A Couples Guide To Planning Your London Engagement Photoshoot
COUPLE PHOTOSHOOTS IN LONDON
Couple photoshoots in London are my favourite thing!
As an engagement photographer in London, I have over 13 years of experience photographing couples from all over the world across the city of London.
London is famous for being steeped in tradition, yet there are also areas that are forever growing + changing, which makes it such a perfect UK pre-wedding location.
I’ve put together this free guide to make it super easy to plan your London engagement shoot + get some great photos in the process.
Let’s just jump straight into this.
What is an engagement shoot?
Simply put: an engagement shoot is a couples photoshoot.
I call them “engagement” shoots because they’re designed around the concept around two people ‘engaging’ with each other – it’s not actually specifically for aimed at couples who’ve just got engaged. My London engagement sessions are fun, laid-back couple portraits that emphasise candid imagery above anything posed or structured.
Some couples want to wear their wedding outfits + some of my couples have only met recently. Pre-wedding shoot, engagement session, couple portraits – they’re all the same. However, every single one of the couples I work with has a different story to tell so I work closely with them to create a set of images that reflects their unique personalities + relationship.
My engagement sessions are relaxed, easy-going + a lot of fun. We’ll be exploring your favourite parts of London whilst I get to know you both + get some photos in the process. I always encourage my couples to “make a day of it” by planning a whole day out around the shoot – usually resulting in grabbing dinner afterwards.
What should we expect during our London engagement photoshoot?
I like to take my time with these shoots + get to know you guys as best as possible. All I ask in return is that you don’t “hold back”.
I’ll be asking you a bunch of questions throughout the shoot + photographing your reactions to the general conversation. I shoot a lot whilst we’re chatting so it’s important to remember that I’m not trying to get photos of you guys blinking or mid-talking photos (never flattering) but I will be shooting constantly to ensure I’m ready for the right moment (IE if you both crack up laughing etc).
We’ll be walking around the location(s) you’ve chosen, playing games + generally hanging out. I’ll occasionally instruct you to “go stand over there” or some light pose direction (nothing cheesy!) but these shoots are just about connecting with each other whilst getting some new photos + perhaps seeing how I’ll approach shooting your wedding.
How to plan your engagement photoshoot.
- Choose a photographer
(Match approach to the look you’re after)
- Choose a date + time
- Choose a location
(Make it relevant to you as a couple)
- Choose outfits
(Keep it comfortable + confident)
- Choose a time
(Usually sunrise or sunset)
- Be yourself + have fun!
I’ll dive into each of these in a lot more detail below.
How do we choose a location for our London couples photoshoot?
Everything is out on location, where I can interact with you in a far less rigid way than we’d shoot in a studio environment which means we can create images that are more “you”.
This means that you choose the location! I encourage couples to think outside the box + be creative with it. Don’t just choose the local park because it’s the obvious option. I’ve shot engagement sessions on multi story car parks, schools, + even a launderette. We can also shoot at home, too – I love home shoots!
A few ideas to get the ball rolling include:
- Where you first met
- Where you got engaged
- Your home
- Where you work
- Where you went on your first date
- Somewhere you generally like hang out together
Think about what would best represent you as a couple. I’m drawn to walls, textures, architecture + street art but Ann + Jan love Pizza Pilgrims – so that was where we started their shoot:
ANN + JAN, LONDON ENGAGEMENT PHOTOSHOOT
When is the best time for our London engagement photoshoot?
We’ll be shooting on location so the best time to shoot is decided by light. The best light on a sunny day is at sunrise + sunset, whereas on cloudier days – we have the flexibility of shooting during any daylight hours.
During off-peak seasons (October-March), we can usually confirm the time on the day of the shoot.
Is an engagement shoot necessary?
...We’re quite awkward.
I get it. I hate having my photo taken, too. Most people do + that’s usually a pretty good reason to do it. It’s my job to make you feel as comfortable as possible. One of the main reliefs for couples to know before the shoot is that you’re not expected to do *anything* but be yourselves.
You won’t be expected to bust out your vast catalogue of conceptual model poses.
I want to capture honest portraits of you guys that reflect your personalities + relationship. I’m not interested in photographing you guys posing romantically on a bridge if that’s not something you do outside of this shoot.
When should we schedule our London couples photoshoot?
Whenever you like! Some couples prefer to schedule their engagement shoot to actually announce their engagement (post-proposal), whereas others want to see how I’ll approach shooting their wedding day (generally 2 months before the wedding). Valentines, holidays, + anniversaries are also a popular choice.
We're visiting from abroad.
Is that okay?
Of course! I love meeting couples who are currently traveling + being part of the experience. Engagement shoots whilst traveling are a really fun way to look back at your adventures when you return home. I’m happy to be your travel guide with a fancy camera + I can suggest locations + routes if you’re not familiar with London.
How many locations can we use on our couples shoot?
Once you’ve booked your shoot, we’ll begin the process of planning how we can maximise our time taking relaxed photos. If you want to include multiple locations in London, I can help you choose a route + provided an estimated time in each location. Quite often, up to 2 locations (that are geographically nearby) gives plenty of variety to a shoot, within the time frame.
How do we travel around during our London pre-wedding photoshoot?
I try to avoid travelling too far during the shoot. I want to fill our 2 hours with taking lots of amazing photos – not stuck in traffic. If we can’t travel to another location on foot then we’ll usually jump in an Uber to save time.
Do you travel for an engagement shoot?
Definitely! Some of the best engagement sessions are the ones where I’ve had to travel far + wide to get to the location. I love visiting new places. However, I will need to ask for any travel expenses to be covered for anywhere outside a 20 mile radius of Brighton, UK. I travel as cheap as possible + I can confirm this expense prior to confirming the location so please don’t hesitate to let me know your weird + wonderful ideas.
What can we do with our photos?
Having photos taken is a way to mark a significant time in your lives that you can look back on in years to come. Some couples choose to use their engagement session photos for the following:
– Engagement party slideshow
– Wedding day signing frames
– Decorate the empty frames + walls at home
– Be social (all photos are ready to share on Facebook, IG + wherever you might fancy)
– Avoid eating your photos.
Your photos are delivered in on online gallery, which includes an easy-to-use shop where you can order stunning print products to decorate your home.
What if it rains for our scheduled shoot date?
We can reschedule or brave it.
If rain is going to dampen your spirits, then I’ll be more than happy to reschedule your photoshoot for another day – free of charge. I’m very flexible (especially during off-peak seasons or weekdays) + I can usually offer to change the date of your shoot up until the day of your shoot.
Maybe you’re the type that prefers to get muddy or dance in the rain? That’s cool, too. I can suggest more sheltered locations or just go ahead with the original plan, regardless of weather.
I’m working on this amazing new camera function that changes the weather but it’s not really quite ready yet. If the weather is looking particularly bad in the run up to the engagement session, it’s usually pretty worthwhile rearranging for a sunnier day, if possible.
Do we have to be engaged to have for a couples photoshoot?
Nope. You can be whatever you want to be. My “engagement shoots” are for everyone, regardless of relationship status + that welcome extends to all sexual orientations, age, race, size, abilities, religious values, size, + culture. Love is love.
Do you have to be shooting our wedding?
Nope. I love meeting new couples + creating photos that showcase their personalities + relationship. Many of the couples I photograph aren’t engaged or already hitched.
FUN. RELAXED. REAL.
How do we choose a pre-wedding photoshoot photographer?
Match your vision (of what you’d like your photos to look like) to a photographer with a similar approach + style.
Are you cool with posing in front of camera? You might be more comfortable with a photographer that creates more traditional, posed portraits. If you love natural photos that are full of expression, energy + fun, then I would love to meet you!
I work with couples in a way that prioritises candid expressions over everything else. As humans, we respond to an energy in photos before we think about lighting, location or even “is this complimentary?”
I work with couples who actively dislike being in front of camera + hate the idea of posing or being forced to do anything cringe. I enjoy that challenge because I am also that person, so it’s important to me that we’re all having a good time.
We’ll walk, talk + laugh throughout the session, resulting in a set of photos that reflect your personalities + relationship, without it ever feeling contrived or forced.
No awkward poses. No cliches. No cheese.
“They are honestly AMAZING, I really don’t understand how you’ve taken two very awkward people who don’t like touching and made it look like we actually like each other (a lot)
We are incredibly grateful and you are seriously talented, can’t wait for you to be part of the day with us in a couple of weeks – we’re going to have the best time!”
Amie + Jam
What’s the process?
Once you’ve booked your shoot, we’ll begin the process of planning our session. We’ll discuss locations, times + get to know your stories + who you are as a couple. I’ll fill you in on what you can expect during the shoot + confirm all our plans so you can feel excited + confident about the session.
We’ll meet up + begin the “Barber-2-hour-grand-photo-tour” (not a real thing) shooting laid back, fun portraits of you both without even the slightest whiff of any cheese.
After the shoot, your photos are imported + edited. The photos are edited within 2 weeks of the shoot date + uploaded to an online gallery where the images are available to download in high resolution. The images are licensed for printing yourselves however you wish.
How much does a London couples photoshoot cost?
– A 1.5 hour photoshoot (extra hours can be added at £180 per hour)
– Unlimited locations
– 60+ Edited, high resolution + un-watermarked (no logos etc)
- License to print photos yourselves
- Free easy-to-use online gallery
- Unlimited gallery downloads
- Discounts on wall products + photo books
I only accept a small number of commissions so I can focus on a small group of couples, taking the time to get to know each couple I photograph. It’s really important to me that I work with my couples as real human beings + that I’m not just a glorified photo machine that churns out the same photos at every shoot. I love to work with my couples to make sure they’re getting photos that truly show their personalities + stories.