Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

A fun-filled extended family photo shoot


I first met Jayne back in 2008 when she arranged a big family photo shoot with her family, her two brothers and their families, and Jayne’s parents at their beautiful home in Suffolk. We had a wonderful time taking pictures of everyone – big group shots of the whole extended family together, individual family shots, pictures of the children interacting and playing together – everything you want from a family portrait shoot.

Two years later, I was invited back to photograph another large family occasion, this time with Jayne’s husband’s extended family. Again, it was a fabulous day – out and about in the woods, and playing on the most wonderful adventure playground I’ve ever seen, it was such good fun. Do take a look at some of the pictures from this shoot back in 2011 on the blog here, which also includes one of my all-time favourite family group shots.

I was thrilled to hear from Jayne again this year to arrange a family shoot to mark her mum’s birthday – these big family occasion shoots are such good fun and always result in really interesting, varied photographs.

I was up early and jumped on the train to Suffolk where Jayne was kind enough to meet me at the station, and we headed to her mum’s house. Soon the rest of the family arrived, and the fun began! We started our morning with some family group shots and individual pictures of each smaller family unit as, when working with children, you never know how a day will go – younger children can become tired very quickly, and it’s always best to do these important group shots early on. As always, Jayne’s family were fantastic to photograph with the children patiently having their family shots taken before returning to the wonders of the garden – climbing trees, riding trikes and playing with the most fabulous pink electric car. If you have ever wondered how many children you can get on one of those cars, the answer is eight. Just!

After a while, we thought a change of scene would be good – it’s always a good idea with big family group photography as it keeps everyone interested and having fun. We headed to a nearby bluebell wood, which made the most beautiful backdrop for our pictures. I love woodland as there is so much to explore and this wood was even better than usual because as well as tree cover and shade, there was also a brilliant open area for games.

We had a walk, played some games and we even tried (not hugely successfully) to construct a human pyramid. Most of all we laughed – Jayne has such a fun family, I always find the photography shoots are filled with laughter.

It was great morning and I’m thrilled with the pictures. I do hope you enjoy this set of fun-filled family portrait photographs from our photo shoot in Suffolk – I can’t wait for our next shoot.

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