Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Just One – family and newborn baby photography in Notting Hill, West London


I love this shot, today’s ‘Just One’ preview image from my recent family photography session with Stacey and Peter in Notting Hill, West London. When Stacey first contacted us to arrange to have some pictures taken of her newborn baby and her elder daughter Ava, she told me Ava was a bit of a tomboy and I immediately looked forward to the shoot. I had a feeling there would be lots of energy and excitement – running around, jumping, climbing – all the things that I love to photograph. The challenge would be combining the energy of a seven-year-old with the quiet and calm of a newborn baby, and I love a challenge!

I think this picture captures it all perfectly, and I am so pleased with it. Sometimes pictures come to me – I capture a moment as it happens, a split second before it’s gone and we’ve moved on. At other times, I will work to create an image that captures different elements of a shoot into one frame, and this was that kind of shot. As Ava ran around – in and out of the frame, on her bike, off her bike, throwing a frizbee, jumping around – I had to think how I could capture that energy in an image that gave equal precedence to her baby sister. I wanted a picture that captured the family, but captured the personality too.

As Stacey and Peter were sitting with baby Toni and laughing at their elder daughter’s antics, I realised how I could combine the two elements in a shot that I thought would work really well. Suggesting that Ava jumped from the bench, I used a really slow shutter speed to blur her movement, capturing a really great sense of the speed and energy of the moment. I asked Stacey and Peter to look at the camera to create the feel of a traditional portrait, and then clicked the shutter. It worked perfectly and I’m thrilled with the image – to me, it really sums up this time and this lovely family who I was privileged to spend the morning with taking family photographs in Notting Hill.

I do hope this enjoy today’s ‘Just One’ preview image and I look forward to sharing some more pictures from our wonderful family and newborn baby shoot soon.

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