Happy New Year everyone! 2020! A decade behind us and a new exciting decade ahead of us, woo hoo! I hope that everyone had an amazing holiday season and celebrated a lot! For some of you, you may have had a little extra something to celebrate over the holidays, an engagement? Did you know that 40% of proposals take place between Christmas and Valentine’s Day, it makes this season a little extra to celebrate for sure. If you were one of the ones that may have been admiring a new bit of sparkle by the Christmas tree, then a huge congratulations to you!!!
When couples ask me what to do first when being engaged, my first piece of advice is always to enjoy it! Take this first few weeks to enjoy being engaged, share the news with family and friends, buy some fun wedding magazines and browse ideas and think of the excitement ahead. Take this time to celebrate the big occasion in the future but do not start to stress about details and dress appointments and venue site visits, everything goes by quickly and it should be a fun occasion. One thing I highly recommend to couples during their engagement is to book an engagement photo shoot with their wedding photographer. First off, it is a great trial with you as a couple and the photographer that is going to be with you along every minute of your wedding day. Your engagement shoot is a great time to get comfortable in front of the camera with the photographer. I always recommend to book your hair and makeup trial that day as well so you can test out this before your big day and have a reason to get all dressed up. The second thing is that engagement photos are a great reason to have photos together not in your big white dress and tuxedo. Visit where you first met and have a bottle of wine, walk around your neighbourhood and get photos taken at your local coffee shop, have your photographer capture memorable photos that you will cherish forever as you as a couple and not necessarily on your wedding day, they are such a lovely thing to have.
Living in London and planning weddings in London has me a little biased on why getting engagement photos in London is a good idea. I mean for sure, a weekend trip to Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower is not a bad idea either, however, I think if London is a special place to you, then capture the moment here! There are SO many amazing spots to have your photos taken in London! Below I asked some talented and wonderful London wedding photographers for their ideas as well. Enjoy!
Where is your favorite location to shoot a couples engagement shoot in London?
I think any iconic London spots are perfect for an engagement shoot such as Big Ben (once the scaffolding is off!), Tower bridge, St. Pauls Cathedral, The Albert bridge is really pretty pastel colours…but all the parks are so lovely too! My favourites are Regents Park & Kensington Gardens, it’s actually really lovely to have a mixture of greenery and urban so when I shoot engagements I try to find a place where we can incorporate both. – Julie Michaelsen
This is the hardest question to answer! There are so many amazing places in London for engagement photos. When I’m doing engagement shoots I like to find out about the kind of things my couples love. If you want iconic London, you can’t go wrong with the Southbank and awalk along the river. Along here you get views of London Eye, St Pauls, Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern and all the way down to Tower Bridge. A hidden gem not far from the river is St. Dunstans in The East.
If you’re more of a nature couple then Kew Gardens or Regents Park are beautiful. Another favourite is The Hill Garden & Pergola near Hampstead Heath.
My last fave place is Greenwich, with the market, the park and the historic element this is a lovely part of the city.- Fiona Kelly
London has so many amazing backdrops to offer. I always speak to my clients first and foremost to see if they have a particular place that is meaningful to them. If they are wanting an iconic London engagement then I’d head down to the river with the London Eye, Big Ben & St Pauls. If they’re wanting to avoid the hussle then I always recommend either Hyde Park or Richmond Park (rude not to have coffee at Petersham Nurseries afterwards!). – Lucy Davenport Photography
Do you recommend a certain time of day to take photos in the city?
Timing is key, especially for the busier spots. I generally recommend early morning for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the light is gorgeous! Soft and flattering with hopefully a lovely sunrise to create even more of a backdrop to wow. Early morning also means there are less people around so you’ll get those landmarks without too many selfie sticks! – Lucy Davenport Photography
I prefer early morning or later in the day for the light. Avoiding midday is preferable from a photography point of view. London is a busy city so the earlier the better for keeping away from the crowds. I have done a number of engagement shoots that start not long after sunrise! It can be a killer getting up, but can be amazing for photos.- Fiona Kelly
Any tips regarding planning a London engagement photoshoot?
Communication is a massive top tip for planning a London engagement shoot – or any for that matter! Always communicate what is important to you and this goes for your wedding day too.Why are you having an engagement shoot? Some of my couples want practice in front of the camera. Others want to use the engagement images as part of their save the date stationery….is your stationery portrait or landscape? Although I shoot both orientations it is helpful to know what you’ll be needing. I have had a couple use the images as part of their table number decoration too, so for them it was important that I shot in a certain way. – Lucy Davenport Photography
London is a massive place so to make the most of the time you have you want to plan where to go beforehand. You might not be able to get everything in within a couple of hours, so it may be a case of adding more time to the shoot or being picky about the places you go to. The best thing is to work with your photographer as they can advise on timings. I often work up a few route options for my couples and they choose the one they want based on the places they would like to include.- Fiona Kelly
Any tips of certain things to wear?
I have a Pinterest board I send to my couples with tips on what to wear. I would always recommend to choose clothes you feel fantastic in, that matches the mood we’re going for. To me, there’s no such thing as over dressed! Neutral, muted colours suits my style of photography the best, but we’d also be looking at complementing the time of year and the locations. Also bring an extra pair of comfortable shoes and a warm jacket in case of chilly weather. – Cecelina Photography
Layers are your best friend during a London engagement shoot…and shoes you can walk in! There is normally a lot of walking during a shoot so wear the comfy footwear and bring another pair to change in to for the photos, if you want. I always advise to dress in a way you feel good but also comfy. Try to avoid too much solid black or white and highly patterned clothes. Layers are great in case you get too warm or too cool and they add a bit of interest to your outfits. – Fiona Kelly
What do I wear is one of the main questions I am asked. I have a Pinterest board which I share with couples which has some great ideas on. Try to avoid clashing colours, and red for example as this is such a strong colour it will attract the viewers eye in every photograph rather than seeing the image as a whole when wearing a softer colour. Avoid stripes! Try to compliment rather than match. I generally say avoid branding as this can look dated in a few years time! I always tell my couples to send me photos of their outfits if they would like my input. Also don’t be afraid to bring a change of outfit! Make sure you communicate that with your photographer though so they can build this into the timeline of your shoot and ensure you have somewhere suitable to change. – Lucy Davenport Photography
Thank you SO much ladies for all of the amazing advice! I do love a London engagement session, London elopement or London wedding! The photo opportunities are endless! Looking forward to seeing your amazing photos that will be wonderful memories for years to come!