Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Portrait at the Piano – Teenage Photography in London


Some photo shoots will always be incredibly special to me and that was the case with my recent family photography session in Bromley with Bhupal and his family. Bhupal had trained with my father and I’d often heard his name at home when I was growing up, although we had not met before. I know my dad would have been thrilled that we finally met through photography – the passion that my father passed down to my brothers and I. I knew it would be a special day.

We spent a fantastic morning together and it was wonderful for me to hear so many lovely stories about my dad in his role as a colleague and a mentor. It was a morning I shall treasure, thank you Bhupal.

It was also fabulous to meet Bhupal’s family and to photograph his incredibly intelligent, accomplished and stylish teenage boys. It was such a pleasure to talk to them, to hear Xavier’s plans for Oxford and to find out what Jay enjoyed at school.

It’s been hard to choose a Just One for the blog as there are so many pictures I love but this one stood out to me. When I photograph teenagers I ask the family to think about any special interests, any talents and passions, what everyone really enjoys doing, as it’s wonderful to photograph these things. These pictures will resonate over the years and remind everyone of how time was spent growing up. Jay is an incredibly talented pianist and it was a joy to hear him play, I had to remind myself to take photographs, I could have sat and listened for hours.

So much of photography is all about light and we had fabulous light in the front room of the house where Jay’s stunning grand piano had pride of place by the window. After he had finished playing I asked him to sit for a portrait and here is the result.

I hope you like it, this portrait from my recent family photography session with teenagers in Bromley, South London.

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