Richmond offers some of the best opportunities for photography in London
The London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames in South West London forms part of Outer London and is the only London Borough on both sides of the River Thames.
Richmond is an incredibly popular town due to its exceptional outdoor spaces, boutique shops, dining options, and performances at Richmond Theatre.
Richmond Riverside is famous for lazy summer evenings and great for catching a bit of sun during the day (fantastic for photography during the mornings). Flanked by bars and restaurants, it provides an ideal place to lounge on the many seats and lawn stretches. The Grade I listed Richmond Bridge, which is the oldest surviving bridge on the Thames in London, adds to the charm of this magical stretch of the riverside.
I live within a 3 minute walk to Richmond Bridge and consider myself very lucky to have such an abundance of photographic opportunities!
Best locations for environmental photography in Richmond Park
Richmond Park is the most expansive of all the Royal Parks and offers immense opportunities for a natural environmental photo shoot for children and family photography. My family are lucky to dedicate much of our social time in this fabulous local amenity; after hundreds of visits I’m well versed in the most secluded spots for an intimate photo session. Although the ancient 750 year old Royal Oak located near the Pen Ponds is the most famous, there are numerous specimens of these ancient trees, dating over half a millennia, scattered all over the park. They truly provide a majestic backdrop for a photographer in Richmond Park.
Isabella Plantation, the 40 acre beautiful woodland garden set within a Victorian woodland plantation, provides an abundance of colourful options for a family photo session in Richmond Park.
On a clear day, Richmond Park also offers elevated spots where some of London’s most iconic landmarks can be seen in the horizon. Breathtakingly impressive on Sawyers Hill when the weather is favourable! However, I’m also familiar with various sections of the park that can provide spectacular family photography all year round. King Henry’s Mound and Pen Ponds are two such locations.
Richmond Park is a National Nature Reserve and deer park with 630 Red and Fallow deer roaming freely since 1637. The deer have played a major role in the park’s history and have shaped the landscape too. The freedom of the deers should be respected at all times but with a bit of creativity, they can be subtly captured in the background of images of your family.
The best location for a photo shoot on Richmond Hill
If there is just one background for photography in Richmond then it has to be on Richmond Hill overlooking the iconic ‘Turner’s View’. Not much has changed in the landscape since this beautiful artwork was painted back in 1815.
This stunning vista is actually Britain’s only protected view; the following link is an article written by Carla Passino for Country Life Magazine, which provides a delightful insight into how this local heritage has been protected over the years.
If planned at the right time of day, there are numerous opportunities for family / couples / lifestyle photography on Richmond Hill, and taking full advantage of the fabulous views.
Photography sessions in Terrace Gardens
The beautifully landscaped and sculptured Terrace Gardens are spectacularly located between the Thames Riverside and the summit of Richmond Hill. The myriad of pathways, sculptures, isolated trees, flower beds and sloping lawns provide a picturesque and relaxed environment for a family photo session. This area also tends to be immensely popular as a romantic setting for couples and one of my favourite photographs of a couple was taken here many moons ago!
Terrace Gardens have a centrally located cafe that is most convenient – particularly for little ones in the midst of a kids photo session, should the need arise. The Petersham Hotel is situated next to the gardens and provides an ideal base to explore the area. On a personal note, I have a sentimental connection to this hotel as our very own wedding celebration took place here in 2011!
Family photography at Petersham Meadows
In addition to family or kids photography on Richmond Hill and in Terrace Gardens, a ten minute stroll along the riverside provides a perfect opportunity to combine a photo shoot in the quaint Petersham Meadows.
Petersham Meadows are well known for their heritage cattle – in fact, grazing has been used to keep the meadows in a fine state for over 400 years! The location, adjacent to the River Thames, along with sweeping views up Richmond Hill, is yet another ideal location for a photographer in the Richmond Upon Thames area.
Richmond Green – photography steeped in history
My final recommendation for a local photography session would be Richmond Green. If you are as fascinated with history as my husband and share an affinity for fine architecture, this is your place. After all, this open space used to host jousting competitions during the Middle Ages.
Furthermore, this is the neighbourhood where Richmond Palace used to be situated along the River Thames. A few of the remnants of this masterpiece of Renaissance architecture are still visible in the historic streets surrounding Richmond Green.
Please do bear in mind this area gets extremely busy during nice weather so a photo shoot is better kept to the mornings. Richmond Theatre is located right next to Richmond Green and the high street cafes are only a two or three minute walk.
If you are arriving by car, I’m happy to provide guidance about convenient parking in the local area.