Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Creative Family Photography


A stunning picture taken by torchlight

Reacting to the unexpected is one of the most fun bits of being a family photographer. I never know what games children will come up with or what activities we will do on our photo shoots. This makes for a challenging and creative environment in which to work and often means that I end up with photographs that I never could have dreamt of, images that I never could have planned, that have evolved out of a spontaneous game and which are unique to that moment in time.

While I was photographing the family playing a game of Boggle on a cold winter morning Edward announced that we had to switch off all the lights so he could take his plane on a night flight. Plunged into darkness we began to make the noises of air raid sirens and utilized a torch for a searchlight.

I’ll be the first to admit that when the lights when out I initially thought ‘Ah, I wont be photographing this game’ but, with the instinct of long experience I still switched the settings on the camera, pushing the ISO up to 8000 and making sure I had a wide aperture of 1.4 on my 35mm lens. I’m so glad I did. As Edward flew his plane towards us I noticed the shadow on the ceiling, the shape of the plane caught perfectly in the spotlight and his expression seems to fit so perfectly with the gravity of the game – night flying is serious business.

Pictures like this aren’t planned, they are the reaction to a moment and for me these moments are what make family photography such a joy. In pictures like these memories are made, likenesses recorded and creative images produced which transcend the standard fare and provide pictures that will stand the test of time. I feel confident that Edward will love this picture now and that he will also love it when he is grown up, if he becomes an aeronautical engineer maybe it will hang in his office to remind him of his early plane designs.

If you are interested in creative children’s portraiture, pictures that are innovative and will record your family in beautiful and interesting photographs then do get in touch and we can put a date in the diary for the New Year. I’d love to hear from you and look forward to producing pictures that are full of memories for your children that they will enjoy looking back on for years to come.