Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Just One – family portrait photography in Surrey


I love this image of Kate and her family from our recent children and family photography session in Surrey. I’ve had a wonderful Easter holidays, travelling all over the country and the length and breadth of London photographing lots of different families and children, from a few days old to teenagers, and all ages in between. There have been big families and small families, and animals as diverse as rabbits and cows, and games from air hockey to swimming, to mining for gold in the forest floor. I love the school holidays!

This family photography session was an absolute blast – it was so much fun from start to finish with Kate’s lovely children. As one of four children myself, I love the dynamics of a big family and so I was really looking forward to meeting Kate’s four children and they were such fun to photograph. We had a great morning together.

This picture, today’s Just One preview, was from the first part of our session when I took family portraits in the garden of Kate’s lovely Surrey home. As soon as I arrived, I spotted the garden from the window. It was a lovely big space with all those things that children love – a climbing frame, a football goal, a shed full of the coolest stuff – it was a child’s paradise and seemed a great place to start our shoot. Later on the morning, we also visited the woods nearby – I do love including a number of locations on my family photo shoots as that really adds to the variety of the images I can provide.

The kids had a great time, playing football, showing me their cycling and scooting tricks, and their prowess on the monkey bars. I’m always so impressed by how children can hold their weight for so long – the last time I tried the monkey bars, I was a dismal failure (although it did make my young subjects laugh!).

This picture is taken on the children’s climbing frame. I love to use elements of my location like this as frames for my family portraits, as they provide wonderful context and also a visual interest that I love. Here I particularly love the great shapes of the climbing house itself and the textures in the trees behind – it creates a a lovely backdrop to the centre of interest, Kate’s lovely happy family.

I love how this image will be so special to the family in two ways – firstly, as an image of the family together, having a lovely time at this point in their lives; and also because it is taken in their tree house, this image will spark other memories. Not of the day I came to visit and take family pictures, but all the other games they play on this spectacular treehouse-climbing frame. I feel sure there will be memories of jumping from the roof, swinging together on the swings, of making dens and playing games; all the things that families do together and which childhood memories are made.

I love this picture and I hope you will too, today’s Just One preview from our recent family shoot in Surrey.

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