Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Family photo shoot with a polo match


Activity based photo shoots

We all have a bucket list and on mine was ‘watch a polo match’ something that has been on my radar since teenage years reading Jilly Coopers famous ‘Riders’ series (do we really believe they are Rishi Sunak’s favourite novels as he said in a recent interview? I can’t see it myself). But the reading habits of the prime minister aside, I’d always been curious to watch the polo and so when photographing one was proposed at the end of one of my family photo shoots I jumped at the chance. Photographing one of my favourite subjects, doing something she loves, which is something I’ve always wanted to see? consider me having my best day ever!

This was my seventh photo shoot with this lovely family, and it’s been such a privilege to see the children grow from cute little ones to incredibly intelligent, interesting, and inspiring teenagers. We are in good hands with these children as the future.

Structure of a photo shoot with teenagers

As always, we started with a walk and in a place that was new to me, beautiful Virginia waters which is part of Windsor great park. It was a stunning location with so much variety. I hope to go back many times in the future – I could see hours of fun playing hide and seek with younger children in the woodland, and the formal gardens were a delight for these stylish teens.

We found a lot of stunning locations and managed to find shady spots too which is so important for beautiful and flattering light on these incredibly sunny days. Finding the right light and using it in different ways is such a fun challenge to me and something I really enjoy in my work.


Mid phot shoot we moved on to hobbies which is my usual format when photographing teenagers to ensure a lovely variety in the images. It’s so nice to take in teenager’s hobbies and interests in pictures that they can look back on and see the things they loved to do.

Golf was such fun to photograph, and I loved learning about the different bits of the stroke and how different iron are used for different shots.

It was very special to take these pictures at the golf course the family go to and so there will be so many memories sparked by the pictures in the future.

Horses and Polo

Then we moved on to horses and polo which was so exciting to me.

From a technical point of view, it was such a challenge getting a sense of the game and focusing on such a fast moving, and fast tuning subject. I enjoyed using my favourite technique of panning to get a real sense of the movement and the speed. A slow shutter speed blurs movement but by moving my camera with it my subject stays sharp, it’s a tricky technique to get right but I love the results,

Of course, sometimes you just need a really fast shutter speed to freeze a moment such as this incredible backhand shot which I was so pleased to capture in a photograph. It’s an exciting and exhilarating game and incredible to see. I’m so lucky my job gives me these opportunities ana I love the creative challenges it brings.

Book a summer photo shoot now

I hope you have enjoyed the pictures you have seen here today. If you would like to arrange your own family photo shoot then do get in touch. Summer dates are booking up fast and I’d love to meet you and your family and create some memory filled photos for you.