Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Portrait of a Girl Running – Just One


It’s lovely to take pictures that capture a child’s personality and if there is one thing I think of when I think of Charlotte it’s speed, she runs so fast, not just keeping up with her three big brothers but just running from place to place. Sometimes when I’m photographing a child you see something that is a theme from shoot to shoot and that is certainly the case here, over the last 9 years I have so many pictures of Charlotte speeding from one spot to another. It’s also incredible to see action captured in a fraction of a second, whether it’s a jump to catch a ball or the spin of a dance move, some people are so light on their feet, it’s a joy to watch.

This year I wanted to capture Charlotte’s run in a slightly different way and so I decided to pan the camera with her movement, capture the feeling of speed as she dashed past. It was at the end of our photo shoot and we had moved from the urban sprawl of the South Bank into one of the small parks by the river to get a different feel to the pictures and also because Charlotte wanted to run around and climb some trees. Unfortunately there wasn’t a good climbing tree but there was space to run. Charlotte ran up and down a couple of times for me while I worked the shot.

Panning is a technique that I love, shooting with a slow shutter speed and moving the camera in sync with the movement of the subject to keep the subject sharp while the background blurs. I think it looks fantastic and really captures the feeling of speed.

I hope you like the picture, it’s always such fun choosing a Just One for this blog series, selecting a favourite image from each photo shoot and showing the variety of pictures that I love to take. If you are interested in booking a photo shoot and seeing what images I can create for your family then do get in touch, I do have a few available dates for the autumn although they are booking up fast, I’d love to hear from you.

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