As part of my work as a wedding photographer, I spend a fair chunk of my time as a London engagement photographer too. I always recommend my couples have an engagement shoot before their wedding day, because it not only helps you relax in front of the camera, but it’s also just something nice and fun in the calendar amongst all the wedding admin and logistical planning!
Because that’s what an engagement shoot should be: relaxed, but fun. You’re getting married! You’ve found your person! And that’s worth celebrating! So throw on your gladrags, grab each other by the hand, and have a lovely couple of hours with your London engagement photographer. (That’s what Dovile and Tim did for their Greenwich engagement shoot, and we had the best time, as you can see here.)
It’s always great to have your engagement shoot somewhere that means something to you, so if you live in London and/or are planning a London wedding, the capital city is the perfect place. But the amount of stunning locations on our doorstep here can be a tad overwhelming, so I thought I’d put together a list of my favourite engagement shoot locations to help. So without further ado:
Best engagement shoot locations in London
According to a London engagement photographer (hi, that’s me!)
The Barbican is a brutalist beauty and an iconic backdrop for a London engagement shoot. And if you’re a plant-lover and you time it right, it's possible to get tickets to visit the greenhouse on a weekend – an epic private oasis in the heart of the city!
2. Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
The Old Royal Naval College is not only breathtakingly beautiful but also steeped in history. The facades of the Baroque buildings are stunning enough on their own, not to mention the interiors of the Painted Hall…
3. St Paul’s Cathedral
We all know the world-famous dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, but at street level it has the most incredible steps, tall columns and creamy white walls that make an incredible setting for a shoot too.
4. Kew Gardens
Flora and fauna from around the world abound at the incredible Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, plus the stunning glasshouse with its spiral staircases.
It is worth noting that if you would like your engagement shoot at Kew Gardens you'll need a photography permit which can be bought from their site, but absolutely worth it I'd say!
5. South Bank
The South Bank is a super vibey part of London, home to a skateboard park, a food market, and loads of locations for some cool city-life portraits.
And speaking of urban backdrops – if you’re in the mood for incredible street art, fashion, and walking distance to a whole host of delicious food post-shoot, then Shoreditch is the spot for you. (You can see examples of a Shoreditch shoot I did when the wonderful Zoe and Harry picked me as their London engagement photographer here.)
7. Millennium Bridge
From the Millennium Bridge, you almost feel like you’ve got London in the palm of your hand. (And if you’re a Potterhead, don’t worry: it doesn’t wobble or twist!)
8. The banks of the Thames
To be honest, pretty much anywhere along the banks of the Thames is great, because you get the skyline of the city at the same time as open horizon and a feeling of space. And, breathe!
9. Notting Hill
I’m just a London engagement photographer, standing in front of a couple, telling them that Notting Hill is an amazing location for a photoshoot. Wide streets filled with buzzing activity, lined with stunning, immaculately manicured townhouses in a rainbow of colour.
10. Big Ben and Parliament
Now that the scaffolding has been taken off, Big Ben is back to its resplendent, gleaming glory – meaning that the area around Westminster is a perfect spot for photos.
11. Albert Bridge, Chelsea
When you think of London bridges, what colour do you think of? I bet you think of silver, black, brown – and not a palette of sugary pastels. Well, let me introduce you to The Albert Bridge in Chelsea, which is painted in pink, blue and green. The official reason is for increased visibility in fog…but I like to think they did it for the London engagement photographers out there!
Another bridge that makes an epic engagement shoot location is Tower Bridge. There, you can get down on the beach and shoot upwards – who knew there was a beach in London with such an epic setting?!
13. Greenwich Park
From shooting upwards to looking down: Greenwich Park is a gorgeous South London spot that looks over
17th century landscaping and the iconic city skyline simultaneously.
14 Petersham Nurseries, Richmond
Over on the other side of South London, Petersham Nurseries is a lush plant nursery, tearoom and restaurant, where every
corner provides something new and exciting.
15. St Dunstan in the East
St Dunstan in the East is a total hidden gem, and you can see why it’s a firm favourite for London engagement
photographers. It’s the ruins of an old church destroyed in the war, which has since become a public garden; the organic mix of building and greenery is truly magical.
16. Battersea Park
Battersea Park is a beautiful, open Victorian park, with a promenade, picturesque lake, and a Peace Pagoda too. These Buddhist stūpas were set up across the world to promote peace and non-violence.
17. Regent’s Park
Regent’s Park, one of the capital’s eight Royal Parks, has it all: wide, rolling lawns, a rose garden, a boating lake, and even views of giraffes from ZSL, if you get the right angle!
18. South Kensington
South Ken is home to most of the big museums in London as well as the Royal Albert Hall, but it’s also home to so much more too. It’s a truly luxurious part of the capital.
19. Somerset House
Over the years, Somerset House has been the home of so many different buildings, brands and communities, but one thing has remained: it’s gorgeous, grand neoclassical frontage and the glorious courtyard space too. (Plus, the Spring restaurant is to die for.)
20. Warren Mews (Great Portland St)
Warren Mews is a gorgeous cobbled cul-de-sac just off of Warren Street in Fitzrovia. It’s almost like stepping back in time!
21. The Hill Garden and Pergola
To be fair, Hampstead Heath is all stunning – but part of my job as your London engagement photographer (and wedding photographer) is to help scout out the best of the best for you to minimise your stress and maximise your enjoyment (and time). With that in mind, I highly recommend The Hill Garden and Pergola, a really romantic spot for photos.
22. Shad Thames
Shad Thames is a historic street in London that runs alongside the river. Its history of industrial warehouses combined with modern coffee shops and vibey restaurants make it a really great place to spend a couple of hours taking some photos!
23. Horse Guards Parade
It’s not just the Trooping of the Colour that happens on Horse Guards Parade – why not use it as the setting of your engagement photos too?
24. The London Eye
Photos on the London Eye are always incredible – each pod feels like a little bubble in the air, floating up above the city.
25. St Pancras Station
If you’ve never had reason to go to St Pancras International Station, you’re missing out. The elegant Victorian gothic architecture makes it one of the prettiest stations in the world – and it’s also attached to one of the prettiest hotels in the world, The St Pancras Renaissance.
26. The Standard Hotel
To see it from a different angle, why not rent a room at The Standard? It’s got gorgeous views of St Pancras but moreover the decor and interiors are a retro dream, perfect for anyone with a design eye.
27. Richmond Park
Deer? In London? Enough said! (Ok, fine, I’ll say some more: gorgeous surroundings and loads of great coffee nearby too.
28. Marylebone Town Hall
Marylebone Town Hall is not only one of my favourite spots as a London engagement photographer but as a wedding photographer too. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: that alcove has the best light in London!
29. A Double Decker bus tour
Why not hop on a double decker bus, and cover multiple locations in one?
30. Uber boat down the Thames
Or jump on an Uber boat down the Thames, and let the beauty of London wash (pun intended) over you.
Grabbing a glass of champagne at a rooftop bar is always a good idea, but particularly if it’s Madison, a New York-inspired bar with spectacular views of St Paul’s and the city.
32. The City
While the city is London, The City is a particular district that covers the historic centre as well as Canary Wharf. On a Sunday, you’ll practically have it to yourself!
My top tip as a London engagement photographer is to visit Islington especially in May, when the wisteria is in full bloom…it’s like something out of a fairytale, but just a stone’s throw away from all the hubbub we love.
34. Tate Modern
Another iconic addition to the riverside landscape, the Tate Modern is an incredible spot inside and out, perfect for arty types.
Remember those museums I mentioned in South Ken, up above? Well, the V&A might just be my favourite (but don’t tell the others!) The interiors are jaw-dropping; think ornate marble in wide airy spaces.
36. Covent Garden
For so many of us, Covent Garden is what we think of as quintessential London, which means there’s always something going on that makes it an interesting shoot location. The Piazza in particular – the square in the centre – is a particularly good spot, with stunning buildings surrounding it.
37. Columbia Road Flower Market
On a Sunday, Columbia Road transforms for its famous flower market, and the bright, beautiful blooms make the perfect backdrop for photos – but be warned, we have to be there very early to beat the crowds!
38. Your favourite cafe/restaurant
If you have a favourite cafe or restaurant in London, that can also make a super cute setting for a shoot. Perhaps there’s somewhere you go for a coffee every Saturday? Or a romantic restaurant you go to on special occasions?
39. Your first date site
Or maybe you went on your first date somewhere in London, and want to revisit the good mems now that you’re engaged!
And if you’re looking for a London engagement photographer to shoot with, I’d love to chat. I specialise in relaxed, authentic storytelling, resulting in contemporary, editorial photos that look like how they felt at the time – please do get in touch here to chat about an engagement shoot. I can’t wait to hear where you want to go!
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