A spring pre-wedding session in Newcastle with Rachel and Adam

I’d photographed in and around the Derwent Valley before for kids sessions and in the autumn, but was keen to return in the spring following the opening of The Land of Oak and Iron. This heritage centre and cafe is the ideal place to park up and meet before heading off into the valley. It’s also great for a coffee and a slice of cake once you’ve explored and gotten some fresh air.

Rachel and Adam walk their pug Ernie here often, so I quickly agreed to hold their couples session here, just a few weeks ahead of their wedding.

A pre-wedding session is a great time to show of a bit of your personality and your passions. Don't think that you have to pick an iconic location for your couples session. I can capture exciting photographs anywhere and an unusual location can result in unique photographs.

Start by thinking about locations that mean something to you both. It could be the place where you proposed. It could be the place you went for long walks at the beginning of your relationship. Maybe you grew up in an area that has sentimental meaning for you.

Another consideration is your hobbies, passions and careers. Maybe you love parachuting so you could have a session at an airfield. Perhaps you are art lovers so an art gallery might be perfect. Making it as personal as you can is a great way to have a fun couples session with unique photos.

Your aesthetic feeds into your decision too. If your style is modern and minimal you may want to have your session in the city centre. You could anchor the session around a particular area or interesting building. A multi-storey car park with geometric architecture, is an unusual choice if you are into straight lines, harsh light and shadow. An industrial setting contains loads of contrasts and an eclectic mix of materials such as brick, glass and concrete.

If you’re both foodies, a colorful outdoor market or a picnic may be a good option. If you’re both bookworms, a bookshop, library, or a study might be right for you. The north east of England is littered with picturesque historical locations, so if you prefer the outdoors you can pick between castles, walls and ruins.

Bringing your pet along to your session is a great icebreaker and can help relax everyone as Ernie did for Rachel and Adam. They also add some spontaneity to the session, so get them in your photos!