Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Going on a Bear Hunt – Family Photography in Kew


Family Photography Sessions that are Fun for Everyone

‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt! We’re going to catch a BIG ONE!’ I love how some stories become part of childhood and how some games span generations. Michael Rosen’s incredible book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt came out in 1989. It has been a huge part of so many children’s lives since then and I imagine it and will continue to be so for many years to come.  This was a great game to play as part of a recent family photography session in Kew.

I’m also amazed, looking at this picture, at how quickly the seasons have changed this year. It wasn’t long ago at all we were wearing coats to the park and now, it’s a heatwave. 2021 is definitely the year that seemed to miss spring jumping from winter straight into high summer.  With the holiday’s approaching it’s looking to be a very busy summer too which is wonderful after last year. July is pretty much fully booked (as is September) but there is some space in August still so do get in touch if you would like to book a session.

I love this shot as I feel it really captures so much of what it is to be a family.  Children deciding on a game and parents throwing themselves into the action with great good humour and having a brilliant time. It’s impossible not to enjoy yourself when you are leaping through the trees as part of a human train being spurred on by a gleeful four-year-old. This is one of the things I love most about photographing children, the good humour of it all, the infectious laughter and how games, songs, and stories bring such delight.

I also love this from a photographic point of view. I have used the panning technique here – where you shoot with a slow shutter speed and move your camera alongside the action you are photographing so as to keep the important subjects sharp but also capture a feeling of movement with the blurred background. It’s a fun technique and one that is hard to do well. It’s worked brilliantly here with sharp focus on the boy and his mum while the blur on his dad gives us a sense of his motion as he prepares to jump into the air.  I love the blur of their feet, you can feel the speed and also the little details like the fact he’s being held back by his hood, something that happens so much when you are little and always on the move.  The connection makes the picture, creating a unified subject of the family, together, all linked in laughter and excitement and love.

I hope you like it as I do. You can discover more about my family photography in Kew you can read about how my sessions work, my prices, and reviews on my website.