Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Dramatic Light for Monochrome Family Portraits


Sometimes, in the course of a family photo shoot, I find myself in the presence of some truly mesmerizing light. This was the case when photographing a game of table tennis during a tea break on a recent family portrait session. We had been photographing for a couple of hours at this point – exploring the amazing gardens at Jackie’s stunning home, enjoying the swings and playing a bit of cricket. We’d come in for a cup of tea and a snack and the boys were playing table tennis in a dimly lit downstairs room.

I was enjoying myself taking some action shots in the semi-darkness when I realized I was in the presence of some wonderful light that could be utilized in dramatic portraits. As the game came to an end I posed the children briefly, one by one, shooting with a very shallow depth of field to really emphasis the drama of the pictures.

The light just skims their profiles offering a hint of mystery in these dramatic images. The monochrome tones work beautifully, another moment where black and white photography captures the essence of the subject in such a stunning way. I’m so pleased with them and I hope you will like them as much as I do.

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