Engagement shoot locations

Engagement shoot locations

My favourite engagement shoot locations around Hertfordshire and beyond.

In my previous post, I talked about what an engagement/ pre-shot is and what to expect. Today I will be sharing some of my favourite locations around Hertfordshire. Spoiler alert! At the end of this post, you might find yourself in a car on your way to one of them. Don’t ever say I didn’t warn you!

Whether you would like to have a chilled and romantic stroll in the woods, explore beautiful gardens or enjoy cityscapes, I’m sure this will cater for all of those and beyond.

Stoke Poges memorial gardens

One of the most stunning parks on the border of Hertfordshire. The grounds are in full bloom from March, when the cherry trees bloom, to the end of May to see the purple wisteria. Stoke Poges memorial gardens feature water components, an extraordinary colonnade, rose garden, woodland, rock garden, etc. It also looks fabulous in the autumn with golden leaves falling from the trees.No doubt it is breathtaking, but you need to remember that if you would like it to be your engagement location, remember that there is a fee of £50 to be paid before our shoot, or we will be chucked out (literally!)

Hampstead Heath Pergola

Located on the outskirts of London and called London’s hidden treasure. Hampstead Heath is another of my to-go location for engagement, maternity or family shoots. It is equally beautiful all year round. In addition, on its doorstep, there is a woodland trail leading to the Golders Hill Park for a few more fantastic backgrounds!

Virginia Water

Very close to Stoke Poges, with huge grounds, a beautiful lake, and a little luck – fabulous golden hour! This is usually my to-go location because of the variety of backdrops. Also, every time I shoot there, there is always a new thing or two to explore there. This is definitely your spot if you would like to up your steps game for the day. Did i mention that four-legged furred friends are welcome there too? Doesn’t it sound like a win-win?

Your wedding venue

If you would like to do a trial run of photos at your wedding venue like Rachel and Alasdair have at Farnham Hall, an engagement shoot there is the perfect opportunity.

Ashridge Woods

This stunning location is a woodland area to explore. There are a lot of different entrances to the grounds, which offer different sceneries, making sure every shoot is as unique as you are. Apart from the infamous bluebells (blooming from April till May), there are beautiful fallen trees to climb on, hidden viewpoints and more. It’s a perfect location for an engagement and family shoot with or without your four-legged family member(s).

The city of London

If you are in love with the City and are an early bird, this one will be for you. London has a lot to offer with its landmarks and iconic buildings. Think of Big Ben, London Eye, stroll down the Thames with a couple of stops along the way. My only advice here will be to start early. London is a beautiful but busy city. To make the most out of it, be ready to start your day at sunrise.

Cassiobury Park

The most popular park in Watford, Hertfordshire, is also at my doorstep! Very convenient, I know, but that is not the only one of its advantages. There are many lovely open spaces with our infamous waterfall; it’s very close to the canals where we can grab a local coffee at one of the barks and escape to the connected Whippendell woods if it gets crazy busy!

I have shared my favourite engagement shoot locations but this doesn’t mean we cannot go on to a rapeseed or a wheat field. I am always open to suggestions because at the end of the day, I want you to feel comfortable during our time together.

Pre-shoot – What to expect?

To begin with, let me tell you how much I adore pre-shoot sessions!

Before we get to get out there, I usually offer to grab a coffee (if available) in the nearest coffee shop around your chosen location. 

What a pre-shoot actually is? Apart from getting professional photographs of you and your other half, you are also getting the opportunity to get to know me – your third wheel. The person who is going to be with you for the whole day. 

Let’s be honest, it might be awkward at first, but once we get talking and discover a thing or two about each other, we’ll become super comfortable. Think of it like a first date with your photographer, and a few days later you will receive beautiful portraits of you and your fiance.

I aim for you to enjoy your time and have fun! What was the funniest thing you have done together? Maybe you love festivals or funfairs; I would like you to think of that time and help me recreate all the joy you had! So be creative, silly with each other – just be you.

It all sounds great, so when do we book and how do we approach it?

I usually keep pre shoots within 30 minutes from Watford; however, I do not want you to feel limited by it. If you both love Paris and you would have your pre-shoot done over there (or any other places abroad), feel free to tell me about it – I am on board! Or maybe both of you have joined interest or hobby? I’m sure we can arrange everything for you to make the most of it!

What’s the best timeYou can book your pre-shoot as soon as you book your wedding. Any time of the year is excellent for me if it is for you. Autumn and golden leaves are gorgeous, but if you wish for those extraordinary golden hour portraits, then spring/summer are your best friends.

My personal favourite is the golden hour, It is the last hour of the day which gives warmer, softer and more flattering tones of light. I wish I was a magical weatherman. I’d flick my fingers and always have clear skies and perfect sunsets. However, until I gain those skills, we need to use what we are given. If the day is overcast, then the middle of the day will work best for bright light. 

Where do we go: Paris, Barcelona … no country is the limit. Deciding on the scene is very significant, and it should be somewhere that means something to the two of you. The place you met, became engaged, or somewhere totally different. If you love big cities, then London offers a lot of urban and bold locations. We can also go to the beach, a riverside, a village, the woods, a forest, botanical gardens or maybe even a museum. The ideas are endless, so make the most of it!

Bonus! Check out my Pre-Shoot location blog for a bit of inspiration!

What can we do: Smoke bombs, sparkles, balloons, confetti, party poppers, paint powder, space hoppers – whatever comes on your mind! I’ll be more than happy to provide some of those – just please let me know in advance! Let’s not forget about your pets! They are also more than welcome to join us!

What do we wear: Pick something to fit your location and make sure you feel comfortable. Please keep it simple, your outfits should be colourful, but I’d advise staying away from patterns. Complement each other. Pre-shoots are fun, but at the same time, it should be a private and unique encounter. 

To sum it up – just be yourselves!

On the day I want to see the two of you being a couple, I want to see you engaging with each other, your personalities and the love you guys share! I wouldn’t want you so just stare into my lens with cute smiles because those should be shared between the two of you and THIS is what I want to capture! There might be few tips and poses I’ll share with you however I’d love to keep it as relaxed and romantic as possible. I want to capture your emotions and moments you will always remember.

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