Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family Games in Photos – Leapfrog – Just One


I love the energy of children, how much fun can be had running and jumping. I don’t think I can leapfrog anymore; admittedly it’s been a while since I have tried, but I know from classes at the gym that springing isn’t my strongest point. Watching Sophie leap over her dad I was in awe. She was just brilliant at it, and I wasn’t surprised to learn how much she enjoys gym class at school.

While I always have some games up my sleeves on photo shoots, ideas of things we can do that will result in great pictures I’m often just led by the children themselves. I like to see how they interact with their parents and siblings and which games they naturally play. Games that they play regularly are always the best as they will remember all the hours they have spent playing them when they look back on these pictures in the future. Sophie and Emily clearly spend a lot of time climbing on their dad and I immediately thought back to my just one from our last family photo shoot, again, a great piece of acrobatics.

I’ll often find a great spot and then let everyone play together, see what transpires naturally and photograph in a documentary fashion to get fun action shots. I’m always aware of all the corners of the frame and I love how this image is layered with Sophie and her dad in the foreground and Emily and her mum in the background – the whole family together. I love how there is a sense of touch through this image with mum’s hand on her daughter – gently checking she is safe – as she stands on the tree stump. Sophie’s foot connecting up with the background figures, on a different plain but perfectly positioned, just on the edge of her mother’s knee but with a tiny gap to give definition (I’d love to say that was planned but it wasn’t, so much is subconscious when it comes to the moment I press the shutter). And Sophie’s fingers just millimeters from her dad’s back as she leaps over. It all works so well.

Images like this tell a story, a story about this family and their childhood, about the fun they have together. I hope you like it.

If you are interested in getting your own family pictures taken then do get in touch, I’m taking bookings for the summer and also the autumn is getting very busy (particularly at the weekends) and so it would be great to get you in the diary if you would like your own photo shoot this year.

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