Top 12 Awesome Locations for London Engagement Photos
London is a city blessed with diversity. From the architecture to people from all different cultures. From historic landmarks to modern attractions. From Rural parks to a fascinating urban landscape. This diversity lends to loads of amazing locations for an engagement shoot. I’ve been lucky enough to explore London with loads of awesome couples (from those visiting on holiday to others who’s wedding I’ll be photographing) over the past few years. So I thought this was a good time to reflect on some of London’s best bits. Below are my favourite 12 London locations for an engagement shoot (not in any particular order).
1) Westminster Bridge/ the South Bank (including Parliament, Big Ben & the London Eye)
Often a starting point for many of my shoots, this area of the South Bank has the advantage of having 3 of London’s most icon landmarks in close proximity. From the west end of Westminster bridge you have amazing views of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben across the river. On Westminster Bridge itself you can combine the views of Parliament and Big Ben with the iconic red double decker London Bus. Then a short walk away you have a more recent addition to the London landscape, the London Eye.
From the iconic to the more alternative/ urban side of London we have the Camden Canal. My favourite part of the Canal starts at Camden Lock and winds all the way to Primose Park and Regents Park Zoo. While probably not the first place to come to mind for your engagement shoot, Camden Canal offers some cool graffiti and beautiful light from the bridges above to play with.
Another iconic London landmark, Tower Bridge is a magnificent structure to include in your engagement pictures. Tourists often confuse Tower Bridge with the much more boring looking, yet more historic London Bridge. The most famous rumour of this was when, in 1968, an American mistakenly bought the London Bridge thinking it was the Tower Bridge. When it arrived he received quite a shock. The best view of London bridge, and a little London secret, can be found via some steps that lead you down to bank of the Thames. This is only recommended at low tide.
4) London Parks (e.g. Regents Park, Park, Hyde Park, Primrose Hill, Greenwich Park)
Across London there are a number of beautiful parks that offer respite from the urban sprawl. A few of my favourites include Regents Park, Primrose Hill, Greenwich Park and Hyde Park. Each park offers its own advantages. Primrose Hill and Greenwich Park have stunning views of the London skyline (at opposite sides of the city). Hyde Park offers rowing for the slightly more energetic. Regents Park has some really cool gardens, people playing a range of sports and a zoo. Another advantage of a park engagement shoot is that you could even bring your dog along for the fun.
Another alternative London location and a bit of a secret among locals, the Waterloo Tunnels (aka ‘Graffiti Tunnel) offers awesome examples of London street art to enjoy. It also provides some great light to play with, especially at the south east end of the tunnel. You’ll often see street artists at work done there and because of this the walls are continuously changing.
6) Greenwich (including Cutty Sark, Old Royal Naval College & Greenwich Park)
One of my favourite London spots to visit when I want to get out of the city, Greenwich has a lot going for it. You’ve got the Cutty Sark (the last surviving tea clipper of the 19th century), the Old Royal Naval College (an architectural master piece) and Greenwich Park (one of my favourite London parks with beautiful views of the city). An engagement shoot in Greenwich offers a lovely mix of urban and nature with some historic elements.
Example: Adam & Rachel (coming to the blog soon)
7) The London Underground
A method for hopping between locations during your engagement shoot, the London Underground also offers some gifts to play with. Using a slow shutter speed you can create some awesome photos with the passing trains.
Example: Limyi & Eugene (coming to the blog soon)
8) Mudchute Farm
Yes, surprisingly London does have a number of farms you can visit. These include Vauxhall, Hackney Spitafields, Deen and Kentish Town City Farms. But my favourite and one of the largest is Mudchute Farm located on the Isle of Dogs. Who wouldn’t want Llamas in their engagement pictures?
London is blessed with culinary dishes from around the globe and one of the best place to enjoy this international mouth-watering experience is at street food markets. Secret London recently created an interactive map of London’s Best Street Food Markets if you’re looking for one near you. My favourite is Borough Market, located at the south end of London Bridge. As well as being a paradise for foodies, street food markets are a great option for couples looking for more candid photos on their engagement shoot. For example they can explore the delights of the market while their photographer captures their food adventure in a more documentary style.
If you enjoy reflections, cool shapes and appreciate modern architecture than Canary Wharf is the ideal location for your engagement shoot. The scale, geometric shapes and surfaces (many reflective) offer a lot for a photographer to play with.
Ah yes, the good old London pub. Although I’ve witnessed many attempts at recreating British pubs overseas they never seem to get it right. There’s something both homely and sociable about a London pub that makes it a very comfortable place to hang out. It is for this reason I’ve often started engagement shoots in a pub for couples feeling a little extra nervous of being in front of the camera. These times also provide a great opportunity for some more candid photos of the couple just enjoying each others company.
Example: Rob & Beth (coming to the blog soon)
12) The Olympic Park
Out towards Stratford the Olympic Park offers some cool/interesting architecture to play with as well as being a fun place to hang out. From the Aquatics centre and main stadium to the Orbit (turned into a slide) the buildings in the park offer some great shapes and colours to play with. It is also a place where a lot of people from all walks of London life come to chill out, adding a lovely community feel to the place.
Example: Kirsten & Andrew (coming to the blog soon)
If you’ve had an engagement shoot at another awesome London location then please let me know in the comments below. I’m always on the look out for new places to explore with couples and welcome new ideas. If down the line I add your recommendation to the above list I will of course credit you.