Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family Photography in Hertfordshire – Just One – Victoria


I love it when all the elements come together perfectly as happened for this portrait photograph of Christian, Gabriella and their wonderful dog Crystal at their home in Hertfordshire.

Victoria had met me at the station and we had gone back to the house to find the children already playing in the garden, keen to get started on their family photography session. Gabriella had chosen her own dress and it was stunning – a beautiful party dress that, when teamed with sparkly shoes and later wellington boots added an almost fairy tale element to the pictures. Light on her feet she ran through the trees making me think of a dancer or a woodland sprite in a tale from long ago. Christian had also chosen his outfit and was looking super cool in his Ralph Lauren t-shirt and new white jeans. I also loved his trainers, which pulled the look together so well, both children had such a great sense of style. I do love it when the children choose their own outfits for photos and Christian and Gabriella choose them so well.

We had started our shoot exploring the forest, an amazing wooded area in Victoria’s beautiful garden. The light was stunning and we had a great time as the children showed me all their favorite spots. I particularly loved seeing the camp the children had made and was as disappointed as they were that no wildlife had taken the bait and fallen into their trap – sticks adorned with Percy Pig sweets would certainly have lured me into their den.

We then moved on to the secret garden where this picture was taken. A beautiful landscaped area – the garden really was spectacular. As we entered I loved the look of this tunnel – the plants enclosing us into our own private glade. The manicured lawn and the beautifully tended edges give wonderful leading lines echoed by the cast iron trellises. I called to the children who were running ahead to turn around and they turned and gave each other a hug – perfectly positioned showing the wonderful friendship and bonds of sibling love– they clearly got on so well. It was such a pleasure to photograph them.

But what makes this image for me is the dog, Crystal, who also turned and posed, looking straight into the camera and giving a balancing element to the image. It’s such a stylish shot, I almost think it could be a fashion image from the seventies, our stars walking through the garden, so relaxed and with their beautifully coiffured dog happily trotting beside them. I’d love to recreate this image when the children are older – 18 and 21 perhaps, ready to go to a party and dressed up to the nines, it’s a classic timeless image and yet anchored in the here and now by the tender touch between the siblings and their happy smiling faces, loving their summer holidays, running around the garden and all the fun of childhood. Who says never work with children and animals? They are by far the best subjects!

I’m so pleased with this image and I hope you will like it too – todays just one from my recent family photography session in Hertfordshire.

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