London Photo Locations for Portraits
Location suggestions for portrait photography sessions in London
London is such a diverse city to live in and we have a huge variety of backdrops for photoshoots from beautiful parks, cute shopping streets, classical architecture to gritty backstreets. I know that for a lot of you it might be your first time visiting London so I thought I’d put together a brief guide of my favourite photo spots in London for a portrait session.
Tower Bridge and St. Katherine’s Docks
The Tower Hill area is undoubtedly one of the most popular spots for families and couples visiting London on vacation. Not only is there the grand backdrop of Tower Bridge itself but you also have St. Katherine’s docks which provides a nice quiet area including an iconic red phone box (next to a red post box too)! St. Katherine’s Docks is great for both couples and families but I definitely recommend this for Family sessions since we can avoid the crowds and there is space for the kids to run around. I recommend 1 hour for a photoshoot here although a mini session is also possible. It is possible to add a second location such as St. Pauls Cathedral if you have booked a 2 hour session.
“Located within a beautiful Royal Park with sweeping views of London and the Thames, Royal Museums Greenwich is home to four must-see attractions - the Royal Observatory, the iconic sailing ship Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum.” Greenwich offers some wonderful classical backdrops for your photoshoot as well as some stunning nature and viewpoints over the city of London. You can read more about Greenwich Park by clicking here. I recommend at least 1 hour since the area is quite large and it takes a bit of time to get from place to place - there’s just so much to photograph! Greenwich is absolutely perfect for an engagement photoshoot.
Notting Hill is perfect for a laid back couples portrait session if you’re looking for a quirky and cute backstreet feel to your photos. There’s even some graffiti around if you’re looking for a few gritty urban scenes. There are plenty of hidden backstreets known as ‘mews’ which are wonderful to take a walk down. Notting Hill is full of colour and I absolutely love taking photos here!
St. James’s Park & Piccadilly
Located in the very heart of London, this provides a beautiful blend of classical architecture and nature. I usually start by meeting you at Piccadilly Tube station and take a walk to St. James Park taking photos along the way. You can read more about St. James Park by clicking here. There are photo opportunities everywhere here and whilst it can be done in a mini-session, I recommend 1 hour to make the most of it.
One of the most central parks in London, Hyde Park provides a nice mix of natural backdrops and classical architecture to choose from. The Rose Gardens is a beautiful place to start with its colourful flowers and cute benches. We could then head to the Serpentine lake for a nice open and romantic background for your photos. You can read more about Hyde Park by clicking here. Hyde park is quite spacious and not overly busy so it’s quite good for family portrait sessions as well as couples.
St Paul’s Cathedral
One of London’s most iconic landmarks is perfect for a photo session. I love the classical architecture and just check out the beautiful floor tiles on the image below! It also has some beautiful gardens surrounding the Cathedral which we can use for a few nature type shots. It’s also a short walk away from the Millennium Bridge and South Bank which also offer great photo opportunities. If you have time for a two hour session, it is possible to combine St. Pauls with a photoshoot at Tower Bridge too with a short taxi ride in between.
Honestly, there are just so many places to choose from in London that are perfect for family portraits, couples portraits, engagement sessions, pre-weddings and surprise proposals. The above are just a few of my favourites and are very popular with people visiting London. If I had to choose a personal favourite then it would be Greenwich. Other locations you might want to consider could be -
Backstreets in Waterloo
Pergola Gardens in Hampstead Heath
Primrose Hill in Regents Park
Westminster and the London Eye
Shoreditch / Brick Lane
Please be aware that some locations do require a photography permit which comes at an extra cost and needs time to process. I hope that helps you with a few ideas for your upcoming photo session in London. I can’t wait to meet you and capture some beautiful memories for you!
Sam Spicer is a London Portrait Photographer specialising in Family Portraits, Pre Weddings, Engagements, Couples Portraits and Surprise Proposals.
If you’re interested in hiring me for a photoshoot then please get in touch via the link below