Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

A relaxed portrait of three brothers – Just One


One of the things my clients often say to me is how they really want a lovely shot of the children together. With the advent of fabulous cameras on phones and the sheer number of pictures we all take now (not to mention how incredibly talented many of my clients are behind the camera) they have lots of lovely shots of their children individually. They find it harder to take pictures of them together. As well as family shots, creative and artistic portraits, and the documentary images that I am well known for I always make sure to take some pictures of the children together. Pictures where everyone looks good, nobody is pulling a silly face, an image that they can keep to remember this time and that they can also frame for Grandma’s mantelpiece.

Taking really lovely relaxed pictures of children together where everyone has natural expressions is no mean feat with children. At different ages we move from the cheesy grin of the two year old to the Instagram pout of the teenager, and that’s once we even have everyone in the same place. I love images where children are playing happily together but, as we all know, at some ages children just don’t play together that much. Different ages have different interests and there are times when children will get on with things together and ages where they will play separately. This is just part of growing up but can be a challenge to the children’s photographer.

This is why I’m so thrilled with this beautiful portrait of the boys. At two, the youngest is at an age where his older brothers can entertain him but they wouldn’t naturally engage in the same games and activities. He’s yet to pick up a cricket bat and gain the all important footballing skills to engage in his older brother’s favourite games. That time will come bu, for now, building blocks take precedence over chess. I have lots of beautiful pictures of them having fun together, rolling around in the garden, blowing bubbles for their little brother to chase and enjoying themselves, but this is the shot that caught my eye, a picture of all three boys relaxed on the sofa and with eyes to the camera, a perfect shot for the mantelpiece and a lovely formal portrait for the family achieve.

I love how you get a real sense of their three differing personalities and that, I feel, is exactly what a portrait should do. I hope you like it.

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