Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family Photography – Combining Portraits and Documentary


Today on the blog I’m thrilled to be sharing a fantastic set of family portraits taken in Surrey. This was my twelfth shoot with Jennifer and her wonderful family and, like all the others, we had the most wonderful time. It’s definitely the best part of my job, seeing families again and again and getting to know them over time. Over the years we have visited so many interesting areas of London and also taken a lot of pictures at home – by returning multiple times each year we end up with a fabulous record of childhood.

My photo shoots combine the very best of documentary family photography with portrait skills learnt over thirteen years of photographing children and families professionally in London. By combining both these worlds I can provide you with excellent images – pictures that include the whole family having fun together in an un-posed fashion, real moments and fabulous interactions but also, and importantly, lovely relaxed family portraits that will work brilliantly on the wall. I think there is a real benefit to getting both these elements into a family photo shoot.

We had such a lovely time playing games and having fun on our session. The children had a brilliant time exploring the formal gardens, looking at the beautiful flower displays and chasing their parents around (the best games, as we all know). It’s always fun finding ways to capture really beautiful images of children playing together, images that show their personalities but which don’t become artificial. I love how you can see the exuberance of the children as they play, cheeky grins and laughter galore and then snuggling with their parents in a beautiful family shot – you can see how much fun we were having.

Utilizing the environment to create really interesting compositions is one of the things I enjoy most when I’m out taking pictures. I like to take images that are unique and give a sense of place and of scale. To do this I need to be constantly on the look out for shapes and light the graphic elements that, when combined with interesting action, make a great family photographs. For example with the shots around the doors I saw the possibilities and worked on the composition and then waited for the perfect moment, Stella and Thomas with a door each and the light and dark elements working to create this interesting image.

I’m always looking for a different angle and to tell a story – making sure I get the context and the detail, the environment and the portrait. Working hard for each client is what has enabled me to create award-winning images and become known as London’s best family portrait photographer.

I do hope you have enjoyed looking at this selection of images and that you might be interested in booking your own family portrait session. Do get in touch via the contact form or give me a call and we can get your session in the diary. The summer is getting booked up, and I’d love to hear from you.

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