Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Rapunzel Let Down Your Hair – Family Photography in Chiswick


‘Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair….’ That was the theme for this game we played during our wonderful family photo shoot in the gardens of Chiswick House in West London recently. I love how games often result in the best pictures as families are caught up in the moment and all the elements come together to provide a snapshot of their lives at this time.

Stella is now four and her imagination is fantastic. We spent a happy morning playing games, mostly about weddings ‘you can be the wedding photographer Helen’ she announced. It’s a job I’ve done before and one I had promised myself I wouldn’t to again, but I thought I would make an exception for our wonderful imaginative game, and it was great fun. I love children’s imaginations and all the ways games can develop, how a tree can become a ball room and a younger sibling a handsome prince. Games make photo shoots so much fun.

This shot of Rapunzel really caught my eye when importing the pictures as I love all the different elements and how they have come together. The architecture of Chiswick House is incredible, built by the third Earl of Burlington as a homage to Palladio it’s beautiful designed and makes a stunning backdrop for family photography. I love the challenge of using architecture in my pictures so that the buildings add to the action in the image rather than overpower it. I think it’s worked perfectly here.

I love how Jennifer is leaning down towards Stella, hand outstretched as she lowers her long golden hair and the other hand tenderly holds that of Thomas as he looks down at his big sister. Carlos laughing up at the camera, the only eye contact in this picture, so happy on this day out with his wonderful family.

I love Stella’s body language, looking up at her family as she walks forward to catch Rapunzel’s hair. The beautiful dress making this image so timeless. I wonder if children have played this game here for centuries, they certainly may have done – the Brothers Grimm’s version being based on an early tale Petrosinella by Giambattista Basile published in 1634!

I do hope you like it, this image that encapsulates a game, which will always remind me of Stella’s wonderful imagination at this time in her young life. An image that tells the story of this family and the fun they have together and which utilizes the architecture of this incredible building to great effect; today’s Just One from our recent family photography session in Chiswick.

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