Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Just One – family photography in Hertfordshire, with added ducks!


The Easter holidays have seen me spending a lot of time lying on the ground surrounded by livestock, creating images that are different to the norm – fun and creative photographs that will bring a smile to the face. I’m thrilled with this image from my recent family photography session with Carol-Anne at her beautiful home in Hertfordshire, as I think it does just that. Do you agree? Does it make you smile? I do hope so.

For this picture, today’s ‘Just One’ preview image, we had braved the drizzle to take a few pictures outdoors before Carol-Anne’s husband needed to head off to work. We had walked to the bottom of the drive and the ducks came to greet us, obviously spotting a fine source of food. Thinking that this would add to an image and help me create a picture that would be completely unique, I decided to add the ducks into the family picture – they live on the lake at the family’s home, so I reckon this makes them part of the family!

To make sure that I had a really good angle and an interesting perspective, I needed to be in amoung the ducks; if I had continued standing, they would have just been incidental to the images, waddling around the families feet, more of a distraction than the framing element I had in mind. The only option was to be down on the ground. Teddy ran to get some food and we scattered that about as I lay down and photographed the family up, through the sea of ducks.

I love this image as everything has come together – the three white ducks framing the family who are all laughing like mad at my antics (and probably wondering at what point the ducks would go for my hat!) while the dark ducks on the lefthand side really emphasise the sheer number of birds, their distinctive silhouettes standing out from the more numerous pale ducks.

I’m thrilled with the image – it’s distinctive, creative and uses the elements I found at the location (the ducks!) in a different way. It’s everything that I love about photographing a family – going to new places, working in different ways to create images that are timeless, unique and fun. I love the expressions of the family – laughing together while retaining the eye contact with the camera of a traditional family portrait.

I love this photograph and I hope you like it too, today’s preview image from my recent creative children and family photography session in Hertfordshire.

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