Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Just One – Toby and Willa – Wimbledon, South London


I love this picture of Toby and Willa from our recent children’s and family photo shoot in Wimbledon. This was our fourth session out and about in SW19, and I think my favourite yet. It always makes me smile thinking back to our first shoot, I remember it so well with Willa clutching her comfort blanket, Toby pretending to be Harry Potter, and the Labrador Jack bowling into me while we played hide and seek, he found me so much quicker than the children! The memories make me laugh and the pictures have a place in my heart, I remember them all so well – do take a look at the original blog post from back in 2007 here.

Since then, I have visited the family every couple of years, and so it was lovely to head to Wimbledon again at the weekend to see how the children are getting on. Everyone is growing-up and talk was of schools, drama clubs, summer holiday plans, and where to buy the best hoodie (which is always good to know).

We visited Wimbledon Common for part of our shoot – which is always a favourite place to photograph in London – and I’ll be sharing pictures from that part of the shoot in due course. It was amazing fun playing in the bracken, climbing trees and then wading out into the stream (when it was suggested to me that we play in the stream, I’ll admit I had in mind something rather smaller but I was glad my trousers were rolled-up well and it’s not June if you don’t stand in the middle of a stream at least once to take a picture!).

We then headed back to the family’s home in Wimbledon and it was in the garden that I took this picture, today’s ‘Just One’ preview image of Willa and Toby lying in the grass.

It’s the texture of the grass that makes this image for me – I love how it frames the children, and adds such detail and softness to the frame. I love the few strands that are sharply in focus and how there are blades of grass across the top, as if making a complete frame around the children.

I also love the children’s expressions, which are really relaxed at this point in the shoot – happy to chill out for a moment while I found the perfect angle to shoot from. I love the glint of mischief in their eyes – that spark of personality that makes them such fun children to be around, and makes me sure they will go far in life.

It’s definitely a favourite picture from our morning together and I hope you like it. I’ll post some more images from our photo shoot soon – featuring dogs, streams, guinea pigs, cats, bracken, football and acrobatics, it’s all in store. I do hope you’ll check back to see the pictures soon.

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