Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Dramatic Light for a Child Portrait


I love pushing myself creatively to produce beautiful images for my clients

This weekend has been all about the light.  It feels incredible to have such wonderful weather in Mid-November and I’m loving it (if it was to last until Christmas I’d be delighted).  I even went out without a coat on my photo shoots both days this last weekend which was such a treat.  It’s been a funny year weather-wise with such a wet spring, but summer and autumn have more than made up for it, I love this time of year.

Low winter sun is fantastic for photographers although sometimes complicated because of the low angle.  I love to work with it to take really dramatic images, pictures that simply wouldn’t be possible at other times of year.

It’s been a year for really playing with dramatic lighting anyway as I have found myself drawn to it more and more.  I really started to look for it over the summer when I was testing the Canon EOS R before it’s launch – the EVF viewfinder makes seeing and exposing images like this so much easier.  I’m back with my Canon 1DX Mark II cameras now but things that I learnt have stayed with me, not least really looking for dramatic rim light.

I always think it’s such fun to push myself technically and creatively and I love it when everything comes together to produce images like this one.

We were having such a brilliant day.  We had been out to the park for a run around, a game of hide and seek and a fruitless search for ice cream.  Both shoots this weekend have involved the question of ice cream, I think the vans might have missed a trick by closing for the winter.  Atti is so incredibly charming, such a joy to photograph, we had had a brilliant time.

Then we had returned to the house to do some indoor pictures.  It’s a beautiful house full of light and we were having a great time in Atti’s playroom.  Her cuddly toys were engaged in a lot of games, mainly involving a T-Rex chasing a horse that lived in a tree house (as they do) which was so much fun.  I love the imagination of young children, so happy to run with any ideas and make them into a brilliant game.

Seeing the light streaming through the window I knew there was an image there to be taken, I positioned myself in the right place and then watched for the right bit of action while tweaking my composition to get the right shot.  It came together perfectly here, and I’m thrilled with this image.

I hope you like it as much as I do.  If you would like to discover more about my work then do take a look on the website where you can find information on my family photography, baby photography and galleries which show families growing up, so you can see the benefits of regular photo shoots.  If you like what you see then do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.