Outdoors

Portraits in Beach & Coastal Locations

Having your family or engagement photos taken in an outdoor location requires a lot more planning than showing up for a photoshoot in a studio but you don’t have to worry because I’m here to guide you through choosing the best times for your favourite locations.

  • Bright and Vibrant

  • Whites, Beige, Greens, Aqua, and Blues

  • Go for light, bright, solid colours

  • Mornings or Afternoons

Beaches and Coastal locations differ greatly from Brisbane through to Redcliffe, Bribie Island and the Sunshine Coast.  If you are looking for just nice sandy beaches without people try Red Beach on the southern tip of Bribie Island, which is well suited for late afternoon walks along white sands and into driftwood and paperbark trees.  Want rock pools for nice reflection head to Dicky Beach on the Sunshine Coast.  Shorncliffe has one of the best piers and offers diverse photo opportunities along with playgrounds for the little ones.

Beaches and coastal areas are so diverse with many different backdrops, from bright skies, rocky headlands, piers, open woodlands, and golden sands.  This means a variety of looks can be achieved and sometimes all in the one location.  Light, bright and solid colours work best at the beach so keep it fun and fresh.

Early mornings or late afternoons are best ti visit the coast as the light is a lot softer and warmer to achieve that lovely soft warm glow.  If you are looking for bold and saturated colours it is best to shoot late morning or early afternoon when the sun is high so you can get deep blue skies.  Just remember the downside to this can be harsh shadow and squinting eyes.


Portraits in Parks and Garden Locations

Having your family or engagement photos taken in an outdoor location requires a lot more planning than showing up for a photoshoot in a studio but you don’t have to worry because I’m here to guide you through choosing the best times for your favourite locations.

  • Bright and Vibrant

  • Greens, and Yellows

  • Wear light colours to pop

  • Any time of the day

Your local park is the perfect place to have your family or engagement portraits.  The gardens are well manicured and you can always find a wonderfully soft patch of grass to throw out a picnic rug.  There are hundreds of parks in the greater Moreton Bay region and beyond, but a few of my favourites are Centenary Lakes in Caboolture, Lake Eden in North Lakes, and Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens.

Photos taken in parks and gardens are generally going to be bright and vibrant with lots of green to fill out the background, so you will want to wear something light and bright that will pop against the dark green backdrops.  There is usually a variety of backgrounds, walkways, and bridges to use in your photos and with so much variety and activity it will be quite fun and give great opportunity for candid images.

To avoid harsh overhead light, these locations are best shot early morning and late afternoon.  At these times you can expect nice golden light which is perfect for backlighting and flares.  Suffice to say you could still shoot here at any time of day as you can always find great leafy canopies to help soften the light.


Portraits in Rainforest Locations

Having your family or engagement photos taken in an outdoor location requires a lot more planning than showing up for a photoshoot in a studio but you don’t have to worry because I’m here to guide you through choosing the best times for your favourite locations.

  • Dark and Moody

  • Greens, Browns, Greys and Black

  • Wear brighter colours to contrast

  • Mid-Morning to Mid-Afternoon

Head to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland for amazing rainforest locations such as Kondalilla Falls or Mary Cairncross Reserve.  You will come across some wonderful elements such as interesting tree trunks to pose against, rocks and boulders to sit on, pathways and bridged to lead into the scene, and not forgetting waterfalls and streams.

The rainforests are typically dark and moody with hues of browns, greens and blacks, so choose brighter colours that contrast with the dark greens of the background.

Rainforests are great at any time of day as the sunlight doesn't change dramatically under the dense canopies.  On sunny days you may get a lot of dappled light and pockets of light shining down like spotlights.

Alternatively, if the weather is overcast and verging on light showers, your images will tend to be softer and more evenly lit without harsh lighting and shadows.  I feel that the middle hours of the day are well suited to a rainforest photoshoot.


Bronwyn & Peter: Kurwongbah

Meet Bronwyn and Peter, a young couple who met online and hit it off. 

I wanted to try something different for this engagement session with Bronwyn and Peter so after the shoot I sat down with each of them and recorded the stories of how they met, their first impressions, and how Peter proposed.  The video above is the first of these personalised slideshows that I have created and I hope to do more in the future.


 

    

Katrina: Urban Maternity Shoot in Caboolture

 
Just a few photos from our maternity shoot with the ever talented and patient Stuart C Photography. The hardest part of the whole process is deciding on which photos to put on our walls - Brenton and I just love them! FYI - Gids had the absolute BEST time playing in the leaves and collecting sticks in the bush!
— Katrina
 

Katrina came to me asking for an urban style maternity shoot, her last maternity shoot was at the Power House but this time wanted something different and a bit closer to home.  I spent quite a few nights pondering locations and then headed out on a weekend mission to find the right locations around Caboolture. 

We met up in the centre of town where I had found three very different spots in the one area.  Katrina's parents came along to the photoshoot which was excellent as they could chase after the little guy when he wasn't particularly interested in being in front of the camera.  

After the shoot and the first selection of images were edited, we all met up again at a local cafe for the reveal, it is so nice to see the reactions in person.


Brian & Tash: Family Photos at Home

Outdoor family photo at dusk in home garden setting

Sometimes the best place to take family photos is at home; yes in the familiar surrounds of your own backyard.  Home is generally a relaxing environment, perfect for children to just be themselves in their own space and perhaps oblivious to the person behind the camera.  I spent the afternoon and evening with Brian, Tash and the twins in their very green back yard.

First up we spent some time in the vege patch while the kids were warming up to me, instead of jumping straight into posed photos we let the kids show me around the garden.  The two photos of Father and Son picking peanuts and Mother and Daughter picking flowers are some of my favourites from the afternoon as they show both the bond between them and to the environment.  After we had explored the vege patches I set up a nice family shot between the flower beds and captured a mixture of natural and posed photos.  The background may be a little unconventional but I like that the plain grey of the shed walls make the colours pop and all focus is on Brian, Tash and the kids.     

I like to include props and activities in my family photos, here we used a vintage push bike and sidecar which the kids love to ride around in, I jumped on it to with the twins for a bit of a laugh.  The bike has been in the family circle for many years and was gifted from a close family friend, i'm sure there are some photos of Brian sitting in the sidecar when he was a child.   

Props and activities also lead to some great candid moments where the children forget about the camera and do what kids do best; Play.  dad is a tinkerer and spends a lot of time in the shed with these two so we set up a spot in the shed with tools and a small engine.  With the scene set we left the twins to their own devices and watched the play time unfold, sure enough just like dad they are on the tools and having a blast.


Rachel & James: Buckley's Hole, Bribie Island

Engaged couple sunset at the beach, bribie island

Rachel and James met me at Buckley's Hole on the southern tip of Bribie Island for an afternoon portrait sessions.  We started off in and around the waterhole where the warm afternoon light filtered through the long grass before we hit the beach for the sunset.

Buckley's Hole is home to many species of waterbird and features a neat bird hide in amongst the pathways and boardwalks.  One of the pathways leads to the western facing beach, perfect for late afternoon portrait photos.


Ashleigh & Damon: Lake Eden, North Lakes

Golden light filtering through her red hair as she looks into her fiances eyes

Ashleigh and Damon were awesome, really playful young couple who came out to Lake Eden for a bit of fun.  The session started out with a stroll along the pathways and a bit of getting to know each other, the golden afternoon light was filtering through the trees behind so I set up with shot of Ashleigh staring intently into Damons eyes - one of my all time favourite images.

As the afternoon sun passed we moved to a nearby tunnel where the footpath traverses under the road above.  Here I set up some lights to make the purple graffiti pop from the background.  I finished off the session using just natural light and my Fuji XT1 camera, the skin tones and light fall off from this camera are just spot on. 


Rashid Family: Centenary Lakes, Caboolture

Lara & Jason: Red Beach Bribie Island

Engaged couple looking over guys shoulder with golden light from behind

Red Beach is one of my favourite spots to visit, located at the southern tip of Bribie Island it makes for some fantastic afternoon portrait sessions.  While it is generally not sheltered from the weather, the tree lined dunes filter the afternoon sun perfectly making for some great bokeh.  

Lara and Jason met me there one sunny afternoon for an engagement portrait session and we were delighted with golden sunlight through the dark paperbark trees.  The image at the top of the page is my favourite from the portrait session; I like the light and airy feel from the golden sunlight filtering through the sea haze behind them.  The lens flair was not intentional but brings a feeling of warmth and retro charm to the shot.  The connection Lara has with the camera dominates the composition and draws your attention.

 
Thanks for your time today Stuart, it was great meeting you! Lara and I loved the setting and the shots.
— Jason