of my very first clients. I still vividly remember visiting her in the family’s Maida Vale flat in West London for her children’s first ever photo shoot playing Finding Nemo games with Alex and Matthew, when Matthew was only just crawling. ‘Quick quick, the Barracuda is coming!’ is a refrain I think will stay with me forever. I remember it being such a wonderful photo shoot with both the boys being such fun and we all had such a lovely time.

Since then, I have been lucky enough to see Alison a number of other times and each of our children’s and family photo shoots have such fun memories. For example, the shoot when we made mud pies and I travelled back from Birmingham carrying a rather limp bunch of daffodils and getting large grins from strangers on the train, only to discover on my return to Cambridge that it wasn’t the flowers that were amusing people, rather the mouse whiskers that adorned my cheeks from some earlier face painting.

I also remember the shoot where we explored the surrounding fields, played cricket and found the perfect spot for a game of Billy Goats Gruff (a dry stream bed with a bridge is truly perfect; a wet stream bed slightly less so, I’ve found over the years…).

Each family photo shoot has been brilliant with lots of laughter and lively fun as I captured wonderful, natural and interesting portraits of the family and the children which I am so pleased to see adorning the walls each time I visit.

This session was no different – the boys are growing into such interesting young men. I love to see which things remain the same from visit-to-visit (a real love for the family rabbits, and a growing aptitude and incredible enthusiasm for cricket in particular) and which things change. Gone are the days of crawling around under the furniture hiding from that Barracuda. This is the thing I love most about my work – seeing the children grow up and making sure I take pictures that capture each new stage in the children’s lives in a way which fits with earlier pictures, and yet each shoot provides something new and interesting and some really original photographs. I have been in business for over ten years now and I love how I am still photographing so many of my original clients, seeing the children grow up and testing my skills photographing teenagers and older children in a relaxed and natural fashion.

We visited a local National Trust property for our most recent shoot and it was wonderful fun – I think the Pied Piper-style duck rustling will have me giggling at the memory for years. No, we didn’t take any ducks home, but that wasn’t through lack of trying on the boys part and I think if we’d been at it another half hour, then at least one bird might have ended up in the car.

We found our first Geocache, or at least my first – the boys seemed rather more sure of quite how it works. There seem to be a number scattered throughout National Trust properties and woodland across the UK now and I shall certainly keep an eye out in future – it’s a great fun treasure trove to find on a photo shoot.

We also climbed some trees and had a run about – all the fun activities that make for a wonderful children and family photoshoot and an all-round fabulous morning. Here are some favourites from my shoot with Alison and her family, I can’t wait to see them again in a couple of years!

If you would like me to visit and capture some pictures of your own family, please contact us – we would be delighted to hear from you.

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