Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Fun Family Photography in Richmond Park

28Jan

This was my second family photo shoot with Nina and I had been really looking forward to it. A professional photographer herself Nina always gives so much thought to our shoots, ensuring we have wonderful activities planned that will keep us going all morning and to make sure the children have a great time and we end up with a fabulous set of images.

I arrived at 8am to be greeted by the wonderful smell of bacon and the comforting sound of the kettle boiling for coffee. As the children finished their cereal we hatched a plan for our day. The family tradition, which I thought was brilliant, is to cook a big pile of bacon first thing on a weekend morning. This is then packed up along with lovely fresh rolls and the choice of sauces (red or brown, what’s your poison?) and then taken out for a picnic in the open air. We headed out to the wonderful Richmond Park, truly one of the best places for family photography in London.

Walking there we stopped for a few family shots including the picture of the family in a tree, a particular favourite of mine. I loved hearing from Willow about the importance of a reading tree. Having no balance myself I had to read in a reading den, I’d have fallen out of a tree, but I loved the idea and happily chatted books, swapping recent favourites. Do tell me if you think of a brilliant children’s book I should read, I do like to keep up with the kid’s literature.

But I digress, on with the photo shoot, and we headed out into the park. The family have a particular tree they always head for – The Magic Faraway Tree -complete with a slippery slip (the entrance into the Magic Faraway Tree for those who haven’t read the book) and I was so pleased that this was where we headed. It’s brilliant to include all the really special places when taking family photographs, places that will be so important in the children’s memories of their childhood.

Lucky for us the magic faraway tree also provided shelter and we needed it as the heavens opened. Clutching our bacon sandwiches (with red sauce of course, what did you expect?) I felt very glad of my waterproof trousers, which enabled me to stay outside the shelter of the tree in relative comfort as I photographed the children sheltering in their den and munching happily on their sandwiches. They thought it hilarious that I stayed out in the rain to get the best pictures. I love how completely unflappable by the weather children can be and I love these pictures that record this special place in the wonder of the British weather!

Then with a break in the rain we headed out for a bit, jumping the grassy tussocks from one to another, the family had a great time. Soon though, the rain returned, and rather than get everyone too cold and wet we decided to head back and reassess for the second half of the shoot.

One of the best things about starting my family photography sessions so early – usually 8am – is that we have a huge amount of flexibility to visit different locations and to regroup if we are hit a curveball by the weather. We were home again by 10am, still so much of the morning to play with and so many options for family photography.

A cup of tea, a chocolate biscuit, and a marked improvement in the weather so we decided to head out to a new location for a few more pictures and some added variety to the photo shoot. Richmond Park is such a big place that a short drive took us to a completely different area with a totally different feel. The sun came out and beautiful back lighting produced some stunning halo effects on the group shots.

We had a brilliant time, playing games, running around and even having a picnic (which was a massive treat for me, two picnics in one day!) before tired, happy, and full of jelly beans from our jelly bean hunt (see what I mean about Nina planning the best photo shoots!) we headed home. It was a brilliant family photo shoot and I’m so pleased with the pictures. I do hope you will enjoy looking at them and do get in touch if you would like to arrange your own family photography session either in Richmond or elsewhere in London this spring, I’d love to hear from you.

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