Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Playing in the garden in South London – family photo with Rob


Family photography in the home and garden

I’ve been busy recently, out taking pictures and tucked away in the office working on a big project (more to come on that soon). It’s proving to be such an exciting year but it does mean the blog has been a little neglected and I apologise for that, normal service will be resuming shortly.

In the meantime, I want to share a Just One from a recent shoot in South London with the fantastic Rob who was an absolute blast to photograph along with his family, with pictures at their home and out and about at some of their local parks.

This was our second photo shoot and so I was really looking forward to it, it’s so lovely to return to families I have met before and see how the children have grown. Rob was full of beans and so excited to play, proudly showing me his toys and books. We were lucky with the weather too, it was cold but bright and sunny, one of those crisp spring days that I love.

It’s been so hard to choose a Just One from all the different activities we squeezed in; from a run around at the park to baking a delicious carrot cake, but I keep returning to this one. Rob, playing with his daddy in the garden and dressed appropriately for the occasion -complete with crash helmet – there’s a boy with an eye to health and safety!

I love the joy in this picture, Rob flying up in the air, arms and legs out and a look of pure happiness on his face. I love the crash helmet (ok, we were riding bikes around the garden too so it was worn for a reason) but it really makes me giggle in this context. I love the composition too.

When working in confined spaces, such as London gardens, then working with the environment is crucial. Using the elements around us; trees, fences, garden sheds and toys, to add to a picture rather than distract from it is key, otherwise images can look cluttered and messy. Often angle is important here with low angles like this one allowing me to cut out distractions.

The shape of the tree really adds to the picture and the dynamic lines sweeping up from the left-hand corner really guide our eye around the image. I love how the branch appears to be perfectly formed to echo Rob’s body language, curving over his head and spreading out from his arms in both directions. It’s worked perfectly, and the shallow depth of field means the tree has added to the image with a subtle background rather than overshadowing the foreground action. It’s one of the great challenges of family photography and one of the things I find most interesting, working in an environment in different ways to get the very best pictures possible.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at, and reading about, this image. With spring on our doorstep it’s the perfect time to book a family portrait session and I’m taking bookings as far as November so do get in touch if you would like to know more and we can put a date in the diary for you.