Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Portrait of a Child Painting, Warwick Avenue, London


I’ve always been fascinated by children at play and I think that is what draws me to this beautiful portrait taken on a recent family photography session in Warwick Avenue in London. This was our third family portrait session and I had been really looking forward to it, knowing a relaxed vibe would lead to some really interesting opportunities for photographs that really capture family life.

I find that my photo shoots often span a variety of moods as a morning progresses, sometimes children can be shy initially before warming up to the camera. There can be moments of wild over excitement and boisterous games, and also quiet contemplation and activities that allow for concentration and a really beautiful quiet mood to the photographs. It’s so lovely to have both and I always aim to get a lot of variety in my images from each and every photo shoot.

After some outdoor play, running around the garden and playing hide and seek – we came inside to warm up. Atti was keen to do some painting, clearly a favourite activity and her table was already in the perfect position by the French windows. I knew the light would be divine and so I positioned myself and waited for the perfect moment where gesture and expression would come together in a beautiful image.

I love the little details, the mug labeled for the ‘Atti Team’ with Mama and Pappi and that split second as the tip of the brush touches the paint set. I love the soft light and the illumination of her profile and that wonderful look of concentration on her face.

Pictures like this will stand the test of time because they are so natural, they tell us about a child and their favourite activities. They give us a sense of time and also of place, which is so important in memories. I love that we can see the table and chairs in the nook by the window, a spot that is the perfect size for a two year old and which, I’m sure, when Atti is older she will look back on with fondness as the place she used to play.

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