Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Bubble Bath Fun – Just One


I do love a bath time shot – there’s something about all the bubbles and the possibilities of splashing that leads to hilarious pictures. I used to love bath time as a child, hours spent with my brother racing drips down the wall and playing with plastic toys and water pistols. I have memories of my dad doing ‘thunderstorm’ baths which may well have just been a cup of water poured over our heads, they probably were, but as a child they were the most exciting thing ever and it was one of the best treats if dad was home in time to wash our hair. Then, for us, fluffy dressing gowns in front of the fire as mum read stories while our hair dried. I have so many memories.

It’s in the quest to record memories for the children I photograph that I’m always pleased to do bath shots – it’s one of those every day activities that hold so many childhood memories and which isn’t often photographed by a professional. I love the challenge of making sure that the pictures record the feel of the bath time mayhem but also pass the essential ‘would I like my parents to have the picture hung on the wall when I am a teenager test’, a test which guides my photography at all times as my clients are as much the children in the photographs as their parents who commission my work. I think this picture has everything that I’m after in a portrait – I love it.

We had such a brilliant time on our recent photo shoot and so it was hard to choose a favourite picture – there were so many options, a trip to the park, playing at home, ice cream and then this, bath time but I chose this picture as I love both the composition and also Stella’s expression so much. I love that feeling of a bath so full of bubbles, bubbles which can be molded into mountains or used to style hair into mohawks, can be a trendy bubble beard or a snuggly bubble blanket, it’s that mix of imagination and a physical, tangible, changeable thing – bubbles – which can make baths so much fun. Add to that water with all the opportunities for splashing your sibling (or your photographer) and a good time is guaranteed for all!

When thinking of activities for a photo shoot do think of the everyday things – these often create the best memories as they are what childhood is made of and we can fit a lot of things in on a photo shoot, making sure we have pictures that hold so many memories for your children when they have grown up.

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