Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Modern Family Portraits


Modern Family Portraits Filled with Joy

Welcome to my blog, today I want to share with you a sneak peek from a recent photo shoot where we took modern family portraits in West London. I’ve been a family photographer for nineteen years now and each and every year I work hard to ensure I’m producing the very best family photography on offer, modern family portraits that look amazing now with stunning contemporary style, but which also have the timeless feel that means they will look just as good when the children are older – it’s a fun challenge.

How do I do that you might ask? What makes a great modern family portrait? The answer is natural images, pictures of the children having fun and doing the things they love to do in the places that they love to do them, and also shooting in black and white. Black and white is both stylish and modern but will also look great in the future as fashions and interior design fade into the background leaving us with pictures filled with emotion, with laughter, with fun, and which show the love of family members for each other.

Today’s blog will show a few pictures from a recent session to give an idea of the type and variety of images that I take on my modern family portrait shoots and show you how stylish and creative imagery can be taken over the course of a normal morning as you and your family enjoy time together.

Child-Led Portrait Sessions in West London

This session was great fun, I knew I was going to have a brilliant time when on arrival I was greeted by an engaging eight year old who wanted to discuss the intricacies of the Norman Conquest – always a good conversation before my second cup of coffee in the morning! But, as a photographer who studied medieval history for four years at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities, I was in my element – Harold Hardrada, Robert Longshanks, the Battle of Stamford Bridge, we had a great chat while everyone got ready to head out to the park.

Modern family portrait photography sessions are child led and so we went with the flow as we took the ‘short cut’ to the park which seemed much longer than the usual route but allowed for a brilliant display of dancing on the way (truly, as a photographer, you couldn’t come up with this stuff, just let the kids go wild and the pictures appear in front of you). Then we headed to the playground to take advantage of the early morning light and the fact that we were the only ones there at 8.30am.  I love a playground, there is so much to do and, even if climbing to the top of the tower reminded me that I’m not the biggest fan of heights, it also reminded me it’s always worth it for a cool shot from a different angle.

The kids had a brilliant time, playing on the equipment, watching each other and their parents as we all enjoyed ourselves together. Action and reaction are a big part of my work, watching to see what’s happening but also how other members of the family are engaging with what’s going on from the side-lines. This shot of mum and the little one as they watch the others on the zipline is one of my favourites from the day.



From the playground we explored the rest of the park enjoying a game of hide and seek and also finding some squirrels to feed. A friendly little girl gave us some nuts to hold out and catching this image of the squirrel mid-air as it jumped to take it from the little boy’s hand has the timing just right. His tiger costume makes the picture for me, all the animal kingdom coming together in West London.

Indoor and Outdoor Photographs

I like to mix indoor and outdoor images on my modern family portrait sessions and so when everyone got tired and needed a break and a snack we headed back home for a few shots indoors.  It’s lovely to include the home in images as it will be so full of memories for the children when they are older, particularly in this case when the family are moving house very soon.  A story in the kitchen and then some shots in the living room, I love how the little one enjoyed sitting under the table, laughing happily from his tiny den – a modern family portrait and a timeless one too.

We finished up with some jumping on the bed which is one of those activities that is so exciting for little ones and so time specific, it wont be too long before they are too big for games like this. But for now, it was hilarious, they had a brilliant time and it was a perfect opportunity to take modern family portraits – everyone in the shot, everyone having fun, a relaxed and natural shot full of laughter and love.  I find pictures like this of action and excitement, such a joy to take and I know they will be enjoyed by the family now and for many years in the future.

Book your Modern Family Portrait Session Now

All in all a wonderful photo shoot with a wonderful family, I feel so lucky to have spent this time with them and had the opportunity to produce such a fun set of pictures – and these are just a few favourites, there are so many lovely pictures for the family to chose from.

I hope you have enjoyed this sneak preview of pictures from this modern family portrait session in West London. If you would like to book a photo shoot for your own family – an opportunity to record your memories in beautiful pictures that you can treasure – then do get in touch. I’m taking bookings for the spring and the summer and also into the autumn and I’d love to hear from you and create a beautiful set of modern family portraits for your family to enjoy. For more information about how it works or to see a full price list do explore the website where you will find lots of information and galleries of images packed with inspiration.