Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Stunning Family Photography in the Cotswolds


On the blog today, a shoot that might be one of my all time favourite sessions, a fantastic family portrait session taken in the Cotswolds. I’ve known Jackie for a number of years now and I was so thrilled when she chose to update her family photographs at their beautiful home in the Cotswolds, it’s always lovely to travel to different bits of the UK taking pictures, I love the variety that it brings.

As it takes a while to get to the Cotswolds on the train I had travelled up the night before and stayed in a local B&B, enjoying a lovely run in the evening sunshine before a meal at the local pub and a very early night. Up bright and early I was thrilled to see the most incredible coffee machine on the kitchen counter and I enjoyed a phenomenal coffee as final preparations were made to the children’s outfits, hair was brushed and we were good to go.

Connie showed me round the garden and I knew we would be in for a treat, there were so many incredible opportunities I knew we were going to end up with a spectacular set of family photographs from our Cotswolds shoot.

We started with some shots of the children together, I always like to do a few first thing as we can then relax knowing we have those under our belts, often more relaxed family shots will come later (as they did today) but you never know what the morning will bring. We then moved on down the garden to the most incredible bridge – absolutely stunning and with light to die for. I was absolutely thrilled with this family image that I took – back lit and showing the environment to it’s very best, the beautifully engineered bridge and the lovely lush foliage making the perfect frame.

From the bridge it was a short step into the river and the whole family gamely crossed the stepping-stones for a really interesting family shot. I love days like this one where everything comes together so perfectly. We went from here to a set of hay bales, which the children had a brilliant time jumping across and off, it was such an idyllic spot and the pictures have a really lovely timeless feel that I think is particularly suited to black and white photography.

Favourite garden games came next wit the children showing me their zipwire, rope swing and hanging tent. I loved the hanging tent and I imagine if I had had one as a child I would have spent almost all my time in there, head in a book, in a wonderful world of my own. It was a fantastic activity for pictures the children laughing their heads off as they swung around.

After a snack we did some tennis shots. Tennis is clearly a much loved family game and the children showed fantastic skills for their ages, returning shot after shot with practiced ease. I enjoyed the challenge of looking for new and interesting angles and compositions on an activity that can be quite hard to photograph well. I was thrilled with the results.

Our final area for pictures was the incredible kitchen garden that held the family’s prize vegetables, soon to be competing in the local fete; Connie’s sunflowers were particularly impressive. We played hide and seek in the long grasses by the lake and the lake itself provided a stunning backdrop for some really beautiful environmental portraits of the children. I loved how reflective it was on such a still day and love the shots of the boys walking around the edge, their silhouettes reflected in the glassy water below.

The day finished with some formal portraits by the door of the house, the light had moved round giving us a lovely soft illumination which works fantastically in these formal portraits.

All in all the most wonderful day and I’m absolutely thrilled with these pictures from our children an family photography session in the Cotswolds. Do get in touch if you would like to arrange your own family photography session, I travel throughout Europe, do get in touch for a quote.

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