Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Just One – baby and family photography in Muswell Hill, North London


Sometimes, when I'm downloading my pictures after a family photo shoot, a particular image stops me in my tracks – this was the case with this image of Orla from my recent baby and family portrait session in Muswell Hill, North London.

I'm not sure what caught my eye first – the wonderful expression on Orla's face, so quizzical as she looked at the camera – or was it that fact that she was holding her Daddy's hand in such a tender gesture. Or perhaps it was the relative scale of the different elements in the image, with her Daddy's hand almost bigger than her head, showing just how little baby Orla is at just three months old when I took this picture at her home in Muswell Hill.

I think it might have been a combination of all three – expression, gesture and scale – and those are the elements that made me come back to this image again and again, and why I have chosen it for today’s Just One preview image – I absolutely love it.

The composition works so well as a really graphic image, with Daddy's hand being held by such a tiny one and the two sides of the image balancing brilliantly. We also have a great leading line taking us in from the top left of the image and down past all the fingers to Orla's hand, and then back up to her face with that wonderful expression capturing our imagination and our hearts.

It's images like this that I really love to take – images that transcend the standard family portraits to produce something extraordinary and unrepeatable, mixing knowledge of light with bold composition for a really interesting portrait photograph. It’s a photograph that tells a story and is anchored in time, and that will be loved by the whole family as Orla grows up. It's just the kind of image that I could imagine Orla keeping and having on her wall at university, a baby photograph with a real sense of style.

I hope you like this image as much as I do, today’s Just One preview from our recent baby and family photography shoot in Muswell Hill, North London N10.

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