Category Archives: Engagement/pre wedding portraits

Bride & Groom Advice: Pre wedding portraits / Engagement photography sessions – How to prepare for it! Suggestions for choosing clothes, location and being creative …


Louise Bjorling

Get to know your photographer! And let the photographer get to know you before the day!

A shoot for just the two of you in good time before your actual wedding day. It’s become increasingly popular over the last couple of years to book a so called engagement shoot. And I’m intending to look at the many upsides that have couples asking for them and photographers offering them – sometimes even as an inclusion in their wedding packages.

FIRSTLY, it’s a chance for the photographer to get to know you through the eye of the camera. (Cause actually, the camera’s eye sees you differently, to how the actual eye will see you). And it’s a chance for the photographer to understand how comfortable you are in front of the camera.

SECONDLY, and probably even more important for you – you will get to know your photographer. The huge, clumsy camera will turn in to a person and when finally your wedding day arrives, the clumsy camera that has turned into a person, will easily sink into the background – and you will feel so much more natural and relaxed with the camera around you, than you otherwise would have if you didn’t feel comfortable with your photographer.

THIRDLY, this is the chance for you both to get awesome shots of you together, without the stress of thinking about other things around you, such as whether your guests are enjoying themselves or whether they are bored, whether you gonna be late for the reception, whether the best man has the disc with him for your First dance as promised… Although I definitely recommend a portrait session on your actual wedding day as well – since of course you want to have those shots of you dressed up and made up and all smily and full of butterflies. But for your engagement shoot, you might have a couple of hours to get cool shots, while your wedding day probably won’t offer you more than 20 – 30 min for portraits on your own.


FOURTHLY, for your engagement shoot you can have more control over weather and location! Or if you can’t have control over the weather – if it’s absolutely pouring down and there is no chance of rescheduling – then at least you are not dressed in your most delicate dress. You can find suitable clothes, umbrellas, boots and location to still get some cool shots. Your photographer will also know which time of the day you will have the best light, and the engagement session can be more flexibly scheduled than the portrait session on your actual wedding day.

The list could go on, but I thought I’d just round of with one of my favorite reasons: This could be your chance to put yourself in to 29-east-london-photographythe picture that you want to have of you. An opportunity to choose clothes that you love, an amazing location, and to go creative with ideas or maybe even go a bit mad if you wish. A portrait session is not about just taking some shots of the two of you, where you smile with a cheesy grin to the camera. It’s not about getting head shots for your passports. This is about capturing your personality.




* Firstly, think about how you want to be portrayed and what sort of feeling you want in the images – do you want it to be romantic, colourful, black/white, perhaps a bit funky and gritty, cityscape/countryside, vintage or modern? Also think about what location you want to see yourself in. Perhaps a location that says something about you, or maybe a location that means something special to you, or you might want a location that lends itself to create a certain mood.

* A great resource packed with ideas for your shoot, are the bridal blogs. These blogs which are like golden treasure of inspiration for marrying couples, do often showcase engagement shoots – Look out for “Engagement shoots” or “Love shoots” in their menu. Here you’ll probably come across an array of interesting engagement sessions which might be slightly off the beaten path – the bridal blogs love featuring portrait sessions that stand out a bit. Such as for example circus theme, fun park setting, movie- themes, surreal fairytale look, vintage look, balloons, over- sized candy, soup bubbles, peculiar props, crazy backdrops…. One of the funniest engagement shoots that recently caught my eye on one of the blogs, was a shoot that started off as a romantic vintage look picnic. And then turned in to a horror movie look, when somebody dressed up and made to look like a monster(!) came running out from the woods and ruined the romance.

* Look at what your photographer has done previously to get some ideas.

*Look around at advertising images around you, fashion magazines or movies for some inspiration.



Break it up with something colourful!



  • Clothes that just “look good on you” and brings out your shape, or eyes or skin tone, and so forth.
  • Clothes that are a little bit funny – such as t-shirts with funny text that says something about you or your partner.
  • Clothes that has a tint of style or attitude to it, which all goes with your personality and style of the location that you’ve chosen: Such as vintage, rock – look, interesting/crazy patterns, futuristic look, stylish mismatching, traces of your profession or hobby, to name a few.
  • A colour that sticks out. For example: toned down and plain colours in the clothes and then red or purple shoes to break it up a bit.
  • Designer wear if you wish to go for a trendy look.
  • Funny or attractive props if it works with your personality. One shoot sticks to my mind that I saw last year, of a couple who had dressed up really stylish and looked like they had just fallen off the pages of a fashion magazine. Then towards the end of the shoot they had decided to break it all up a bit, and returned in front of the camera with funny, over- sized glasses.
  • Trousers for him if you want to look a little bit more “dressed up” – not necessary the black office type, you might want to consider a lighter colour.
  • A simple dress in one colour or a dress in soft, romantic pattern, for her
  • Simple blue jeans with a casual shirt/t-shirt can be quite nice and relaxed, for him.
  • A white / light colour silky dress can be quite nice if you want to create a more “dressy” look that brings thoughts towards the coming wedding, for her.
  • Think about how the colours and style work with or work against the backdrop. For example a shoot in the countryside or in the woods would look fab with certain clothes, while a different style of clothes might go better with a city shoot. A romantic vibe or a fun shoot might look best with totally different clothes.
  • Think about matching each other – or mismatching is OK as well of course, if it is done in style.

An urban, photojournalist look portrait session in the gritty East London – what a great Christmas gift! ♥♥

I loved Sini’s idea for a Christmas present, when she contacted me back in November. Having recently moved together to London with her partner, she wanted me to find an area that have that certain London atmosphere to it, but devoid of the typical iconic tourist look. The idea was a photojournalist style couple’s portrait session. On a day in late January, the big day came along. And after Sini’s makeover in the morning, I met with her and Niko, and their big bag of outfits – gotta say that I love a portrait shoot with some thought to what to wear – and we headed down the funky and old fashion alley ways around Shoreditch in East London, and Tower bridge. Here is some of the photography from their East London shoot…




london-portrait-photographer london-portrait-photographer london-portrait-photographer


east-london-photographer east-london-photographer


east-london-photographer east-london-photographer east-london-photographer


So nice to meet you guys! xx Louise

  • Sini - thank you so much for these pre-view pictures! We are amazed how many really nice photos there are! How on earth did you do that? Must be magic…ReplyCancel

Pre wedding portrait shoot in London Barnes, by Wandsworth wedding photographer Louise Björling

Gorgeous autumn colours

Gorgeous light – How lucky where we this autumn just gone?!

And gorgeous couple

What more can you ask for… I am very much looking forward to capture their big day in April!

We started our Sunday afternoon at Barnes common – which really is a fantastic park, since it has so many different areas with different looks to them

wedding photographer barnes

wedding photographer barnes wedding photographer barnes

portrait photographer south london

portrait photographer south london portrait photographer south london

portrait photographer south london wedding photographer wandsworth wedding photographer wandsworth wedding photographer wandsworth

portrait photographer wandsworth portrait photographer wandsworth

portrait photographer wandsworth

portrait photographer wandsworth

As the sun was setting we headed down to Hammersmith bridge, to get some shots with a bit of a quirky background…

A small part of us did wish for a bit of rain – well maybe not really – but just so that Laura and Will could have some use for the umbrellas they brought with them. That’s not to say that we didn’t use the umbrellas anyway…

portrait photographer hammersmith

portrait photography hammersmith bridge

wedding photographer hammersmith

(This shoot was recently featured on Whimsical Wonderland weddings, which is why it hasn’t featured on the blog until now)

  • penny - Really love your images, my sister is getting married in a few weeks time, her test shots dont look anywhere near as good as these.

    They have a desatrated, vintage feel to them, lovely stuffReplyCancel