Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family Photography in South of France


So, Nice was Nice!

A very hot day in the south of France made for one of my most memorable photo shoots this summer and I’m thrilled to be sharing a sneak peek with you today. Flying out of a rainy Heathrow and landing in Nice made such a wonderful change and it was wonderful to see Fran and James again, ten years after I had photographed their wedding with my husband Tom. We’ve done a number of family shoots and each one has been better than the last. Each time we’ve found amazing locations and had a brilliant time taking pictures, exploring, playing games and enjoying ourselves.

Looking at the images I don’t really know where to start when selecting a Just one – should it be one of the children – relaxing in the hammock – the kind of image that is everything that summer holidays should be? should it be feeding the goats or jumping in the pool? bright sunlight making for dramatic images, or the fun of splashing around, a natural pool meaning that the children could make their own water fountains spurting water high into the air. The options feel almost endless.

In the end I settled on this image from the beginning of the day when we ventured out to a nearby river for some family pictures. It was lovely and shady at the bottom of the valley and the giant rocks made for an idyllic setting for this family portrait. I love how the rocks frame the image and we get a feel for the bright sunlit day from the light reflecting on the leaves of the trees overhanging the river while the family remain in a beautiful area of soft diffuse light.

You get a feeling for the fleeting nature of this beautiful moment, Roker’s foot, stretching towards the riverr, keen to dip his toes in the cool water. You know it’s only a moment before a game will be afoot and everyone will be skimming stones and seeing who can get the most jumps or make the biggest splash. But for a moment, peace and calm and a beautiful family photo to remember this summer holiday in France.

It’s always such a pleasure to photograph in pastures new and I hope my first trip to the South of France will not be my last as I enjoy exploring Europe on children and family photography shoots. I can’t wait to see what next summer brings.

Oh, go on then, one from the pool…

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