Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

A happy family photo in Holland Park


A wonderful photo shoot in west London resulted in this gloriously joyful picture.

Today, for my Just One, I want to share a happy family photo in Holland Park, filled with action and excitement.

I’ve been photographing Shareefah and her family regularly since 2008 and, as always, our shoot has been one of the highpoints of my summer.  I always look forward to our family photography sessions as we always have such a brilliant time.

This year we decided to return to Holland Park for our family photo shoot which we haven’t been to together for a couple of years. I love Holland Park and know it so well after working as a family photographer in West London since 2003. One of the challenges of my job is creating new and interesting pictures each time I see my regular clients, always finding something different, a new technique, a different angle, something to add to and build on what we have done before.

Each year there are new and wonderful challenges and opportunities as the children grow and enjoy different things.  I love how each time we meet the kids get more and more fun, more and more interesting to talk to, it’s such a joy.

It was so fun to meet everyone at the gates of Holland Park and find the children raring to go, running along the path and heading straight for some fallen trees to climb on, they even seem to have an eye to the light now knowing which directions to walk along logs so they will look their best.

We moved fairly quickly to the playground which I always like to do early in a shoot as they get so crowded and I want to be in and out before other families arrive. At 8am we can be sure to have the swings to ourselves.

It was at the playground that I took todays’ Just One, a sneak peek from the session while I work on processing the others. We had such a brilliant time on the roundabout and I love the absolute hilarity of the children’s expressions, joy in it’s purest form as we flew round at a breakneck pace.  As I get older I find I get more and more dizzy on roundabouts but it’s always worth it for a good picture, the children love it.

I used a slow shutter speed to capture the movement in the background as we spun around, the blur indicates just how fast we were going.  It’s a technique I love to use in these situations, so we get a real sense of the atmosphere of the picture.

I hope you feel the speed, can hear the shouts of glee as you look at this image.  It’s a picture that makes you feel, that makes you want to get out and have fun, enjoying this incredible weather and the joy of spending time with family.

If you would like to find out more about my work then do take a look at the website, the Family Photography section or if, like Shareefah, you are visiting for the summer you might also enjoy reading my dedicated London Vacation Photography section.  I hope you like the picture and do get in touch if you would like to arrange your own family photo shoot this summer.