Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

London Vacation and Holiday Photography


Booking a photo shoot while on holiday in London

I love photographing families who are visiting London on holiday. It’s such a joy to share my wonderful city with others and also to hear what brings people to London and how they plan to spend their time – this family had a lot of football matches in their holiday schedule whereas for other families it might be all about visiting friends or finding the foodie hotspots as well as, of course, the amazing sights and tourist attractions that London has to offer.

I really enjoy incorporating some sight seeing into my family photo shoots and days like this one, where we explored the Southbank and then across Westminster Bridge to St James’ Park before the family headed to The Ritz for lunch, are so much fun, we even saw a pelican!

Chatting to new people is always so interesting and hearing about different people’s lives is a joy, I’m so lucky my job as a family photographer gives me such great opportunities.

An early start for our family photo shoot in London

I love an early start with my photo shoots – this rewards us with great light, quiet parks and, most importantly, flexibility if something doesn’t go according to plan.

When I arrived at the hotel on the morning of our photo shoot it was to discover that one of the children wasn’t feeling very well and so we had to think on our feet.  As the day was beautiful, the family only in town for a couple of days, and I was there already, we decided to start with half the party and then see how the morning progressed. It turned out an excellent choice as we had a brilliant time exploring on the South bank and by the time we needed to take a break for a snack and a drink our second subject was feeling much better and ready to come out to play.  Taking a relaxed approach always pays off and we were rewarded with a fantastic photo shoot with great photos of everyone over the course of the morning.

Family group shots

Something I love to do when I take family group shots is to take the eyes to the camera shot and then wait and see what happens next.  Often a story will develop and the pictures together are greater than the sum of their parts. This is the case in the images below where we have the lovely group shot with the family in the tree, a beautiful picture that will look wonderful framed on the wall, and then the second shot which tells a story and shows the wonderful interaction between the family members as they look at each other, laughing and happy to be having this adventure in London together.

Games in St James's Park

One of the things I love most about photographing children is the energy of the day and how kids throw themselves into any activity whether that’s running around the park, dancing in the sunshine, or making daisy chains (a childhood favourite of mine too). Creating pictures which record these moments both how they look but also how they felt is something I love to do. Panning shots are a real favourite of mine – using a slow shutter speed and then moving the camera as the subject moves to create images that are full of energy, it’s a tricky technique but the results are wonderful and emotive showing the sheer speed and exhilaration of a game of chase. I hope these pictures will make the children smile as they grow older.

Book a family photo shoot when you are on Vacation in London in 2024

This photo shoot was a joy from start to finish and I’m so glad we got to spend this day together. From an early morning on Westminster Bridge to dropping the family off at the Ritz for their lunch, our day was filled with laughter and I’m so thrilled with the pictures. I can’t wait to share the full selection with the family, pictures to look back on and relive a fantastic holiday.

If you have liked what you have seen on the blog today you can read more on my London Vacation Photography page or get in touch via the contact form and we can get your date in the diary and create wonderful memories of your holiday for you and your family to treasure.