Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Graphic Lines and Patterns in a Portrait of Teenagers


It’s all about graphic lines on the blog today with this portrait of teenagers Arthur and Honor in their stunning home. I love to work with the architecture of my client’s homes to create images that are visually very different from the norm. I’ve photographed here a number of times over the years and often photographed looking down from the upstairs balcony but it’s usually been a documentary image, photographing the children at play during one of their amazing childhood birthday parties. I’d not used this angle for a portrait and I was keen to give it a try.

One of the lovely things about photographing teenagers and older children is how much it becomes a collaboration – different ideas from me and from them, we try them all to see what works best. I love photographing things that are particularly important to older children, their hobbies and interests and I love how they will often be more than happy to let me work on an image to get things just right.

With this image the challenge was getting far enough over the bannisters to get the leading lines just right and the angles on the carpet square without toppling over myself, or getting my feet in shot – a wide angle 24mm lens was definitely called for!

I love it as it’s so nice to take a picture that is a bit different. All the lines and patterns work together so well – the bold diagonals of the bannisters, the subtle lines of the upstairs carpet and the dramatic patterns of the hallway rug, all combine in an image that is busy but not overpoweringly so. The light on the children’s faces is stunning and I love how relaxed they look, chilled out together as they wonder what the crazy photographer is actually doing.

We had a great time taking this, and many other family photographs, and I will share some more soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this, today’s Just One from my recent photo shoot with teenagers and older children.

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