Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Tunbridge Wells Family Photography – Just One – Ice Bucket


‘You know what would make a great picture?’ Will asked towards the end of our fantastic family photography session in Tunbridge Wells, ‘throwing a bucket of water over my head…’ Who was I to disagree? Will was absolutely right, throwing a bucket of water over his head, and also that of his younger brother did make some great pictures and I’m thrilled to choose one of these for my Just One today.

In truth it has been a very hard choice which picture to choose – both Will and his younger brother Harry had such great shots but in the end I chose this one of Harry for my Just One as I absolutely love the way the water looks like a giant hat.

As many regular readers will know I love water play – it’s always guaranteed to produce great pictures and the children always seem to love the excitement of switching a hose on and chasing each other with water pistols. Even as a child I loved this game and we used to have water battles that raged between my house and my best friends’ two doors down, such brilliant fun. So now, when the weather is hot and the children are tired I’m always happy to end the photo shoot with the chaos of water play, even if it does sometimes mean I am a little damp for the train ride home.

From a photographic point of view water is great fun, using different techniques we can get such different effects from the almost mist-like look of a slow shutter speed to dialing the shutter speed right up and getting each and every droplet in sharp focus. I’ll often experiment trying some pictures with some techniques and some with others to ensure a really great interpretation of the action for my clients. This shot was taken at 320th of a second, fast enough to capture the detail but slow enough to create the wonderful waterfall effect on the mass of the water as it leaves the bucket and falls on Harry’s head.

I love his expression, laughing so much with eyes tightly closed against the water. He was so keen to play the same game as his big brother. The brim of his giant water hat almost looks as if it was one of the dramatic headpieces worn by the cavalliers back in the seventeehth century.

It’s a picture that makes me laugh and one that I can see myself returning to again and again as I do with my favourite images, sticking them to the wall as I build my new portfolios. I hope you like it too, and if you would be interested in booking your own session then do get in touch, there is a limited amount of availability during the summer holidays and the autumn is already very busy so do get in touch and we can get your date in the diary.

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