I love doing pre-wed shoots in London, otherwise known as engagement shoots. It’s a great way to get to know the couple, and for them to feel comfortable in front of the camera.
As an Asian wedding photographer in London, It also gives the couple a chance to get to know me as well. That’s why I offer pre-wed shoots in all wedding packages. My couples can use their portraits for their wedding such save the date cards, guest signing books or seating plans to name just a few ideas.
Which leads me to my next point… More often than not, couples always ask me ‘where is the best locations for a pre-wed shoot in London?‘ Now that is a tricky question to answer because London has endless possibilities and locations for some awesome shots! It’s a case of having a chat with them, get to know them and their personalities and come up with suggestions.
Initially I ask whether they want urban, rural or a mixture of both. Also, the style of photography such as gritty, natural, creative or contemporary. Lastly, what time of day they want their shoot such as sunrise, sunset, evening, midday etc. For me, sunrise and sunset produce the best colours in the day and you can truly get some epic shots. However, that’s not to say you can’t during any other parts of the day.
Anyway that’s enough of me rambling on, let’s get to my favourite, popular locations to photograph a pre-wed shoot…
If a couple wanted to have as much variety as they can in one location, I would always recommend Greenwich. What I love about Greenwich is that it has a villagy-feel to it, even though it’s still in London. There are plenty of wide open, green spaces, tree-lined paths, historical buildings, the Thames and nice bars and restaurants. You could easily spend a whole afternoon here and still keep going. Local landmarks include the Cutty Sark, Old Royal Navy College and the famous Greenwich Market. It also has the really cool foot tunnel which goes beneath the Thames to the Isle of Dogs on the other side. But for me the best part of Greenwich is the Royal Observatory. It gives you stunning views over the city, especially when the sun is setting.
So if you’re looking for a bit of an adventure for your pre-wed shoot in London, and don’t mind walking a fair bit, Greenwich has it all.
See more from this shoot here.
Hill Garden & Pergola, Hampstead Heath
Hidden within Hampstead Heath, this magical and mysterious location is getting more and more popular for some epic portraits. Hidden amongst beautiful gardens and overgrowth, the Pergola is essentially a series of pillared raised walkways overlooking the Hill Gardens. I find early mornings are the best time to visit when there are hardly any people, meaning you can have the place all to yourself to explore and find new places. Every time I go there, I discover new areas, light and textures. It really is a lovely part of North London that not everyone is aware of.
Hampstead town centre also isn’t too far from there if you wish to vary up your options with a few urban shots, with cafes and restaurants. Overall, a lovely place to have your pre-wed shoot in London.
This part of London wouldn’t necessarily come to the top of peoples mind when thinking of locations for their pre-wed shoot. However, with open green spaces and a canal running through, it offers a nice variety of spots and plenty of opportunity to explore. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is also within walking distance which offers many options for finding nice little hidden spots.
As an Indian wedding photographer in London, I like to find areas with character. And this one certainly has one with a gritty, urban vibe, which is a different offering and only adds to the versatility of the area.
See more from this area here.
Regent’s Park is probably up there with the busiest public spaces in London. With so many activities, amenities and locations within the park, there is always something going on. Home to London Zoo, the Open Air Theatre and Regent’s University London to name just a few local landmarks, there is always a buzz here. As a wedding photographer, the trick for me is finding the sweet spot of the right time and location within the park. But when you find it, its makes for some epic portraits for your pre-wed shoot in London. I find that first thing in the morning or later on in the evening, just when there is enough ambient light, is the best times to go. That way, there are only a few people and runners around, leaving you with the entire park more or less to yourself.
That said, the park is huge. So maybe focus on one specific part of the park and make it your own. There are so many unique places within Regent’s Park, which makes it perfect each time I go back as I generally find new and exciting places to explore.
If it’s a busy area you’re looking for, then St. Paul’s is hard to beat. Bang in the middle of Central London, the area is a melting pot of tourists visiting the cathedral and city workers going about their daily routine. With the Millennium Bridge just a short walk away as well, the crowds amplify as people make their way over the Thames to the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe and Southbank area.
If the idea of this does not bother you, you will no doubt get some epic shots for your pre-wed shoot. You get unrivalled views of the city with skyscrapers in the distance, but also the spectacular view of St Paul’s. There is rarely a quiet part during the day, no matter how early or late you get there. Actually – unless you go at midnight, you may have the place to yourself! However, if you ignore the crowds, you can get some beautiful images on the bridge.
But with most locations I visit, I always try and find the hidden away spots with no people. The St. Paul’s area has that in abundance, and it’s a case of walking around to discover them. As an Asian wedding photographer in London, this area hits all the right notes.
See more from this area here.
Kensington is another part of London which ticks many boxes. World-class museums, green parks, boutique shops and posh bars and restaurants – they’re all here! It’s a really nice part of town to take your time and wonder around in. There are always places to find in more or less every corner, with little mews and streets which is a lovely backdrop for some natural portraits.
Within walking distance, there are also nearby Hyde Park, Notting Hill and Holland Park. If it’s posh you are after, then this location is the one for you!
City of London
The City of London is an area of contrasts, right in the heart of the capital. The juxtaposition of both old and new, side by side is so evident, it gives you the perfect location to try out new ideas and be creative behind the camera. As an Indian wedding photographer, I love areas like this where you can really express your style.
With new buildings popping up everywhere, the area is ever changing. However if you search hard enough, there are pockets of amazing hidden gems, and when you find them, they can lead to some truly unique and creative portraits. Generally I find weekends are quieter due to the city not trading. Early mornings are also better when beating the crowd of tourists.
Overall, the City offers a great location for historic, contemporary and ultramodern backdrops that will surely provide a rich source of inspiration.
See more from this area here.
Primrose Hill, just north of Regents Park, is a beautiful area which could be mistaken for a little town in the middle of the countryside. The villagy-feel to the area is perfect for the more quiet, romantic portraits for your engagement shoot in London, where there aren’t so many people around. Here, you can find brightly coloured houses, little parks and extremely photogenic streets.
There are also busier parts to Primrose Hill where you can find boutique shops, cafes, restaurants and bookshops. These make perfect fodder for those natural shots where posing is not an issue. But what makes Primrose Hill even more unique is the view it offers of London in the distance. It may be a bit of a steep climb to the top, but believe me, it is worth it.
This area is for sure, once of my favourite places to photograph as a portrait photographer.
See more from this area here.
As mentioned previously in the post, Holland Park is a lovely part of town with a unique twist in the middle of it.
The park itself is relatively small, but there are so many nice features within it, none more so than the amazing Kyoto Gardens. A beautifully landscaped Japanese gardens as the name suggests, there are so many possibilities for some beautiful portraits. When the sun is out, the colours really do pop and it really feels like you have entered another country.
The streets around the park can also offer up some surprises too, especially during the short walk towards Notting Hill. It’s definitely a place to explore as every corner can produce great opportunities.
So there it is! I hope you have enjoyed my run-down of popular locations for pre-wed shoot in London. These are just a few locations which I have been fortunate enough to photograph as an Asian wedding photographer in London. If you and your partner have liked what you have seen and have some ideas on locations you like in London or beyond, please give me a shout! I would love to hear your thoughts, and hopefully we can create some amazing work together 🙂