The Best Photography Locations in London – Landmarks Guide

As the leading holiday photographer in London, I have met families from around the world: USA, Canada, Japan, Dubai, Hong Kong, Russia, South Africa, Italy, France, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Australia, Taiwan, Malaysia and the list could go on and on… These families visited our beautiful city or they’ve been living here for a while and they want to create memories that would stay forever in their family albums. Through the many London landmarks family shoots I’ve tackled, I’ve discovered that my most favourite thing to capture is just raw, natural emotion, the beautiful bond that family members share. Just the everyday happenings around Central London or around a favourite neighbourhood. And it’s part of why I love being a lifestyle family photographer in this beautiful city of ours.

In case you are visiting London and you’d love to capture your London adventure with a photo shoot, here’s a little guide on the locations we can use as the perfect backdrop for your love. Here are (my) The Best Photography Locations in London.

TOWER BRIDGE

It’s iconic, beautiful and has the cutest little park next to it that children absolutely adore. Here they can run around, feed the always hungry birds, enjoy the London views overlooking Thames and have a coffee break, if needed, at the many cute coffee shops. It’s also three stops away from Westminster Bridge (Big Ben, London Eye), so if you small ones are active and love discovering new things, we can quickly jump on the tube and capture more beautiful portraits with the Houses of Parliament and the red telephone boxes in the background.

Another option for couple shoots is to do Tower Bridge and then continue walking along Southbank towards Shakespeare’s Globe, where we can use St-Paul’s Cathedral and Tate Modern as our architectural backdrop.

Best time of day to meet:

For family sessions, definitely early in the morning works better, we can avoid the weekday crowds from the many nearby offices or the many tourists that visit it on weekends. In the summer, the sunrise is at 4:50am, so the earlier we meet, the better (anytime between 6 and 7am). In the colder season, when the days are very short, we can go for a 8 or 9am shoot.

Best locations for a family photo shoot - Tower Bridge

The Best Photography Locations in London - Tower Bridge

The Best Photography Locations in London

The Best Photography Locations in London -Tower Bridge

Best photography locations in London -Tower Bridge

For couple shoots, I highly recommend a sunrise or sunset shoot. Starting at 5.30-6am in the summer might sound as a hard thing to do, but I promise you it is worth the results!!! And if you are not an early bird, we can plan for a golden hour session (around 2 hours before sunset).

The Best Photography Locations in London - Southbank

The Best Photography Locations in London -Tower Bridge

WESTMINSTER BRIDGE

Perhaps the most iconic location of London for its jaw-dropping view of Big Ben and Houses of Parliament. At Westminster we also have London Eye and the cute red telephone boxes that children of all ages absolutely love.

Starting June 2017, the base of Elizabeth Tower is under scaffolding as part of a 4-year renovation project and there’s a new pedestrian protection barrier on the bridge itself. Although I do my best to avoid showing the scaffolding in the photos, please note that part of it might show in our photos. In any case, with my focus being on love and connection moments, I am sure that these new structures will not steal too much from the experience. I am now working on editing my most recent June sessions to give you all a better idea of how the location shows in our photos.

Best time of day to meet:

The most important thing to know about this place is that we have to start the session as early as possible before it gets too crowded. This means getting up rather early in the summertime to be there around 6.30-7am and get the sweet morning light before the sun is too high up. Plus, the bridge is very crowded during the day and we can have it all to ourselves if we make it before breakfast. Between November – March we can meet later to make sure we have enough light to take photos (8-9am).

Best photography locations in London -Big Ben

Best photography locations in London - Westminster and Big Ben

Best photography locations in London - Westminster

Best photography locations in London - Westminster

Best photography locations in London - Westminster

In the Spring and Autumn seasons, we can make it even more fun for the kids by going the a local London Eye playground. It’s fun not only for the kids, but for adults as well!

For couples, we can also go for a sunset shoot, the romantic feel will make our photos magical on sunny (and sometimes rainy!) evenings.

Best photography locations in London - Westminster

Best photography locations in London - Westminster

Best photography locations in London - Westminster

TRAFALGAR SQUARE / HORSE GUARDS PARADE

These locations are within walking distance to Westminster Bridge and are perfect for an early morning shoot. During the day/evening it’s too crowded and the squares are often used for public (Royal) events, therefore a sunrise shoot would be a must. We can start bright and early at Westminster Bridge (Big Ben / London Eye) before continuing to Horse Guards Parade or Trafalgar Sq.

Best photography locations - Horse Guards Parade

Best photography locations - Horse Guards Parade

Best photography locations - Horse Guards Parade

horse guards parade london photographer

BUCKINGHAM PALACE

This year I am finding myself shooting more and more at Buckingham Palace. It’s such a wonderful location – it’s iconic, but also it’s sunbathed in gorgeous light early in the morning. Because it’s so close to main roads and heavily visited by tourists, we can only shoot here early in the morning. This spring/summer, I normally start at 6am with my sweet couples and no later than 7am with my beautiful families. If you’re lucky to be visiting during a sports or Royal event, you can have the most amazing backdrop with the Union Jacks on The Mall. This is the avenue that connects the Palace to Trafalgar Square.

From Buckingham Palace we can walk to either:

  • Trafalgar Sq & Horse Guards Parade
  • St-James’s Park & Westminster Bridge
  • Hyde Park

LONDON PARKS

As a London family photographer, I am very lucky that London has so many amazing parks. Lush greens, fountains, Japanese and Italian gardens, high grass, patches of forests, fun adventure playgrounds, boating lakes and ponds – we have all of these in Central London! London’s parks, like Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, Holland Park, Kensington Gardens, Battersea Park etc. offer an amazing backdrop for natural and dynamic family portraits. If you want to shy away from the Central London crowds, we can take the tube to Hampstead Heath or Greenwich Park where you will also get a glimpse of the typical London life. These villages have everything you’d want – good cafés and restaurants, fantastic parks and lots of child-friendly museums in case you decide to spend your day in Greenwich, for example.

From my experience, children tend to be happier in parks, where they can chase squirrels, feed birds, play around the fountains or on the playground. These sessions are more relaxed and loose and we can plan together different activities for the children to enjoy.

NOTTING HILL

Oh, Notting Hill!!! How can we forget Notting Hill in West London?! Besides the fantastically beautiful (even in the wintertime!) Holland Park, we can walk together around this neighbourhood with its cute cobblestone streets, colorful houses, cafés, stores, Portobello market and art galleries that add to the magic of the place – what’s not to love?! It’s just perfect for an early morning or a sunset couple or maternity / baby moon shoot.

ST-PAUL’S CATHEDRAL

St-Paul’s Cathedral and Millennium Bridge are absolutely gorgeous for both family and couple shoots. The architectural elements and the rich textures will allow us to capture timeless portraits.

London landmark. Royal Park. Local park. Or maybe the busiest food market in London? Sunset or sunrise. I will meet you anywhere and anytime. I welcome all your suggestions and I want to make your photo shoot experience unique, fun and enjoyable. Just bring your loved ones and I will show you how beautiful you are!

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