Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Just One – family photography in Richmond Park


Today’s blog post is all about figures in the environment, in this case in the stunning Richmond Park on a beautiful spring day. Our morning had not started with such good weather and our first excursion had ended in a swift retreat, bacon sandwiches in hand, back to the house as everyone had ended up soaked to the skin by a sudden and torrential shower. Not daunted though, we revitalised ourselves with hot chocolate and packed a picnic, and were rewarded by a stunning, sunny late morning visit to the park. It’s one of the joys of starting at 8am – we have plenty of time to change plans as the day goes by, and I have a sneaky suspicion that some of the rainy shots from the early morning will become family favourites too, they are fantastic.

But for my ‘Just One’ preview image, this shot stood out. As we explored an area of the park where the children had been before, I was regaled with tales of falling in ponds in freezing conditions (I was glad I wasn’t there for that one!) and other formative life events that had taken place on family walks as we explored different area, finding dens, hurdling over fallen trees, and playing hide and seek. It was such good fun.

I’ve been lucky enough to photograph the family before and so I knew I’d be in for a good time, and I wasn’t disappointed – it was such a blast with so much laughter and with Nina being a photographer herself, we chatted happily about the realative merits of Canon and Nikon (Canon is best, of course!) and the incredible privilege of being able to take photographs for a living. I’m always incredibly humbled when photographers choose me to photograph their families, it’s a real honour.

I chose this image from our family photo session as I love the scale of it, and how you get such a feel for the Richmond parkland which is such an important place for this family. I love the texture of the trees, and the light wrapping the family in a beautiful halo and ensuring they stand out from the background. I love the family’s expressions, with the interaction between the younger children and Nina as the family walks towards me. It’s a picture about the family and about the place; their favourite place, which will have so many memories attached for the children.

I hope they will look back on this family portrait and laugh together about all the things they did as children – like the incident at the pond that they told me about, and their jelly baby hunts in the fallen trees; about dens and tea parties; about all the things they love. I hope this picture will spark those memories when they are teenagers and then as adults, and that they will continue to look back on it and smile for years to come.

I hope that you will enjoy it too, today’s Just One preview from my recent family photography shoot in Richmond.

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