Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Baby and Family Photography in Highgate N6 – Just One


When I’m looking through my pictures after a family photo shoot – such as this baby and family photography session in Highgate in North London – I often find I’m drawn to the quiet images. Pictures that aren’t staged or set up, pictures that reflect a moment in every day life and a favourite activity for the family. Sometimes they are the pictures that I take almost before people realize we’ve started, as I finish setting up and realize that children are being entertained in a way that will make a perfect picture. That was the case here for this lovely shot from my recent baby and family photography session in Highgate, North London.

During the course of a family photo shoot I will take portraits and family group shots but we will also spend a lot of time just playing. I will adopt a documentary approach as parents and children interact and have fun together as I feel these shots are so important. I love pictures that tell a story, that have a narrative within the image.

This picture, today’s Just One, has all the elements I really love. I’m drawn to the complete concentration on both Emily and Andre’s faces as they lift the flaps in the story book to see what is underneath – Andre’s little hand reaching out in excitement. I love the other little details too, Emily’s other hand, holding her baby in a loving embrace while Andre’s hand rests on hers, his little finger brushing her wedding ring in a story of family connections.

Visually our eyes follow the arrows, the lines of the edges of the book and within the book, the illustrations – the swirling tale and pointed branch in taking us from the edge of the photograph straight to the centre. We are drawn to Emily and Andre’s faces, so close together and their hands reaching across the book as they read. And then, as our eyes roam further afield we are brought back, by the curve of Emily’s arm to their left hands, the book and back to the centre. It works brilliantly as an image.

This is just the kind of picture I can imagine Andre looking back on as an adult, it tells us so much and shows this beautiful relationship. I hope you like it as much as I do, today’s Just One from my recent baby and family photography session in Highgate.

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