Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Just One – portrait photography with teenagers in Highgate, North London


Highgate Wood is one of my favourite places in North London, and a place that I have come to know well since I moved to Crouch End two years ago. Therefore I was thrilled when we chose it as the location to photograph Roger’s family as a gift for his wife’s forthcoming birthday. It’s a great spot for a family walk and a relaxing environment for portraits, particularly with older children and teenagers as there are lots of great spots for portraits and also some enormous trees to climb, and who can fail to enjoy themselves when there are enormous trees to climb?

Today’s Just One preview features Roger’s teenage children climbing one of these enormous trees, and the image caught my eye as soon as I downloaded the cards – I just love it. What makes it a great picture for me is the expressions – the children (young adults!) are sharing a joke as I took their picture. I love how you can immediately see what a great relationship they have, siblings and also great friends. It’s great to see how relaxed they both are in this picture, the anthitisis of the traditional formal studio portrait.

The light is lovely too, illuminating Claire’s face and showing her beautiful features to perfection and lighting Luke too as he looks down on his big sister. The soft light of a grey Saturday morning provided such flattering light, and working with a bit of distance from the background and a shallow depth of field, the subjects really stand out within this interesting composition. I love the angles in this portrait too, with the eye being drawn between the Claire and Luke, backwards and forwards, caught in that fun loving gaze.

I’m thrilled with the picture, it’s just the kind of image I would love if it was a picture of me and my brother, and I hope that Roger and his whole family will love it too, now and in the future.

I hope you enjoy it too, today’s Just One preview image from our family photography session with teenager children in Highgate, North London.

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