Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

West London Family Photography with Dogs


It's always fun to include pets in a family portrait

I’m writing this as the rain pelts down outside and so I can hardly believe it was only a few weeks ago that the sun was shining brightly, and the kids were in shorts and t-shirts for my third annual session with Kat and her wonderful family – a West London family portrait with children and dogs too, it was so much fun. It feels that autumn has come very quickly this year, although I do hope that it might warm up and dry out again soon.

For our session it was bright and warm, and the day was full of promise. We started with a few shots in the garden but soon realised that we would have better results in the nearby garden square. Bright sunlight can be lovely, but it can also be problematic if there is no shade to be had. So, we headed out the door.

I always like to keep my eye open for a possible picture. I never know what will unfold before my eyes and sometimes my favourite picture from a session might take place in that time before the session has properly started or as I begin to pack away. Those in between moments, walking to the park, having a quick cup of coffee as the children get ready, the quiet time as I pack my camera into its bag, they often result in some magical images so I’m always alert.  Many clients have laughed at me over the years as I have been packing my camera away only to see something and spring up again to take ‘one last picture’.

This picture, a real favourite from the session was taken on the way to the park.  As we left the house the kids ran off up the street with their dogs and then, as they got to the road they turned and looked back. Unplanned, unposed, it was a perfect moment, the kids and the dogs in perfect position, I couldn’t’ have planned it better myself.

I love how the back-lighting and shallow depth of field mean the details of a busy London street fade into dappled sunlight and the children really stand out in this beautiful portrait.  The shot could be anywhere, but we know it’s home.

I hope you like it as much as I do, today’s Just One from a recent family session in London.

If you are thinking of a family session this autumn I do have some spaces available so please do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.