Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

What Will Happen Next?


One thing I love in a photograph is a sense of anticipation, a feeling for what might happen next. I love how photography can do this, can freeze time in the split second of something happening, or the split second before it happens. We all know what’s going to happen in this picture but the image leaves it to the imagination, it’s the moment before and, like with bubble popping itself, its the anticipation that is most exciting..

I love how the picture has everything, the incredible bubble catching the summer light, the looks of sheer joy and excitement on the boys faces as, barely able to contain themselves, they begin to leap into the air and the grin on their cousin’s face as he creates this giant bubble.

Identical twins – mirror images – both with an arm outstretched and mouths open in laughter. Their cousin, arms outstretched to make this amazing bubble with a t-shirt that mirrors his pose, the arms of the Saracens rugby player held out in an unconscious echo (I mean, I couldn’t have even dreamt that could happen and I certainly didn’t notice at the time, but sometimes the stars really do align and everything works perfectly).

It was a brilliant day, we had such a great time and I’m so pleased with this image and how it really captures the energy and excitement of the day.

When photographing children and families it’s this sense of capturing the moment, capturing the fun, the excitement and the relationships that I look to record in my pictures. I find that these images are often the ones that we look back on with the most joy as time goes by, images that transport us to a time and place, that show us our family and friends, those we love the most. I’m sure the boys will, all three of them, love looking back on this picture when they are older – cousins having fun together on a summer’s day.

Photo shoots are always a mix of un-posed documentary imagery like this and, of course, making sure we also have the portrait images, pictures of the family together that are just as important as the action shots. If this relaxed and natural approach and my style of creative black and white photography appeals to you then do get in touch, I’m taking bookings for late spring, summer and also the run up to Christmas and I look forward to hearing from you.

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