Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Just One – Carol-Anne – Children’s portrait photography in Hertfordshire


Today’s ‘Just One’ image made me laugh out loud…

I first met Carol-Anne back in 2011 when I photographed her newborn baby daughter Annabelle for her newborn baby portrait session. It was great to go back and see how Annabelle has grown and also to meet all her older brothers and sisters. As regular readers will know, I’m one of four children and I just love big family shoots – the noise, the chaos, the laughter, the fighting and the fierce love and loyalty between siblings. It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of and a wonderful thing to record in photographs.

When I photographed Annabelle’s newborn baby photographs, we had a lovely lovely shot of her teeny-tiny little feet – a shot that Carol-Anne loved and now has as a canvas print in her bedroom.

When, towards the end of the shoot we were chilling out in Carol-Anne’s bedroom, the children were playing on the bed, alternating between sitting quietly with their iPads and performing wild feats of acrobatics while passing the new pet mouse Thunder between them (be sure to check the photoblog again soon for a cracking ‘boy with mouse on his head’ shot). It was lovely to see everyone so relaxed at the end of the shoot.

It seemed a great moment for a cool interpretation of the ‘feet’ shot which is famous from many an Athena poster or quirky greetings card. I’m not usually one for hiding people or things in photo shoots, always preferring to show the interiors of my clients’ homes and the things that will bring back memories. In the same way, I didn’t want disembodied feet with the children covered in a blanket – those pictures have a place, but they aren’t really what I am about. I wanted to take a shot that showed the children’s feet but also said something about them, about now and about how the family interacts.

This picture, to me, tells that story. We can see the different sized feet, growing so fast. And then we have the technology – one iPhone being held in the air for a better view, one of the boys sitting up, and the knowledge that the other children are all also involved in a great game of Minecraft. This is childhood in the 21st Century with iPads replacing the paperbacks of my youth as the kids relax together, in their own worlds and yet very much together.

I love this ‘Just One’ shot as it makes me laugh and I hope it will make you laugh, too. Be sure that you check the blog again soon for more images from our children and family portrait photography session taken on location in Northaw, Hertfordshire.

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