Top 15 Hampshire Engagement Session Locations

Deciding whether or not an engagement session is right for you?

Read my guide on why you’ll LOVE having an engagement sessions and why it’s a must-have experience!

I’ve also shared some of my favourite spots to capture them in Hampshire.

Why is it a must-have experience? As a photographer, it means I get to spend quality time with you before the big day. It’s my opportunity to really get to know you, and for you to enjoy a celebration of your love before the hustle and bustle of the actual wedding day.

There are tons of reasons to take part in an engagement session – and I’m going to share some of them with you here – but remember, the key is to make sure that the shoot works for you. You should love every second of it, and it should serve as a way to get you even more excited to walk down the aisle.

Read on for my engagement session round-up, including my top 15 favourite Hampshire engagement session locations.

What is an engagement photoshoot?

An engagement session is something that some – but not all – photographers will include as part of their wedding package. Personally, I see it as a core part of the process.

It’s a chance for you and your partner to have a fun, minimal stress photo session before the big day. In fact, you could see it as a bit of a test run! You can practice some of your favourite poses and get more comfortable in front of the camera (and with your photographer, of course). Plus, you get to experience the joy of kicking back with your client gallery – you may even want to use the images for your wedding invitations.

For me, I’ll also use this time to visit your venue for a ‘pre-day recce’, if the location allows. That way, I can make sure I’m fully aware of the venue layout, lighting, any potential areas to avoid and any ‘must have’ shots to include.

Psst – still not chosen a wedding photographer? Read my guide on how to choose the perfect wedding photographer for you.

Why should you do an engagement session?

Many couples often wouldn’t have experienced having their professional photo taken so an engagement session is a fabulous opportunity to ‘practice’ before you tie the knot. It also gives you and your partner quality time together during a period that is, let’s face it, a tad bonkers! It also gives you up close and personal time with your wedding photographer; the person you will both be spending the most time with on your special day (and even more so than your friends & family on the day as the photographer is often with you from morning to nighttime!)

We get to have a natter, have a real giggle and create incredible photos whilst we’re at it – so, by the time we ‘get back together’ on your wedding, it’ll be like you’re meeting up with a good friend. Dreamy!

There’s also zero pressure on an engagement shoot – the entire purpose is to make it as fun and carefree as possible. You can shake off all of those camera shy jitters and feel like a total pro ready for you know what.

It’s a unique experience in itself and something to celebrate with your partner how awesome you are together!

A couple of lovely reviews on previous couples engagement session experience:

How to choose an engagement session location.

Not quite sure where to hold your engagement session? There are a few things you may want to consider.

When choosing a picture-perfect location, couples tend to either opt for a meaningful location or lean on their photographer’s knowledge and experience. If you’re relying on the former, ask yourself:

  • Is this a place where you will feel relaxed?
  • Do you want to use the beauty of the season as part of your inspiration?
  • Do you want the session to embrace fun, playful energy?
  • Do you want it to be a place from your shared history?
  • What feelings do you want the photos to evoke?
  • Does it have a personal meaning to you both?

Of course, if you’re really not sure, that’s what we’re here for! I love it when a couple trusts me to guide them on this truly important journey – and believe me, I’ve got ideas bursting out of my ears…



Hill Head Beach
Best time of year for shoots – spring / summer
A gorgeous length of shingle beach on the south coast, the Hill Head shoreline peers straight over the Solent. With vibrant green & blue beach huts and long pebble coast, this picturesque beach provides lots of fun seaside photo opportunities!

Southsea Beach
Best time of year for shoots – spring / summer
Another beautiful shingle beach which slopes down towards the sea’s edge. At low tide, you can also catch some sand if you want to dip those toes in! Perfect for a city & beach engagement session in one, with the beautiful Southsea Rose Garden and the Canoe Lake (where you can hire pedal boats too for some summer fun!) just a stone’s throw from the beach.


Forest of Bere
Best time of year for shoots – summer / autumn
A historic landscape bursting with all the wildlife. Nestle between the towering pine & oak trees and lose yourself in the meandering paths – it really is a stunning spot (and fab for dog walks too!)

New Forest
Best time of year for shoots – all year round
Who doesn’t love the New Forest? With so many parts to choose from, you’re always bound to spot a horse or two during a New Forest engagement shoot. Arrange your shoot during golden hour to add an unbeatable feeling of romance to your images. (Also fab for dog walks!)
Below slideshow photographed Rhinefield Ornamental Drive.

Bluebell Woods
Best time of year for shoots – April/May
If you’re wanting some woodland magical vibes, going for a bluebell shoot is perfect for just that! If you’re feeling the magic or want to show your love for your favourite fantasy realm, why not don your best outfit for some fun and truly unique images!


Sunflower fields
Best time of year for shoots – August
A favourite of mine! Pose among the flowers that bloom as far as the eye can see – a wonderful option for couples that value fun, laughter and joy. These sessions are nothing short of stunning.
Below slideshow photographed at Steve Harris Farm. Another favourite spot is Sam’s Sunflowers.

Houghton Lodge Gardens
Best time of year for shoots – spring / summer / autumn
Houghton Lodge has been described as the ‘jewel of the Test Valley’ and a ‘stately pleasure-dome on the romantic river in England’. Well… Count me in! The gardens are set against a Grade II listed house dating back to the 18th century, surrounded by unique and enchanting gardens. It’s a magical spot, and one that promises the very best backdrops. (Please note this is a ticketed venue)

Petersfield Heath & Pond
Best time of year for shoots – spring / summer / autumn
A scenic walk around Petersfield lake with a wide variety of wildlife and birds. Looks beautiful during golden hour with the light reflecting off the lake. There’s also an opportunity to go boating so if you’re up for some fun water activities during your session, this is the perfect spot for good laughs!


Titchfield Abbey
Best time of year for shoots – (open during March – October)
Titchfield Abbey is a majestic medieval abbey with castle-like features founded in 1222. It was later transformed into Place House after the Suppression of the Monasteries with 16th Century features such as the grand turreted gatehouse. This is a magnificent backdrop for some epic portraits unique to Hampshire.

Portchester Castle
Best time of year for shoots – all year round
Impressive architecture and ruins make for a grand backdrop to your engagement photos. ‘Originally built in the late 3rd century, Portchester Castle is the most impressive and best-preserved of the ‘Saxon shore’ forts.’ Located by the sea, there are picturesque walks around the castle overlooking Portsmouth Harbour. (For inside the castle, it’s a ticketed entry.)


Southampton, Winchester and Portsmouth
Best time of year for shoots – whenever! Although for festive feels, book a late November or December shoot
All three locations deliver something a little different. From history, to architecture, coastal views and quaint cobbled streets, the rich energy of Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester lends itself perfectly to engagement shoots.
Below slideshow photographed in Winchester city.


Your wedding venue
Best time of year for shoots – opt for the same season as your wedding or a contrasting season
If you want to keep your galleries feeling consistent (and are totally in love with your venue and want to shout about it!), you could always hold your engagement shoot at the venue. If you want to get a feel for the venue on the day, choose a time of year that is similar to your wedding day. Alternatively, you could pick a contrasting season so that you get a gallery with a show-stoppingly different feel but the same glorious setting.
Below slideshow was photographed at Northbrook Park.


Your home
Best time of year for shoots – all year round (particularly Christmas vibes!)
Home shoots give you alllllllll the cosy vibes. These are great if you want a snug indoor session as a couple, or even if you want to get your family involved. Picture log fires, steaming mugs of cocoa and a star appearance from your pets – bliss. Additionally, if you have a garden you’re proud of, we can certainly create gorgeous photos outside too! Another idea is a Christmas session, so get your Christmas tree & jumpers ready for some festive indoor magic!

My top tip…

Your engagement session is all about YOU as a couple – so, don’t hold back! If you want to bring your pet along on the day, then just ask. They’re an important part of your life, and so it makes sense that you’d want them included.

Likewise, if you want to turn your engagement session into more of a family/lifestyle session, then put this forward to your photographer. I like to offer both options, especially with so many of my couples having young families.

Finally… Only do what you are comfortable with. If you aren’t the type of couple that feels natural clowning around, then make sure your photographer knows this. Equally, if you prefer to crack a joke than take life too seriously, get as many natural, laughing, playful shots in as possible.

This is your time. Enjoy it!

To book an engagement of family / lifestyle shoot, you can find more info about your shoot here.

An hour’s session is £350 or if already chosen in your wedding package, you can book your photoshoot in the diary here.

Fancy having a chat before making a decisio? Drop me a line here.



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