Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family photography in Notting Hill W11 – Just One – Emma


I love this picture, today’s just one from my recent family and children’s portrait photography session in Notting Hill, West London. I’ve been lucky enough to know Emma and her lovely family for a number of years now and this was our fifth portrait session.

It’s always hard choosing a just one from a family photography shoot, but there are always a few pictures that cry out to be shared as a sneak preview before the whole collection is processed. This image stood out simply because it makes me smile.

Sparkly the horse and the broom were both important elements in our photo shoot this year (who doesn’t need a horse to ride or a broomstick to fly on?). Hannah must have thought to bring Sparkly after the girls were showing me pictures from their summer holidays and from jousting at Dover Castle. If you ever want to see the cutest thing, then small girls jousting is up there (it appeals to the medievalist in me). They had clearly had an amazing time.

I was thrilled when Sparkly came to the square with us. I’m never one to pass up the opportunity of a photogenic prop and Sparkly was terrific fun. We fed him and Hannah rode him for much of the morning, which allowed me to get in some lovely pictures. But, or course, Rosalind needed a mount too, so the broomstick was fetched.

In this shot, the girls are racing to get home at the end of the shoo. I love how natural the moment is. The girls are laughing together but also determinedly focused on the job in hand. They both want to win this race!

Pictures like this get to the essence of what I love about family photography. It’s a picture taken in the garden square opposite Emma’s Notting Hill home, a place where the girls regularly play and where they will form so many memories. They are playing with their toys (toys they chose to bring themselves) and playing a game rather than posing for the camera. Most of all though, it’s the expressions, the laughter mixed with the serious concentration on winning, that makes this image so effective. The sibling love and rivalry that makes this bond between sisters and friends so strong. It’s a shot I can imagine the girls loving when they are older and that, for me, is what it is all about.

I hope you like it, today’s just one from my children and family photography session in Notting Hill in West London W11.

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