If you’re looking for a unique and fun way to remember a special family trip then consider booking a London family photographer for your next holiday to London. The UK capital is one of the best cities in the world not only as a destination for a family vacation but as a backdrop for creating some beautiful images.
In most families there is one person that is always behind the camera and in our family that person is me. In the past, we would often return home from a family holiday with some great shots of the kids, some lovely pictures of my husband with the children and maybe, just maybe, one or two where I am included.
More often than not, however, it looked like dad had enjoyed a great holiday with his kids. And mum was nowhere to be seen.
So when my youngest was a new baby and we travelled to Vancouver Island in Canada, I decided to do something about this lack-of-mum-in-photos situation and booked a family photo shoot with Flytographer, a company that specialises in vacation photography with professional photographers.
We met our lovely photographer one morning on Cadboro Beach near Victoria and spent an hour with Leanne as she snapped photos of us all. My husband was very reticent about the whole process (spot the one who always appears in family photos!) but once we received our digital images he admitted that the photos were great. Eight years later and these photos are still in frames around our house.
If you’re looking for a London family photographer then this post is for you. There are lots of talented photographers in London and even more fantastic locations. In this post I will share some tips on finding the perfect family photographer, how to best prepare for your shoot and some ideas on finding the ideal location.
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Tips for finding a London Family Photographer
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There are lots of photographers out there but you really want to make sure you find one that really understands what you and your family want.
Maybe you’re looking for a lifestyle photographer who can capture candid shots of family life. Or perhaps you would prefer a documentary family photographer, someone who can snap everyday moments without looking too posed? Whatever your preferred style, there’s no doubt that you’re looking for some beautiful photographs so with that in mind, here are some things to look out for when choosing a London family photographer.
1. Take a look at their portfolio
This may seem obvious but it’s really important that you choose a photographer whose style is in sync with yours. If you like more formal family portraits then make sure you pick a photographer who showcases this on their website. Equally, if you prefer a more photojournalistic style shot in natural light then opt for someone who is happy to capture moments on the go.
As well as the photographer’s own website, I like to look at a their social media channels, in particular Instagram, to see the kind of shots they like to take.
2. They have experience with families
You really want someone who is experienced with families and who knows how to work with kids. No matter how many years of experience a professional photographer might have, if they haven’t had to corral young children or engage with recalcitrant teenagers then they’re probably not the right person for your photo session!
You want someone who knows how to relate to kids and who can make everyone – young and old – feel relaxed during your family photo shoot.
3. Reviews and Testimonials
There’s nothing quite like a personal recommendation but if you’re in London with kids on holiday then you may well be starting your photographer search from scratch. The next best thing to do is to look for reviews and testimonials from previous clients. Look at the photographer’s website but also check out their social media channels as you’ll often find comments and reviews there.
4. Check your budget and what’s included
A professional photo shoot is going to be more expensive than simply snapping pictures with you iPhone, and there’s a reason for that! Still, it pays to have a budget in mind when searching for a photographer. You don’t want to find your perfect person only to realise that while you can afford the shoot, the digital images are extra. Know how much you have to spend and check to make sure what’s included in their session fee.
5. Have a chat
Before you commit, have a chat with your potential photographer either by phone or email. We’ve previously hired photographers to celebrate special family occasions (significant birthdays and anniversaries for example) and I’ve spent a lot of time communicating with the photographers in advance to ensure they know the kinds of photos we want captured and any particular special moments, such as grandparents with their grandkids.
6. Allow enough time
You’re spending good money on this photo shoot so make sure you allow plenty of time for the session to take place. Yes, the shoot might only last an hour but you don’t want to be squeezing the session into a hectic day of sightseeing. Give yourself time to get to your chosen shoot location so you don’t arrive hot and flustered!
London Family Photographers – planning for your photo shoot!
Yes, you can just turn up on the day and have some family pictures snapped or you can do a little bit of forward planning to ensure these are photos worthy of being framed.
1. Check the weather and time of year
If there’s one thing you can expect from London weather it’s that it’s entirely unpredictable! That said, it’s worth keeping an eye on the forecast and having a back up plan if your planned shoot takes place on a rainy day. A good photographer will be able to help with this.
Similarly, if you’re visiting London at Christmas then natural daylight hours will be much shorter (also: increased chances of rain!) but on the flip side, London will be decorated with oodles of festive lights.
2. Choosing a location
A good photographer will be able to share their favourite locations but it always pays to do a little research yourself (take a look at some of our favourite shoot locations below). Remember to check where your shoot locations are on a map and where they are in relation to, for example, where you’re staying. It’s find to opt for a family photo shoot in Greenwich in south London if you happen to be staying in North London, but you do need to ensure you have plenty of time to get there and back again.
It’s also worth considering the children’s ages; if you’ve got very young kids then organising a photo shoot in a playground or nearby park will be much more fun for everyone.
Companies such as Flytographer offer sessions starting from 30 minutes. This is usually great for a couple of but if you’re with kids, you will want at least an hour. And if you are a larger group, for example if you’re travelling with grandparents, then you will need longer. Independent photographers tend to offer longer sessions and this is generally reflected in the prices.
4. Think about what you’re going to wear
We have never been a family who likes to match outfits but it’s still worth considering outfits in advance of your family photo shoot. A cohesive colour scheme always works well but the most important thing is that everyone feels comfortable, even if that means your toddler wearing a dinosaur onesie!
5. Consider the kind of photos you like
Like everything, the best results happen if you’re a little bit prepared. So it’s worth drafting a shot list to make sure that when you walk away from your session, you have all the photos you want. Do you want all the photos to be of the family for example or would you like some of just the kids? Maybe you want some photos of you and your partner or even some photos of you by yourself?
When we have organised multi-generation shoots I’ve talked to the photographer beforehand to explain the kinds of pictures we would like. These have included shots of just the grandparents, shots of the family (my parents plus siblings for example), shots of my family (my husband and I plus kids) and pictures of the kids by themselves.
The 8 best places for a London Photoshoot
There are so many places where you can have a fun photoshoot in London. Every photographer will have their own selection of favourite spots so definitely speak to them about where they recommend. To help with your planning, the following are some of our favourite spots in central London.
London is home to some truly beautiful parks and many of the best can be found in central London. We’ve previously organised a family photo shoot in Regents Park, which is full of flowers and secret gardens and is particularly beautiful during the summer months.
Other options include Hyde Park where you’ll find the Princess Diana Playground, the Memorial Fountain and the Serpentine; Holland Park in Notting Hill and St James’s Park where you can see pelicans. Organising a photography session in the great outdoors works particularly well if you’re trying to capture young children.
The Tower of London and Tower Bridge
Two of the most iconic London sights also make for two of the best spots for a family photo shoot. You can have photos taken in front of the Tower Bridge with the bridge as a background or on the bridge itself. At low tide you can even head right down to the river where kids can go mudlarking, searching for treasure that gets washed up in the tidal waters of the River Thames.
Also nearby is St Dunstan in the East, the ruins of an 11th century church. This hidden gem is a great choice for an unusual photo shoot location.
Central London Playgrounds
For our first photo shoot, when the kids were still small, we spent time in a playground and it was a great way to capture the children’s personalities without making them pose. They played on the swings and slides and our Flytographer photographer simply snapped away. I’m a big fan of natural family photography so this worked really well for us. There are lots of great playgrounds in London to choose from too.
St Paul’s Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge
For some truly beautiful family photos consider St Paul’s Cathedral and Millennium Bridge. The area around St Paul’s Cathedral is so very “London” and not only because of the famous landmark but thanks to the double decker buses and black cabs that ply the streets there.
Millennium Bridge – with St Paul’s Cathedral in the background – makes for a particularly striking shot. On the other side of the river is the Tate Modern, which is another cool location for getting some good photos.
If you want some colour in your photos then the streets around Notting Hill are a great option. Home to colourful houses, cobbled mews and leafy lanes, this neighbourhood makes for a lively backdrop. Portobello Road, one of the most famous streets in London, is always busy but you may be able to get some photos here too.
London Southbank with the London Eye
There’s always something fun happening along the Southbank including the Appearing Room fountains in the summer, a lively Christmas market in winter and regular street performers. It does get busy along here but time your shoot right and you’ll get some memorable photos of some of London’s main sights including the London Eye and even Big Ben.
Street art in East London
Shoreditch and Brick Lane are home to some incredible street art, huge colourful murals in a variety of styles by both famous and up-and-coming graffiti artists. This part of town is a great option for a family photo shoot if you are visiting London with teens.
Possibly the most famous sight in all of London, Buckingham Palace is a unique location for capturing the perfect souvenir from London. Other popular tourist spots such as Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament also make stunning backdrops.
London Family Photographers
The following are just some suggestions for finding a London family photographer to capture your family holiday.
You may have realised already that I’m a big fan of Flytographer and we’ve had a great experience every time we’ve used them. The company launched in 2013 and, since then, have been capturing photos for people around the world. They have a network of carefully curated professional photographers in over 350 cities around world and you can book a photographer to capture any kind of moment that you like. To date Flytographers have snapped marriage proposals, anniversaries, honeymoons and family holidays such as ours.
Listed on their website is a list of London family photographers for you to choose from. All you need to do is look through their personal galleries and choose a package. In London, Flytographer offer packages lasting from 30 minutes to 3 hours with prices starting at USD $285 for a 30-minute shoot. If you are booking your first shoot then please use my Flytographer Discount Code GLOBETOTTING74 for $25 off your first shoot!
I love award-winning photographer Antonina Mamzenko’s documentary style. As she says herself, she doesn’t try and “capture perfection”, rather she captures spontaneous moments and families simply being themselves. She has some beautiful photos on her website and has lots of great ideas for photo shoot locations from London’s most famous sights to in your hotel (or home if you happen to live in London).
Antonina is a mum herself and has been photographing families since 2009 so it’s fair to say she knows what she is doing! Antonina’s shoots last around three hours and sessions start from £345. Digital prints, albums and frames are charged separately.
Greenwich-based Andrea Whelan is a mum to two teenage boys and has spent years snapping photos of London families and families visiting London. Her style combines a mixture of stylised photos with candid shots. As well as family vacation photography, Andrea does maternity shoots, newborn babies, and special occasions as well as commercial work. Andrea charges £159 per session and then prints and digital images are purchased separately.
Local Lens works in a similar way to Flytographer offering travelling families a handful of selected local photographers to choose from. They have a large selection of photographers in London and prices start from USD $225 for a 30 minute session with 15 digital photos included.