Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

The Love Between Mother and Daughter – Just One


I’m always looking at the light. It’s a photographer thing, a habit that sometimes involves walking backwards into things if the light is better in the other direction. Light is always on my mind when I want to find the perfect location for a picture as it’s such a critical part of any image. I’m always aware of the light – be in natural light from the sun or the available light from ceiling spotlights, angle poised lamps or central chandeliers. It’s all there to be used in different ways if the occasion calls for it.

While having a break for a cup of coffee on our walk down the south bank, I was idly looking at the light in the Festival Hall. I noticed this light behind Jill and Sophia and immediately thought it would be worth investigating. Two spotlights shining down cast a very distinct shadow at the top of the wall. I thought it had potential to create an image that would be visually distinctive and interesting, and, if my hunch was right, would work wonderfully to show the love between mother and daughter in more ways than one.

I asked Jill and Sophia to stand under the lights looking at each other and then watched the action unfold. I love the expressions on their faces, Sophia so excited and happy and Jill so proud of her amazing daughter. As they held hands I knew I had got my shot, the angle of their arms providing the bottom of the heart that the shadows created at the top and bringing the image to completion.

It’s a picture that is all about love. I’m so pleased with it and I hope you will love it too.

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