Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Child Portrait in Greenwich, London, Just One


A really beautiful portrait is collaboration between photographer and sitter, a moment of friendship that passes from one to another and results in something really special. I love this portrait of my friend Mary’s wonderful son Luke that I took recently. I love how children are so welcoming, after a quick introduction they are keen to play, be friends, discuss R2D2 and, smile into the camera to give a portrait like this. No matter how many times I click the shutter, no matter how many children I photograph, each picture still feels like a gift.

I’ve often felt that the key to a really beautiful child portrait is to have an image that has a genuine expression, so many pictures of children can have a ‘cheese’ grin or, with the older children what I now think of as an ‘Instagram pout’. A real smile shines through, you can see it in the eyes and in the body language and I’m always so happy when I take a picture that really captures a child’s personality like this.

When you are choosing your family photographer look through portfolios, delve deeply into their blogs. Are the images genuine, do the expressions have depth, these are the things that will mean pictures have a staying power that will hold over the years.

I’m so thrilled with this portrait of Luke, an incredible young man who I’ve been lucky enough to photograph since he was under a week old and I look forward to taking many more portraits over the years and watching him grow up and achieve everything that he sets his heart on.

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