Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Walton-on-Thames Baby Photography – Just one


As a photographer I’m driven by a need to be creative, to approach things in a slightly different way and to look for compositions that are beyond the norm for the genre. This way I can create images that are completely unique for my clients and, as photographs, transcend the individual and make us think about the universality of childhood. To me, this image, a baby photograph from a recent photo shoot in Walton on Thames in Surrey does that.

We started the photo shoot in one of the spare rooms at the top of the house. Not wanting to wake Theo’s older brother who was still asleep, and avoiding the rain pouring down outside, we had crept through the house, assessing the light in different areas until we settled on the top floor. Fantastic directional light made these rooms a joy to photograph in and Theo was a joy to photograph.

I had started by sitting with my back to the window and photographing Theo in the incredible soft light, his stunning and enormous brown eyes picking up lovely catch-lights from the window above while the limited nature of the window light created beautiful natural vignettes to the images. But after a while I decided to mix things up a bit and use the shape of the room, particularly this little light filled alcove, to create a different type of image.

I love the graphics of this image, the way the light falls straight down onto Theo and then spills out from the window in this light area through the top third of the image while it then falls away so quickly towards the foreground. The darker area at the bottom of the frame and on each side anchors the eye into the image and draws us back to our main subject. I love the columns of light both the alcove itself, the bright walls on each side and these vertical elements echoed by Theo’s arms as he pauses before crawling fast along the floor towards the camera.

I think the sense of space and of scale really adds to the image, giving us a sense of how little Theo still is, only nine months old and yet so full of character. The space makes me think of all the infinite adventures of childhood, adventures still to come as Theo grows up explores the world playing with his wonderful older brother.

I hope you like it too, today’s Just One from my recent family photo shoot in Walton-on-Thames in Surrey.

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