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somerset house engagement photo session

Alexander and Clara had their first date at Somerset House many years ago. They were still medical students at the prestigious University College of London (UCL) back then. Now both based in the US, they decided to come back and take a romantic trip down memory lane. Call me lucky. Because they chose me to capture them as they reminisce the memories from their wonderful years at UCL.

ucl quadrangle in central london

I haven’t been to the UCL campus before so I arrived at the main campus way earlier than agreed. If you know me, you’ll know that I always come early. Remember how the early bird catches the worm? Well in my case, the early photographer finds the best spots for the most epic photos 😉

The Old Refectory building had a huge sign welcoming students back to another year of fun and learning. It brought back memories from my time at school. For a moment, I missed being a student. But only for a moment. Please don’t let me sit another exam again.

I’m so glad Alexander and Clara chose a location that played a huge part in their story. Spending time with them in a meaningful and memorable place helped me capture them in the most natural way. They talked about hanging out at the iconic UCL quad and the fun things they used to do with their friends.

I can imagine them on the steps of the Old Refectory, walking through the UCL Art Museum and then exiting through the South Quad to Malet Street towards the British Museum, one of their favourite areas. And now Clara is a practicing surgeon and Alexander is an MD candidate. How time flies! I’m just so glad I got to capture this moment of their lives.

somerset house complex at the strand

Next stop is Somerset House, one of my favourite places in Central London. I love how it hosts amazing events all year round and attracts a lot of artists and creative minds. However, it’s also a popular photo spot for both locals and tourists. And this means that it can get busy at times.

I asked Alexander and Clara if we could have their shoot early in the morning and gave them a few dates when I’m available. They were visiting the UK for a week and kindly agreed to have their photos taken on a Tuesday morning.

It was absolutely perfect. The roads of Central London were almost empty and the Somerset House complex only had a few people in it. There are lots of pretty spots in the complex. And then there’s Watch House, cafe by day, and wine bar by night.

I suggested recreating their first date at Somerset House. So Alexander bought coffee from Watch House and he and Clara sat by one of the tables. I asked them to sit and take a break as we continued talking about how their student life was like a few years ago.

I enjoyed taking candid photos as they finished their warm cups of freshly brewed coffee. I’m always looking out for real emotions and genuine laughter and this was the perfect time to do just that. They were naturals. I loved how they interacted and responded to my gentle guidance. Curious to know what that looks like? Go ahead and view the gallery below to see what we’ve been up to.

your own london engagement session

Excited to have your own engagement session in London? Whether you choose to have it in a beautiful park, a quiet estate, or a private garden, one thing’s for sure. We’re going to have fun! But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what Alexander and Clara have to say about their engagement session.

“We loved working with Cristina for our engagement photoshoot. Her attention to detail, professionalism, photography style, and final pictures/products are simply amazing and worth hiring her for. We thank Cristina for all her hard work, creativity, and flexibility in making our photoshoot an enjoyable and forever memorable experience. We highly recommend her!”

Send me a message or check my availability. I’d love to connect with you.

Speak to you soon!
Cristina x

Asian bride from Hong Kong wearing natural make-up and sporting a fresh effortless look, relaxed hairstyle while smiling and facing the camera; groom kissing the bride's forehead and wearing a blue ensemble, navy blue trousers and powder baby blue dress shirt longsleeve - Central London Somerset House Pre-wedding and Engagement photo shoot by Cristina Ilao
Asian couple sitting on the steps of UCL quadrangle main campus facing the medical school. Bride wearing a white short sleeve lace mini mr self portrait cocktail dress; groom wearing a smart shirt longsleeve with dark blue trousers and brown leather accessories - Central London Somerset House Light and Airy Pre-wedding and Engagement photo shoot by Cristina Ilao
Asian couple natural posing, smiling and holding hands while smiling to the camera on the steps of the old refectory UCl University College of London main quad near the main building and facing Gower Street near Euston Square station Asian couple sitting on the steps of UCL quadrangle main campus facing the medical school. Bride wearing a white short sleeve lace mini mr self portrait cocktail dress; groom wearing a smart shirt longsleeve with dark blue trousers and brown leather accessories - Central London Somerset House Light and Airy Pre-wedding and Engagement photo shoot by Cristina Ilao
groom's Hand holding bride's hand wearing an antique diamond tri stone ring on platinum band - Central London Somerset House Pre-wedding and Engagement photo shoot by Cristina Ilao
Multicultural South East Asian couple standing at the front of the Somerset House quadrangle on a clear warm summer day, Outfit: lace white mini dress by Mr Self Portrait, powder light blue dress shirt and navy blue trousers, brown leather accessories, shoes and belt; silver strappy sandals. - Central London Pre-wedding and Engagement photo shoot by Cristina Ilao
Asian couple sitting outside Somerset House with Watch House Cafe cups of hot coffee, wearing black winter coats and facing the quadrangle - Central London Pre-wedding and Engagement photo shoot by Cristina Ilao
Asian Couple in black winter coats outside the steps of the Stamp Office Powder Blue Doorway at Somerset House in the south side of Strand Central London - Engagement photo shoot by Cristina Ilao

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