Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Just One – creative children’s portraits in Kensington and Holland Park, London W11


As a photographer who is part of a big family myself, I love portrait photographs of siblings and so I am thrilled with this shot of the children from Oliver and Katja’s recent family photography session in Holland Park and Kensington. The creative use of light, the fun composition, the use of the environment; I’m thrilled with it all.

We had the most spectacular light for our session – autumn weather can be absolutely magical (when it isn’t raining, of course). The low winter sun can be used to produce this incredible backlighting – soft and flattering on the children’s faces but with a wonderful halo effect really lifting them from the background and giving this image such a punchy, graphic form. I love how all the shapes work in such a wonderful balance, and the different heights of the boulders allow me to achieve this interesting composition (I should note: at no point was baby Caspar at any risk of falling) and how each child has such individuality to their pose.

For me, it’s Sebastian holding the cords on his hoodie that really makes this picture – it’s such a wonderful pose and so perfectly symmetrical, with that fabulous halo of light really picking up on the triangles of his arms and the white cords. Fabulous. Without the light, it wouldn’t have worked and if he had been standing straight, I think the image might have been a little boring. It’s these little quirky elements, these bits of individuality, that really make a photograph shine to me – something that I didn’t ask for, but which brings out the personality of the subjects and raises the picture to a new level.

I love this shot and there are so many other great pictures from this session that I will feature on the blog soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this image from our creative black and white children’s and family portrait photo shoot in Holland Park, Kensington London W11.

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