London engagement shoot

Film Photography

An Engagement Shoot at Hampstead Heath Pergola

a secret garden in London…

possibly the most romantic location I know, the Hampstead pergola is heady with the scent of wisteria, and rambling roses

Brympton House Wedding on Film - the terrace seen from a sharp angle, there are tables and chairs and a parasol in the sunshine
Brympton House Wedding on Film - a couple kiss on the driveway of the house
Brympton House Wedding on Film - a wedding bouquet of white and yellow on the steps

film photography

An Engagement Shoot
at Hampstead Heath Pergola

When P&C booked me to photograph their London wedding, they mentioned that they were rather nervous about being photographed, so we discussed having an engagement shoot, to help them feel more relaxed leading up to the wedding day. I’ve lived in London for over 20 years so always love being able to recommend locations for shoots, we are lucky to have some truly beautiful backdrops in London. P&C chose to have their engagement shoot at the Hampstead Heath Pergola, which I have to admit is one of my favourite locations.

Hampstead Heath Pergola was commissioned in 1904 by Lord Leverhulme, a wealthy philanthropist and lover of landscape gardening. After purchasing a large town house on the Heath called ‘The Hill’ he set about expanding his estate by acquiring the surrounding land. Within this estate he planned the pergola, a setting for extravagant Edwardian garden parties and somewhere to enjoy long summer evenings. In the years following Leaverhulme’s death and World War II the gardens fell into disrepair, eventually being taken under the management of the City of London in 1989.

Today the pergola and Hill Gardens are an atmospheric, rambling and slightly wild site. Mature wisterias and rambling roses cover huge sections and the scent on a warm Summer evening gives a glimmer of the opulence that the gardens must have once been a home to. It is a perfect site in which to pause, take time out from the bustling city and to reconnect with your senses. During a shoot I always aim to keep my couples relaxed, so that they can enjoy being them, leading to photographs that truly reflect their personalities and relationship, so this is exactly the kind of location that I like to seek out. There are also covered areas offering shelter from the rain if needed, which is also something I highly recommend bearing in mind.

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful early evening than this day however. Up on the raised verandas, at the same height as the surrounding trees, P&C were able to watch the sunlight softening in the distance. The most romantic of settings led to some beautifully soft, sweet portraits and I especially love the playful ones, where their personalities and fun characters really show.

I used a mixture of 35mm film and digital cameras for this session, keeping the beautiful colours of the surroundings true to life. If you would like to know a little more about how I recommend this is achieved for your wedding, please do get in touch via my contact page or have a look at this article.

Thank you to the City of London for granting me a permit to photograph in this beautiful, historic garden and to P & C for trusting me to capture your love.

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