Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Just One – children’s portrait photography in Tunbridge Wells


I first met Tanya and her lovely family a couple of years ago, when I photographed the children’s Christening in Chelsea. I was thrilled when Tanya arranged a second photo shoot to update the family’s pictures in their new home in lovely Tunbridge Wells in Kent. I’ve been travelling to Tunbridge Wells quite regularly at the moment and it’s a beautiful town, I’m always pleased to visit.

Today’s ‘Just One’ preview is a picture that I loved as soon as I saw it – it’s moment when expression, emotion, action and composition all come together to make a lovely portrait photograph.

It’s the shapes that I love in this picture; James is chasing his kite through the centre of the frame with the trees framing him from both sides, the dark foliage pulling the eye into the subject. The light sky and the backlit kite are bright, yet full of detail. I love the string, pulling us between James and his toy, his face alight with joy as he runs. I’m so thrilled with the picture.

One of the things I love most about photographing children is the huge variety of different activities that we do during the course of a photo shoot, with many different toys and games that are always so much fun. I never know what the children will love, what their interests will be and what the thing will be that will make the children’s faces light up and the excited cry of “let’s do that!” break from their lips.

We had ventured out from the back garden into a field that backs onto the house, a great open space for the children to run around. We had just been having a run by the trees when Hugh came through the gate with the children’s kites – they were absolutely thrilled, as was I! I have so many memories of kites that didn’t really fly as a child – running up and down the garden, faster and faster with the kite bumping along the ground in my wake. Nowadays there are so many great kites for children that actually fly, it’s so much more fun. The kids had a kite each (always the best way to avoid battles) and we had great time flying them. I’ll be sharing some more pictures from our kite adventures in the full blog post soon, but in the meantime this one is such a gem that I really wanted to share it as today’s ‘Just One’ preview image.

The full blog post will have so many other fun things, too – more kites, some swimming pool action, the brilliant tree house, games and toys, outdoor activities and quiet moments indoors. There’s so much to share and I hope you will check back soon to enjoy some of the other pictures from our recent children’s and family portrait session in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

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