Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Documentary Style Baby Photography – Just One – Rosie

16Mar

This picture makes me feel happy – I just love the expressions in this wonderful candid moment from a recent documentary baby and family photography session. I often ask myself, what makes a great baby photograph? What is it that makes a picture speak to me, makes me feel something? Often it’s images that capture a moment that have the greatest power over the longer term. I love a portrait with eye contact, I truly do, but I also love what Cartier-Bresson termed ‘the decisive moment’ when everything clicks together and a strong image is formed while an action is taking place, an image of the moment.

This image is about love and happiness – that pure joy as Lucy plays with her beautiful baby and brings her in for a kiss – you can’t look at this image and not feel the love between mother and daughter. Lucy, her face lifted to her baby and Rosie, laughing with joy and she enjoys the game, face pressed to her mums in pure happiness.

Images like this, I am convinced, will be the sort of pictures that children will love when they grow up. Certainly it’s the type of picture I love of my family, images that capture a moment and make the viewer feel something. Shooting in a documentary style for the majority of the time on a family photo shoot allows me to ensure I make a lot of lovely images like this, images that show the family dynamic and the wonderful bonds of love between family members.

When considering a photographer for your family do think about which images of your own childhood you love best – is it a studio shot or a picture taken out and about, is it colour or black and white, is it a posed photo or a candid moment. It’s worth asking these questions and then finding a photographer whose work reflects your views, that way you can be sure to choose the right for photographer for your family, one who will provide you with images that you can treasure for years to come.