Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Fun Family Photography on Hampstead Heath


Since moving to North London I’ve fallen in love with Hampstead Heath, both as a wonderful spot for family portrait photography and also just for the place itself, a great spot for a walk, an explore, to blow away the cobwebs on an autumn day.  I used to run around it sometimes, often getting lost and going far further than I planned as I would venture down another path just to see what lay around the next corner.  It always feels to me like a place where there are new spots to explore, new adventures to have.

I was thrilled when we planned a trip to Hampstead Heath for this recent family portrait photography session.  Up and out early we reached the Heath when it was empty apart from a few dog walkers and runners. It was lovely having the place to ourselves and it was such fun to explore from a new angle, a bit of the heath I’d not visited before.

As we crossed one of the open spaces, playing football and ‘one, two, three, swing’ as we went, I saw this amazing patch of daisies with tiny paths through it clearly made by adventurous children.  It was an obvious spot for hide and seek providing an amazing and really unusual forest of flowers to hide in.

This shot, one of my favourites from our game, caught my eye the moment I took it. I absolutely love it.  There is so much joy, so much energy, the movement is fantastic. You can feel the excitement and happiness, the expressions are wonderful.  For me it’s made by the flying hair, it adds so much to the image giving it a sense of fun that makes us feel part of the action.  It’s an image that is full of emotion and it makes me smile every time I look at it.

I love to think that Leo, when he is older, will be able to look back at images like this and see so much of his childhood.  That joy and love as he plays with his parents.  I love how tightly he is clasping his mum’s finger with one hand and wrist with the other as they hold each other tightly, hiding together as they play the game and that happy, excited expression on Leo’s face as his dad jumps out to find them.

Who wouldn’t want a picture like this from their childhood, to have a visual record of the fun they had and be reminded of how much they are loved and love in return.  This is what I look for in my work and if this is how you would like to record your family life then do get in touch, with lockdown looming we might be booking for the New Year but it’s always lovely to have something to look forward to.