Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Jumping on the Bed – Action Photography with Ella


When I ask my clients what they are looking for from their family photographs the most common answer is pictures that really capture their children’s personalities. They are looking for pictures that transcend the cheesy grins of school portrait photography and manage, in a fraction of a second, to sum up the children they love so much.

Children have different moods and so many different facets to their personalities and it takes time to document all of these in beautiful photographs. By spending a morning with your family we end up with pictures that show all the things that you will want to remember from the quiet moments to the most boisterous. Quiet pictures are so beautiful and soulful and I love to take these, but often I find that the aspect of a child’s personality that jumps out at me is their energy and excitement and capturing this in a picture is always a challenge. I love a challenge!

When I think of Ella I think of enthusiasm, excitement, laughter and mayhem, all the best attributes in a 6 year old. We had such a brilliant time together on this shoot and on our previous ones (we first met when Ella was only four months old!). It was hard to choose a ‘Just One’, not least because Ella’s beautiful younger sisters were also a big part of the day but this one just jumped out at me – literally!

There’s nothing more fun than jumping on a bed and when there is an inflatable one blown up in the living room, well, it would be wrong not to make use of this to take some pictures before we headed out to the beach. So, while last minute packing was taking place, buckets and spades being found and suitably warm clothing for a bracing day on the Northumberland coast being packed in the car, Ella and I enjoyed some acrobatics and a mini photo shoot on the bouncy bed.

It was a challenge to shoot as the light was low – early in the morning and backlit too, the window behind Ella providing a lovely clean framing device but also the only light. Using the very best cameras, and many years of practice photographing energetic children, meant that it was possible to capture this picture of Ella, mid air, flying towards me, before I ducked back out of the way – nothing like a wide angle lens to skew your sense of perspective and sometimes put the camera a little too close to flying limbs – definitely all part of the fun!

I hope you like it, this energetic portrait of Ella from our recent photo shoot.

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