Looking for portrait photographers in London? Portraits are no more about clicking pictures of one’s faces in a family setting or for an application form. They are a mirror of one’s personality, sentiments, and reactions. Portraits bring out a person’s essence in visual form.
As such, you must choose the right portrait photographer in London. Be it for a family event, party, a personal shoot, make sure that your keepsakes are well up to the mark.
Pictures are one’s prized possessions; they will be handed down in your family at par with heirlooms. Your friends and relatives are going to love looking at them.
As far as your formal photographs are concerned, they help in your branding. Those pictures shape one’s initial opinion of you and may win (or cost you) the big job you have been aiming for.
So, you must get your portrait photoshoot done by a professional.
However, despite so many options on the internet, it is difficult finding the right photographer. The perfect photographer is skillful, accommodating, non-imposing, friendly, and one who understands your requirements. Finding someone like that isn’t easy; this is why we have curated a list of the best 21 portrait photographers in London.
Table of Contents
What is professional portrait photography?
Professional portrait photography involves taking candid and posed shots of people in a way that the viewers feel a connection with them.
This discipline is all about capturing people’s personalities, emotions, and natural reactions. It includes self-portraits, professional headshots, and even silhouette photography. The niche also overlaps with family photoshoots, event photo shoots, etc. at times. Whenever photography revolves around people, you see portrait photography in action.
The purpose behind portrait photography is to bring out the nature, personality, and essence of the subject. Professional portrait photographers in London utilize light, backdrop, props, and posing to help the viewers (of pictures) connect with the subject.
Sometimes, it is done for the personal pleasure of the subject and the viewers (as in family, newborn, maternity, and party shoots). In this case, portrait pictures become keepsakes and heirlooms. They are people’s most prized possessions.
Other times, portrait pictures are captured for professional purposes. Here, they comprise professional headshots, corporate event shoots, team, and office shoots, etc. These pictures serve branding and marketing purposes.
For instance, professional headshots are taken in such a way that the person looks professional, approachable, good at their job, and great to work with at the same time. They help in the personal branding of the subject. On the other hand, corporate photographs go on a company’s website and help in consolidating their position in the market. This is how they are distinguished from their competitors in the eyes of clients, employees, and others.
What Is Headshot Photography? Where Are They Used?
‘Headshot’ is a common term used for the close-up of a person’s face or a portrait.
This kind of photography is a close-up shot of a person’s head and shoulders. Headshots photographers London shoot from the neck up usually against a blank wall. The resulting picture is quite ordinary. In fact, it is not intended as an artistic expression but as an accurate representation. In other words, the headshot is only used to identify or promote the person.
Headshots have found their use in many areas of life like formal documents (passport, driving license and visa), social media, one’s professional website, one’s Twitter timeline, and resume.
They are used professionally across several industries including casting, modeling, theatre, print media, politics, corporate, etc.
Portrait Photographers in London
Here are some outstanding portrait and headshot photographers in London
Disclaimer: Please note that all the photographers listed here are excellent at their craft, and we have listed them randomly. Their position does not imply a “rating” or “ranking” by Shutterturf.
Tom Trevatt Photography
Tom Trevatt is a creative portrait and headshot photographer based in Bermondsey, London. He creates dynamic, bespoke portraiture and headshot photography that really captures you at your best.
Authenticity is at the heart of what he does, the experience of getting a portrait with Tom is unique – he doesn’t follow a cookie cutter approach to portraiture, instead he works with you for up to 4 or 5 hours to create a portfolio of images that help you stand out. Whether in the business or the acting world, the highest quality images of yourself play a vital role in helping you grow. Tom’s photography is about producing work that speaks deeply to people and catches the eye.
If you’re an actor auditioning for a role, his images will stop casting directors in their tracks. If you’re in the business world, these headshots are sure to demand attention and respect.
You’re not average, why settle for average photography?
Charles Sturge Photography
Charles Sturge prides himself on creating photography and film that uniquely connects businesses and brands with their audiences. He believes that all the challenges are not the same and understands that budgets often vary. He aims to deliver the same professional end-to-end service to all.
Being able to create great photography that tells a unique story and his immaculate delivery is what makes Charles a portrait photographer in London. This has led to him being named Corporate Photographer of the Year in 2019 and 2020.
Being at the cutting edge of technology also allows Charles to deliver that competitive advantage. He guarantees you a finished product that you can use across all mediums: web, social, film, and print.
Charles’ has an impressive client base covering Fintech, Finance, Pharma, Property, Health, Government, Defence, Entertainment & Sport. From local start-ups or individuals to global multi-nationals or creative agencies, all receive the same professional approach.
Serena Bolton Photography
Serena was introduced to photography at a young age. She went to Chelsea and Wimbledon Art Schools where she photographed her art pieces not only as a way of documentation but because those pictures were also a work of art.
Now, she is based in London with her family. One of the best portrait photographers in London, Serena believes in putting her subject at ease to capture the right pictures. Her services include event photography, corporate headshots, family photography, etc.
She enjoys the privilege of working with high-profile private clients who value her expertise, discretion, and trust. Serena’s clients furthermore love her ability to put her subject at ease above all else. They admire her professional attitude, purposeful thought, and amazing expertise.
Bonjour Monsieur Photo
Bonjour Monsieur Photo is a portrait photography studio started by photographer, Dimitri Djuric. Dimitri is an amazing portrait photographer in London who is more about the professional aspects of the disciple.
Based in East London, he works for corporate clients and individuals such as actors, dancers, and musicians. He aims to create strong portraits while keeping the style natural. Dimitry understands how important it is, to be honest in one’s professional images, and he brings out just that.
Moreover, he provides amazing service. The process of each shoot is adapted to the client’s requirements: on-site, studio, or outdoors when London weather allows it. For outdoor shoots, he suggests and even scouts locations all around the city. He also shoots at various studio spaces in London.
So, with Bonjour Monsieur Photo, you get personalized service and the most creative professional pictures.
Karolina Heller Photography
Karolina Heller is a portrait photographer with a spacious, well-equipped studio conveniently located in Central London. She creates evocative and engaging portraiture in support of her clients’ artistic endeavors and professional careers.
Photoshoots are carefully crafted and personally tailored, ensuring that headshots represent Karolina’s clients in the best possible light and providing an effortless experience in a relaxed atmosphere, with results that satisfy all individual requirements. Karolina shoots at both, her Mayfair studio and outdoor locations, from the picturesque mews of London’s West End to the leafy environs of Hyde Park.
These days, it is not enough to have text and reviews on your website clients need to be drawn in by the prospect of working with YOU, and that can only happen with a great profile picture of someone they feel they’ll be comfortable with. Clients prefer someone who appears to be professional and personable with a touch of warmth and friendliness.
Apart from making sure her clients look gorgeous, Henrietta makes sure she gets the ‘essence’ of you – the character and personality behind your business – not just a one-dimensional face staring out from the page. Her business headshot shoots are informal and fun creating the perfect atmosphere for some great, relaxed headshots of you being you on a very good day!
Laura Shimili Mears Photography
Laura Shimili Mears is a product and portrait photographer in London. She photographs people, businesses, and products. She also provides personal photography services.
Laura loves working with families in London to create beautiful memories of their growing children. She understands the personal value these pictures carry and cherishes them. Besides this, she offers headshots for individuals and teams.
She takes on commercial projects helping businesses to create high-quality, authentic, and captivating imagery that tells the story of their business and speaks to their ideal audience.
Through her work, she supports a number of charities. She runs regularly in fundraising events where she offers her photography in exchange for contributions.
When not working, Laura hangs out with her boys, catches up with friends and family, and listens to music and inspirational podcast. She also likes going on holidays to the South of Albania, her home country every year for a month, soaking in the sun and the salty waters of the Ionian Sea. This gives her a renewed inspiration to work.
What is the Difference between a Headshot and a Portrait Photo?
While headshots are a type of portrait picture, the latter is a broader term including various other types of pictures. In fact, any picture that involves people, their personalities, and sentiments is a portrait picture; be it a newborn or maternity image, wedding picture, solo portrait photograph, or professional headshot.
Thus, it is recommended that you book the services of one of the skilled headshot photographers in London instead of a generic portrait photographer if that’s what you want.
Some major differences between a headshot and a portrait are:
- Uses: While portrait pictures find use in several areas of one’s personal and professional life, headshots are typically clicked for professional purposes.
- Lighting: Headshots need to make the subjects look professional, confident and approachable at the same time. Since they are pictures of just their heads, this is possible only with appropriately controlled studio lighting.
- Lenses used: Since headshots are cropped images of one’s face, headshots photographers London use lenses with long focal length, that is, 85mm and above. Regular portrait photographers, on the other hand, use lenses with a focal length of 24 mm to 50mm.
- Scope of Experimentation: Since headshots are strictly formal, they don’t leave much scope for experimentation. They are typically shot against a neutral background with no props and the subject dressed in formal clothes. On the other hand, regular portrait pictures experiment with backdrop, lighting, clothing and unleash the photographers’ creativity.
Tips for Shortlisting a Portrait or Headshot Photographer in London
Each photographer appreciates their art differently. So, no two photographers will approach your photoshoot in the same manner.
You have got to pick out the photographer who suits your needs the best.
- Decide what you want: Firstly, you need to be clear about your requirements, expectations, and budget. Know exactly why you are conducting this shoot. Then, plan on the kind of pictures that you need to get. Don’t forget to set a budget.
- Research: Now that you know what you want, start researching. Talk to your acquaintances who have hired portrait and headshots photographers London before and ask about the services offered. You must also scour the web to see what all options you have and at what prices. Moreover, you must go through the list of top portrait photographers in London provided in the article.
- Shortlist and approach: Shortlist the photographers that you feel will suit you. Approach them, speak to them, convey your demands, and hear their expectations.
- Hire!: If you feel that you are comfortable and compatible with the photographer, don’t wait up. Book their service now.
Some Questions You must Ask your Photographers before hiring them
- How long have you been doing this?
- What is your photography style?
- Are you comfortable with both candid and posed shots?
- What all equipment do you use?
- Do you mind telling us how many clients you get on average?
- Do you mind telling us about the other shoots you need to do that day?
- Who will be the photographers shooting for us? Can we meet them?
- Do you mind telling us how you will be dressed?
- Do you have a backup plan in mind, just in case a problem occurs with the photographers or the equipment?
- Would you please explain your payment plans to us and if there could be a discount?
- What if the photoshoot takes longer than planned? Will you charge extra for staying more?
Studio Portraits vs Outdoor Portraits
Another question that you might have before the shoot is whether you should go for studio portraits or outdoor ones. While outdoor shoots are usually more free and fun, they are time-taking and tiring. Also, the controlled studio environment assists in capturing the most elegant images.
It is mandatory that you pick one before your photoshoot. Here are a few factors that you can consider.
- Backdrop: Outdoor shoots provide you with more options for a backdrop than an indoor one. However, if you are the kind of person who likes their things organized, you might not enjoy these options.
- Scope of creativity: More backdrop options and wider space imply more scope for creativity. So, outdoor shoots tend to unleash your imagination.
- Lighting: Outdoor shoots utilize sunlight to capture the most natural pictures. While studio lighting can be controlled to be as beautiful, natural light has its own charm. However, direct harsh sunlight might ruin your pictures so, if going for an outdoor shoot, you need to select the right day and time. Also, any change in weather can ruin all your plans.
- Scope of rescheduling: There are more chances of canceling an outdoor shoot than an indoor one. Even a slight change in weather might cause it.
- Time duration: Since studio shoots offer limited backdrop options and fewer distractions, they tend to be more organized and quick.
- Discomfort: Since you might not be the only one on the shoot location, outdoor shoots may be a little uncomfortable. This problem is eliminated in a studio.
- Cost: Studio shoots might require the photographer to rent a place. As a result, the price of the shoot is more than an outdoor one.
It is suggested that you browse through portrait photographs over the internet. See if you like outdoor ones more or the studio ones.
What to Wear for Your Portrait Photoshoot?
Professional photographs are meant to identify you in a professional setting. So, make sure that they give the right message. For this, you need to dress as per your industry’s requirements.
- Know the purpose: Before going for a professional photoshoot, know why you need it. It is for your LinkedIn profile or your resume? If it for your college or office magazine? You might require a different set of photographs for different purposes. Portrait and headshots photographers London report the dissatisfaction of clients who aren’t sure of the pictures’ use.
- Pick the right style: Dress professionally. Even if the company you work at right now demands informal clothing, always dress professionally for a professional photoshoot.
- Choose the right colors: Prefer solid mid tone colors like blue and wine green. They make you look confident and approachable at the same time. Also, avoid huge prints and patterns.
- Go for contrast: See that the clothes contrast with your backdrop and a little with your skin tone. This makes you stand out in the picture.
Be it a team photoshoot session or a headshot one, it is necessary that you dress right for a corporate shoot. Here are a few things you must make sure of.
- Style: Corporate shoots demand that you look professional so wearing your work clothes is a good idea. Also, make sure that your outfit suits your line of professional. For instance, people working in fashion industries have the creative liberty to experiment with their clothes.
- Fit: Make sure that your clothes fit well. If they are too loose, they won’t capture well. If they are too tight, they will make you uncomfortable and this shows on your face.
- Patterns and colors: Always go for a minimalistic look. Large patterns (or patterns in general) don’t go well with corporate shoots. Also, wear mid-tone colors like purple, wine green, and blue. Avoid dark or flesh colors.
While you are allowed to wear anything in your casual portrait pictures, you want to look your best. This is why picking clothes in this category is tougher than the previous ones.
- Avoid patterns: The first rule for picking out clothes for portrait pictures is to avoid prints and patterns. They are distracting and will take the viewers’ eyes away from your face.
- Avoid short clothing: Bare arms and legs are another major distraction so try keeping most parts of your arms and legs covered.
- Pick the right colors: While dark clothing tends to bring viewers’ attention to your face and slenderizes you, light ones look fresher. Solid light shades look better in nature and pastel ones like pale yellow or pale blue work amazing with sunsets.
- Use simple accessories: Try keeping accessories to the minimum; they take viewers’ eyes off your face. Also, make sure that the accessories you choose blend really blend with the rest of your clothes and backdrop. If you are wearing glasses, try purchasing frames with no lenses. While portrait photographers in London can find their way around lenses, it’s better to not wear them.
Some Creative Photoshoot Ideas
If you have hired professional photographer portrait photographers in London, they will surely conduct fun and creative photoshoot for you. You might look up a few pictures on Pinterest but that’s it.
However, while conducting a self-portrait session, you might need more ideas than that. Here is a list of some creative photoshoot ideas. Consider them, look up their techniques, and gift yourself an amazing portrait shoot.
- Experiment with different backdrops and props
- Go for silhouette photography
- Opt for costumes and wigs
- Click only a part of your body to give aesthetically pleasing images
- Recreate a movie scene, painting, or any other artwork
- Click black and white pictures
- Use lights of different colors
- Experiment with shadows on your face and/or other parts of the pictures
- Experiment with reflections
- Create a rainbow effect in your pictures using CDs
- Shoot through objects like rings and transparent bottles
- Frame your face with an in-picture frame
- Create a collage
- Pose with your friends, babies, or pets
How to Prepare for Your Portrait Photoshoot in London?
Now that you have decided on the kind of shoot you want to have, start preparing for it.
- Select the right photographer: Your preparation for the day starts when you decide to go for a shoot. Pick the right photographer; they must match your style and gel nicely with you
- Communicate well: Communicate your expectations properly with your photographer. They must know and understand your preferences so that they can prepare accordingly.
- Start preparing a few months in advance: Portrait photographs are all about the way you look. While a skilled professional will remove your wrinkles and blemishes while editing, it’s a good idea to improve your lifestyle before the shoot. A good diet, some exercise, and lots of water go a long way. Another thing you must consider is the location of the shoot. Some places might not be accessible throughout the year and/or require prior permission.
- Strategize the final few weeks: The last few weeks are when you will get most of the things done. So, strategize them beforehand. Decide when to get your outfits and props, what kind of skincare routine to follow, what types of pictures you want, etc. Also, keep in touch with your photographer and update them about your requirements.
- Relax on the shoot day: See that everything is done in advance so that you can stay calm on the shoot day. Don’t forget to get enough sleep and take some time out for yourself. Look at the mirror and admire yourself. It is necessary that you feel confident on the day of the shoot.
Also, be on time!
Now that you understand the fundamentals of portrait photography, you are all set for your shoot. Just make sure that you pick the right photographer, plan everything well, and stay relaxed.
If you are going for a DIY portrait shoot, do get a professional camera, tripod, and remote control.
Invest time and energy in your keepsakes and headshots! They will turn out to be great.
Additional Photographers in London
|Wedding / Pre Wedding/ Solemnization photographers in London||See list|
|Portrait / Headshots photographers in London||See list|
|Family photographers in London||See list|
|Newborn photographers in London||See list|
|Food photographers in London||See list|
|Real Estate / Property / Interior photographers in London||See list|
|Product photographers in London||See list|
How much does a portrait photographer cost in London?
The charges of a portrait photographer depend on various factors – their skills and experience, the industry they are working in, your requirements, the duration of the shoot, etc. However, its average rate in London is around 115 to 200 GBP.
What do you need for portrait photography?
A necessary piece of equipment for portrait photography is a professional camera. While you may use a smartphone camera (if it’s really good), it is recommended that you invest in the camera. You can also purchase a few basic lighting equipment like a lighting kit, lens filter, and dull spray.
How do you take portrait photos?
Great portraiture requires you to capture the subject’s soul with your camera. You have to bring out the best in them and record their true self. This is possible only when you connect well with the subject. Also, you need to prepare well for the shoot and get your techniques right. For instance, the background and props complement the person and the setting. Moreover, lighting is of the essence here; it should be such that it flatters and highlights the subject’s features.