Yes I’m a documentary London wedding photographer. However, there’s a misconception, often fueled by wedding photojournalists ourselves. It’s that documentary wedding photography cannot (or should not) include posed portraits or traditional group shots.
From Vauxhall to Pimlico: A Modern European Love Story
A few months back I had the pleasure and honour of shooting Anne and Alex’s engagement photography around Vauxhall and Pimlico in London. However, their love story actually started 4 years before this in a ruined bar called Szimpla in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.
With Anne being Finnish and Alex the quintessential Englishman, theirs is truly a modern European love story that crosses borders.
Vauxhall & I
What immediately struck me about Anne and Alex was their down to earth and fun nature. This was a couple relaxed in one another’s company, who were easy going and didn’t want too much fuss. In many ways this is exactly the kind of couples I find are drawn to my relaxed and unobtrusive approach to documentary photography.
So the plan was very an engagement shoot that was was fairly low key, fun and relaxed. With the sun shining we headed up onto the Vauxhall Bridge, which provides a beautiful downstream view of the Thames and London’s South Bank beyond, complete with the iconic London Eye rising up. It always makes for a great London backdrop to photos.
Ducks in Pimlico
Once we crossed Vauxhall Bridge and down onto the north side of the Thames (being firmly rooted in South London nowadays, this was almost nose bleed country for me!) it was time to wander around Pimlico.
If there’s one thing I love to do with engagement shoots it is to wander and grab spontaneous shots along the way. Yes, I have loose plan in my head but I try to have as few preconceptions ahead of the shoot. Perhaps, this comes from my approach to street photography and a love of Flânerie.
And as if to prove how you can never plan or second guess how a shoot will go, will stumbled upon some ducks quietly relaxing in a Pimlico square and who remain completely unmoved by us, until getting so bored by my photographic goings on, decided to wander nonchalantly past the posing couple! You just couldn’t plan for moments like these!
Transport for London & Abstract Art
Another great example of spontaneously reacting to what naturally occurs on an engagement shoot, was when we stumbled on a pub in Pimlico decked out out with Union Jack flags and the Cross of St George.
Wanting to get a wider shot, I stepped back to a traffic island in the middle of the busy road. Conscious of the passing London double decker buses, I purposefully shot through the windows of one and was rewarded with a more unusual and abstract portrait, which added something a little more different to the overall engagement shoot.
Again by not having too many preconceptions about what I wanted to photograph, I was able to get something I would never have planned or thought about.
The Art of the Portrait at the Tate Britain
Speaking of art, we ended up at the glorious Tate Britain gallery, a location that provided some grandeur and history to the shoot. There’s also a lovely and quiet little garden at the back of the gallery, which was a lovely spot to end in on what had been a fantastic engagement shoot around central London.
Anne and Alex were a fantastic couple and I’m really looking forward to shooting their wedding in a palace in Finland next Spring!
I’m sure you’ll agree from the small selection of their engagement photography here, they make for a great couple. I’d be delighted if you could share this post across your social media.
London Engagement Photography
Vauxhall & Pimlico Wedding Photographer
Are you getting married in Pimlico? Are you looking for a Vauxhall wedding photography? Or perhaps you’re looking to have a London engagement shoot?
Why not give me a call or send a text on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page. I’ll be delighted to hear from you.
You can find out about my wedding photography packages and prices here.
It was an absolute pleasure to undertake a London engagement shoot with Hannah and Tim, down by the Thames a few weeks ago. As a London wedding photographer I absolute love shooting in and around central London, as there are so many fabulous settings and locations that it makes more formal engagement portraits a complete joy to shoot.
As I like to get as many different settings into engagement photography session as possible, we had settled on a number of backdrops to include Bankside, the South Bank, Waterloo Bridge and the Embankment. This gives the couple a variety in the photos they receive.
A Cold Breeze Beside the River
Although the spring sun was shining brightly when we met near the Oxo Tower, on Bankside, there was a cold breeze – especially by the exposed River Thames – which meant fly away hair was bit of an issue during the shoot, well more for Hannah than either Tim or myself!
But as I always say, you can never guarantee any kind of weather on your wedding day so you just have to go with it and make it part of a shoot. That’s why I think engagement shoots are a fantastic way of getting some much need practice in, ahead of the wedding day itself.
Engagement Shoot with School Sweethearts
As I do with all my engagement and pre-wedding shoots, I enjoyed a coffee and chat with Hannah and Tim, before we headed out to start the shoot. I quickly learnt that they first met when they were at School together in year 7, although they both admit it was very much an on/off type of romance throughout their teenage years. Hannah did later secretly admit to me that she had been in love with Tim for most of her life, before adding with a smile, “but don’t tell him, he’ll only get a big head!”
Cain Manor Wedding
Hannah is a teacher at a boarding school in Surrey and Tim is in the British Army and he proposed to Hannah on New Year’s Day this year. They are planning to have a Cain Manor wedding in Surrey next year.
As a couple they describe themselves as laid back, outdoorsy and creative. When not working Hannah loves to decorate cakes and Tim enjoys painting. As a result their wedding will have lots of homemade details to represent this side of their personalities…which sounds really cool!
I also love to find out unusual little things about my engagement couples, so was intrigued when they both admitted a big love for country music. It turns out this stems from a holiday in the US a few years back, when country music literally became the soundtrack to their trip.
The London Engagement Shoot
So having gotten to know Hannah and Tim better we then headed out onto Bankside to start getting some lovely engagement portrait photography for them.
As a documentary wedding photographer – who normally captures more natural and candid moments on a wedding day – I prefer to approach more traditional portrait shoots in a relaxed and informal way. I certainly don’t want to over-pose the couple too much.
A Photojournalism Approach
After a few shoots on a small pier on Bankside, we then headed to the small but lovely Bernie Spain gardens on the South Bank. We then headed on through the book market beneath Waterloo Bridge – which is one of my most favourite places on the South Bank itself. I simply told Hannah and Tim to browse naturally and forget about me – this gave me the opportunity to grab some more photojournalistic type photos from the shoot.
We then headed up and over Waterloo Bridge, which always affords some lovely views of the river the City of London skyline beyond. However, it would be fair to say that the strong cold breeze blowing upriver made it quite a challenge to get any at all!
London Urban Setting for the Engagement Photography
So we hurried on and went down on to the Embankment and got some shoots by the beautiful and impressive Somerset House before finally ending up once more beneath Waterloo Bridge. However, on the north side of the river the bridge really provides quite a dramatic architectural backdrop for portraits – something I was really keen to take advantage of during the London engagement shoot.
All in all we had a great time and got some wonderful photos. In fact, I know Hannah and Tim really enjoyed the shoot, as Hannah was kind enough to say afterwards:
“Thank you so much for putting us at such ease for our engagement shoot in London! We loved the range of photos and backdrops in such a dynamic setting. We feel incredibly lucky…and you made it a lot of fun. We will treasure the photos forever! A huge heartfelt thank you!”
It’s comments like this that make doing such engagement shoots an absolute pleasure.
Here are some more photos from Hannah and Tim’s London engagement shoot.
London Engagement Photos
Book Yourself A London Engagement Shoot With Me
If you have recently gotten engaged and would love to have an London engagement shoot with me, then I’d be delighted to hear from you. Or perhaps you are getting married and would also like to talk with me about my award winning documentary approach to wedding photography?
You can call me on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page. I will be delighted to hear from you.
You can find out all about my services and prices on my Services and Fee page.