Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Just One – Karoline – Family photography in Herne Hill, London SE24


Sometimes the graphics of an image really grab me – the shapes, lines and patterns. This is certainly the case for today’s ‘Just One’ image from my children and family portrait photography photo shoot with Mette and her wonderful family in Herne Hill, London SE24 and Brockwell Park.

This picture – taken before we left home for a trip to the park – has all the elements that I love in a children’s portrait photograph.

I love the interaction between Mette and Karoline – that tender hand on Karoline’s back and Karoline’s head, resting so comfortably on her mother’s knees while Mette’s dress is held between her fingers. That connection is just lovely. I adore Mette’s smile which just visible in the top left corner, with the crop emphasising that this is a picture of Karoline – not a traditional mother and daughter portrait, but a picture of Karoline secure in her world and loved by her parents but growing into an independent little girl as she approaches five years old.

I love the stripes and the angles they bring to the image. Mette’s dress draws the eye down to her daughter and then the angle of the stripes on the dress and Karoline’s tights anchor in the real focus of the image – Karoline’s face, and Mette’s hand and smile. How proud she is of her lovely daughter.

Compositionally it’s a picture about patterns, graphics and angles. But emotionally it’s a picture about love, protection, family and about independence and holding onto our anchors (and our parent’s skirts). To me it really sums up this time as Karoline starts school in September and is growing into such an independent, articulate, fun and lively little girl but is still so young and in need of snuggles (I’m lucky enough to have been photographing her since she was a month old and this is our fourth session. I’ve really enjoyed watching Karoline and her brother – who you will see more of in the full blog post – grow over the years).

I hope this picture captures your imagination like it has captured mine. I look forward to sharing some more images from our children’s portrait and family photoshoot in Herne Hill SE24 and Brockwell Park in South London very soon.

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