Our Engagement Shoot in Scotland, Part 1: Photos in Glasgow! (Feat: Kelvingrove Park, West End)

This is part one of Ken and my engagement shoot series featuring our engagement photos taken in Scotland. To know how we met and got togetherHow I Found My Soulmate. For details on the day he proposed, visit: The Day I Was Proposed To (Thank You Ken Soh :) ).

Hand in hand, together forever :)

Three months ago Ken and I were in Scotland for our engagement shoot. I’m excited to announce that the pictures are finally ready for your viewing! :D

What is Engagement Photography?

If you guys aren’t familiar with engagement photography, it is a form of wedding photography showcasing the couple in everyday wear, doing dating activities. Besides engagement photography, a popular form of wedding photography is bridal photography, where the couple dons their bridal wear and is shot in both outdoor and indoor environments.

Bridal photography

An example of bridal photography. I realized right after I posted this picture that the groom’s face can’t even be seen. <_<

Wedding photography tends to be posy (and sometimes even cheesy) while engagement photography is more candid and authentic. Because of that, Ken and I chose to do engagement shots over bridal ones; we also prefer to save our gown and suit for our big day since that is the special day. We wanted our wedding shoot to be about us and our relationship, not the garb.

Doing Our Engagement Shoot in Scotland

Believe it or not, shooting in Scotland was never in our plans! We were planning to engage a local photographer and we had already shortlisted some options.

But when Ken was sent on a two-week work trip to Scotland and asked me to come along, the opportunity presented itself quite serendipitously.

So we did our research of U.K. photographers; you guys also gave recommendations when I asked for help (thank you so much!). Eventually we nailed down two photographers for two shoots: one in Glasgow and another in Edinburgh as we wanted to capture the different scenery in Scotland, since we’re only going to do this once. :)

Our Engagement Shoot, Part 1: Pictures in Glasgow

Since our engagement shots were done in two locations, I’ve split them into two posts for your viewing. Today’s post is the first featuring our shots in Glasgow. For this shoot, we engaged local wedding photographer extraordinaire Neil Douglas, a very down-to-earth guy with a great eye for artistic photography!

I’ve to say this about Neil: he knows his stuff. Neil has been doing photography for eight years and came recommended by PE reader Anna, a friend of Neil’s wife (if you’re reading this Anna, thanks for the recommendation!! :) ).

Given that an engagement shoot is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, I was all over it from nailing down reference shots of what we want, the mood, scene specifications, and more!! Neil was totally patient and responsive in his e-mail communication, which was very reassuring. :) Not only that, he also initiated a pre-meeting after we reached Scotland to brief us on the shoot, which was very professional.

In the end, we covered quite a few spots in Glasgow (from Kelvingrove Park to areas near Argyle Street), showing a nice transition from nature to urban spots. The output was gorgeous and Ken and I are very happy with the result. We have shortlisted 26 (out of 94) shots for our wedding album: this post shares these 26 photos, with minor touch ups (hair and color) by me. You may have seen some of these photos in the soulmate series. ;)

Enjoy, and click on the link at the end to see our shots in Edinburgh! ;)

Hand in hand, together forever


(Translated from Chinese: Hand in hand, together forever.) Ken says that to me every day, to the point where it has become like our relationship slogan.

Reflection in the water

Our reflection, mirrored on the water.

My friend thought this was just a picture of us flipped vertically until I told her it was a reflection! This was a serendipitous picture because we chanced upon the water puddle during the shoot (it rained earlier in the morning) and Neil immediately saw a photo moment right there!


A quiet moment together



Smiling at the man of my life

Smiling at the man of my life

A gentle hug

I love how Neil captured Ken’s gentleness, both in his smile and body language, here.

On the bridge

I love this bridge shot! It’s so beautiful: from the composition, to the tone, to the emotions.

While Neil originally suggested we hold our hands or hang out on the bridge, Ken came up with the idea to carry me, because that’s what he always does. He often carries me at home so that I can touch the ceiling, because he wants me to “reach for the sky”.

Ken swinging me around

Swinging me around, just like what he did after I said “yes”

Closeup at the bridge

Having fun together. We were laughing really hard here!

Hugging in the park

Oh, hello! :)

In each other's embrace

In each other’s embrace

Heart-shaped fingers

Heart-shaped fingers, a gesture we make to each other all the time

Frozen, in a moment in time

One of my favorite pictures; it’s so epic and monumental. Feels like one of those pictures that you can see on a postcard or photo frame!

Lovers in the city

Lovers in the city; another postcard- / photo-frame-esque photo! Ken is bending down and slanting his head towards me in this shot: exactly how he looks whenever I lean forward to kiss his cheek. :)

A romantic night out

Romantic night out

Ken fixing my flower hair clip


Chatting endlessly under the stars

Chatting endlessly under the stars. When we’re together, we can talk for hours and hours to no end; many times we would lay on the bed and talk till morning not having slept the day before!

The ring

The ring (which he got from Tiffany); a symbol of our love.

Lovers in the city; in each other's embrace

Lovers in the city, locked in each other’s embrace. Another postcard-esque photo! :)

At the top of the world

I asked Ken what he was thinking when this shot was captured (since he looked so happy and dreamy), and he said he was thinking about our future together and how happy he is that we’re going to spend our lives together.


Kissing in the sea of people

Together in the sea of people. I love this photo because it symbolizes us our togetherness even in a sea of people; even amidst externalities and potential disturbances.

Alley kiss

I love the lights here. And the colors — so beautiful.

Hand in hand, together forever :)

Another hand-in-hand photo. Together forever. :)

Ken giving me a piggyback ride in the forest-park

Ken giving me a piggyback ride, something he always does :)

A quiet moment in the park

A quiet moment in the forest

A quiet moment in the park (Closeup)


Walking into the sunset

Last but not least, walking into the sunset, into the light. Together forever, till the end of time. This is another of our favorite shots. :)

Reader Farnam made this comment about the picture which is really sweet: “Your photo is really beautiful; two lovers caring for and protecting each other and walking towards eternal brightness via a road filled with ups and downs. [Despite] many distractions (trees) beside them, they are going to complete their mission (moving towards the light).”

(All clothes and accessories from our wardrobe. Photography fully sponsored by Neil Douglas Photography. Visit Neil’s site to see more of his portfolio and to engage him for your shoot. Thanks Neil for all your help and amazing photos!! :) )

Any thoughts about our Glasgow shoot? Which are your favorites? Share your comments below! :)

Head on to part two, which features our photos in Edinburgh featuring us in Tantallon Castle, Cramond Beach, St Giles’ Cathedral, and Edinburgh City: Our Engagement Shoot in Scotland, Part 2: Photos in Edinburgh!

Image: Bridal shot; All other images: Neil Douglas

  • Julie

    I just love it!

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Thank you for your kind words Julie! :) Was a little apprehensive sharing them on PE, but I see PE today as a blend between sharing my personal life and sharing personal development advice, so I decided to go ahead and put up the pictures anyway!

  • cassie

    you guys are so cute together! :)

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Thank you cassie! :)

      • JF

        Dear Celes
        Please do share your life experience (aka personal life) with us. It is through this that the community grows as a group.
        Best wishes…JF

        • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

          Thanks JF! :)

  • Poochie Pups

    All the pictures are beautiful but I really love the black & white ones of you guys. Something about B&W that captures the true essence of the subject(s).

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Yeah, B&W shots give me the feeling that it’s a moment that’s frozen in time forever. Ken himself loves the B&W shots particularly too! :)

      • Poochie Pups

        You both are lovely!!! Congrats! Good to see people so connected and in love!! Wish you both all the best!! XOXOXO

        • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

          Thank you sweetheart!! Same to you too! :D

  • Shailesh Salunke

    God bless you.

  • Sandra Okoye

    You guys fit each other. Long life….

  • Sim Kang Wei

    (Comment from Facebook) I dunno how to leave a comment on your blog. So here are my comments: There are simply no words to express the warmth and affection I felt as I scrolled through. :) Simply ♥.

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Aw thank you Kang Wei!! :) You’re so sweet! Much ♥ to you. :)))

  • Carolyn Soemarjono

    Congratulations on your engagement Celes! Very happy for you….and I love the shots. :)

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Aw thank you Carolyn!! :) I just found and read your 2012 article in Expat living about how running saved your life, and that’s such a beautiful story. I’m glad to hear that things are well in your court. Many hugs. ♥

  • Maximilianah Zales

    Celes, the thing that I love about you, is that you are authentic and do not compartmentalize your life. You share your personal life as well as your business life, because one directly affects the other! And you strive for excellence in both. I love it! And I love your pictures, so many great ones, but I like the reflection shots: on the water, and against the wall when you are kissing Ken’s cheek! Congrats!

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Aw thank you Maximilianah; that’s the sweetest thing you can ever say to me.

      As I mentioned to one of the commenters in the blog post, I was initially apprehensive about sharing these photos as I didn’t know if readers would be open to me sharing more of my personal life. I decided to stick to my intention to mix more of my real self and personal life into my “work” anyway and put up the photos. I’m so glad that you like the shots; thank you for your kind words! :D

      • Hilda Chia

        I like that one on against the wall too, reminds me of some romantic scenes :)

  • Zoé Theoni

    Resplendent Pics. ♥ My fav is the piggyback one which you shared earlier. :D

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Aw thank you so much Zoé! :)) Stay tuned for part two coming up over the weekend!

  • Miss Elf

    Hey. I really love the “hand-in-hand” photos. They gave me an idea to take those kind of photos (holding hands and standing like you guys do) on different occasions with my boyfriend. Or even better – to came up with our unique “pose” that represents and simbolizes our relationship.
    Thank you for sharing, Celes :)

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Aw thank you Miss Elf! :) Coincidentally our Edinburgh one has another hand-in-hand shot. :) I really like these because they are so symbolic and also because they have an added significance in our relationship.

      Sounds like a good idea to come up with a unique “pose” that represents your relationship with your boyfriend! :) Interestingly it’s probably something you don’t have to come up with: both of you are probably already doing it in your daily life; you just have to watch out for it! (The best “poses” are the candid, real ones I feel!)

  • http://www.starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/ Moonsparkle

    Beautiful pictures. :) My favourites are the two captioned “Lovers in the city”. I also like the hand in hand photo where you’re wearing a red coat (the red looks really vibrant) and the piggyback one. :)

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Thanks Moon!! :) The photographer Neil also said that the color is really vibrant and really makes the photo pop! He totally loved how it turned out in the photos.

  • Joannes

    Beautiful photos.Every one of them.I wouldn’t mind to have a T shirt like Ken.
    About the rat and getting out of the rat-race.Because that is exactly what I am trying to do right now.Wish you both good luck and many many happy years together.

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Thanks Joannes! :) The photographer really liked his shirt too, haha. I thought most people wouldn’t notice the shirt too since it’s faded, so it’s nice you noticed the little details like that!

  • Agyepong

    Thanx for sharing.You guys are wonderful .Love is sweet enjoy it.

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Thanks Agyepong, we will! :)

  • Jimmy Usaki

    Thanks alot for the lesson…May God shower His blessings to your relationship.

  • Farnam

    Dear Celes,

    Thank you so much for mentioning my comment in your post, it made me really excited.:-)

    And about your photos, as you know, they are awesome. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    The thing that caught my eyes was the harmony and similarity in your physical appearances(and of course your emotional conformity). For instance,in the “手牵手,一直都牵着你的手。” picture,it seems that you are the female version of Ken, and vice versa; both wearing dark blue jeans, white shirt, brown shoes, watch on the left hand, with black hair and some how the same physical body type. This harmony is felt in all of your photos.

    Wish your harmony eternity.
    P.S.:I am sorry for my “bad” English, I am trying to do my best, but I am not a good writer(yet!).

  • Neslihan Ercan

    Great photos; you both look amazing and happy. Congratulations!

  • Malik

    Hi Celes
    Congratulations. Hope this will be a stepping stone to a blissfully happy married life.
    Wish you all the best.

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Thank you very much Malik!! :)

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