Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Hampstead Heath children’s and family portrait photographer


Hampstead Heath in North London is, without a doubt, one of my favourite locations in the capital for children’s and family portrait photography. I loved it when I was based in Blackheath, enjoyed travelling down from Cambridge to photograph there and now I am North London-based myself, I love it the most – not only is it an absolutely fantastic location family photography, it is also nice and close to my home in Crouch End. I can even get a bus!

I was thrilled to arrange a family shoot with Jennie on Hampstead Heath to celebrate Henry’s 40th birthday by capturing some children and family portrait photographs. It’s such a great birthday present – something that will last for years to come bringing back memories and making people smile and laugh. I always feel so honoured when I am part of a big birthday gift, producing family portraits for someone to give to someone that they love.

I knew as soon as Jennie, Henry and Jonty walked in to the nearby coffee shop where we met that I would be having a good time – wide grins, footballs under the arm and twinkling eyes always make me feel I am in the company of kindred spirits, people who will be relaxed and fun for our family photos.

We walked down to Hampstead Heath from Highgate and began to explore the heath. I had my cameras out and was taking pictures as we got our bearings and kicked a football around, and then headed towards some of the more wooded areas that would provide such interesting locations and backgrounds for our children’s and family portrait photographs.

The first really great location we came upon was an incredible old stone bridge, such a lovely spot and a really interesting architectural feature to include in our pictures. I love shots where I can show some sense of scale – large expanses of trees, great architecture, pictures where the subjects can breath and have so much space around them. I think it is something about the symbolism of space and infinite possibilities that appeals to me.

We then headed into the woods to climb some trees. Jonty was a champion tree climber and found his way to the top of so many incredible trees, both small and, quite frankly, enormous. In fact today’s blog post probably shows the largest fallen tree/climbing frame I have ever had the joy to use for taking children and family photographs. If only I can ever find my way back there (once I’m fitter, I’m planning to start running to Hampstead Heath just so I can scope out some of these incredible locations).

There was so much laughter on this shoot, it’s been a real favourite of mine this year – climbing trees, playing frisbee, kicking a ball, chatting and laughing, always laughing. I really do have the greatest job in the world and mornings like this make me feel so incredibly lucky. I’m so thrilled to be able to capture family photographs for a living and I hope that you all enjoy this selection of images from our children and family portrait photography session on Hampstead Heath in North London.

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