outdoors

Fletcher Family Beach Portraits | Noosa National Park

Flether Family | Noosa National Park

Everyone is home for Christmas, an opportune time for family portraits.

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I met the entire Fletcher family at Noosa Heads National Park early one morning between Christmas and New Years for an extended family portrait session at the beach.  We chose the sheltered cove of Tea Tree Beach as it is accessible for all ages and has a great mixture of backgrounds from the ocean to rocks and bush. 

Not always but most of the time, babies and toddlers are fairly well behaved after a nap and a feed so we decided an early morning would be best to kick off.  Tea Tree cove is fairly well sheltered from direct light of the morning which provided some great soft open light and plenty of opportunities to change backgrounds and still have nice light all around.

It’s not often the whole family comes together, usually this happens around holiday events or significant birthdays or life events.  Here, everyone had gathered at Bryan and Roses house at Noosa for the Christmas and New Years period.  We had grandparents up from Melbourne, one family from Brisbane and another family from London.  What was extra special about this Christmas was that the two grand children were able to play together for the first time.

I had a list of photos from Byran and Rose of what they wanted from the photoshoot, the standard group shot and then breaking down into the smaller family groups.  We started off with some candid images while everyone settled into the location before setting up the more structured groupings.  Of course there are no hard and fast schedules to be followed so I am always open to requests and ideas from all family members.  Once we were finished with the formalities it was time to have a bit more play time at the beach and capture some natural portraits of everyone.

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It was made clear at the time of booking that there was a limited window of time to edit and reveal the images and process and print the favourite portraits.  In a few days following the portrait session I revisited the Fletcher family at home and projected a slideshow on their TV.  I carry sample printed products with me to the photoshoot and also to the image reveal and ordering sessions to give an idea of the features and qualities of each product.

Each family took home either a Canvas Print or a Wood Print along with a USB stick containing all the edited images from the session.  Prints can take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks to process as each image is further enhanced for the chosen print medium.    


Stuart Cox from Stuart C Photography is a professional photographer who works with children and families in the outdoors to create awesome artwork for you to keep and display in your home forever. Based in Caboolture, North of Brisbane towards the Sunshine Coast.  Family Portrait Sessions are typically held on Saturdays in a location of your choice.  A quality range of options for displaying your family portraits are available, whether you are looking for something small such as a matted print or an acrylic tile, an heirloom album or large wall art.  Family Portrait Sessions start at $95 and your choice of prints and products range from $50 per print and up to $995 for a 40x60” Canvas print for your wall.


Rigby Family Portraits | Lake Eden, North Lakes

Rigby Family Photos

A morning out at Lake Eden, North Lakes

Running and action family portrait at Lake Eden North Lakes

Lake Eden in the heart of North Lakes on Brisbanes North Side is a wonderful place to bring the family and a great place to take family portraits. I have photographed Tenniel, Michael and Alexis previously and it is always a delight to catch up again for another portrait session and follow as the kids grow up.

There are many spots around Lake Eden to use as a backdrop for your family portraits at any time of day. We started at the deck over the water before moving onto the bridge, the open field and finally in among the dappled light of the huge fig tree near the playground.

Tenniel took advantage of the Christmas Gift promotion and chose six 8x10” Matted Prints to give to family as Christmas Presents, and of course keep a few for herself.

 
We love them all and everyone was hugely impressed by their Christmas presents too!! Thank you so much!!
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Stuart Cox from Stuart C Photography is a professional photographer who works with children and families in the outdoors to create awesome artwork for you to keep and display in your home forever. Based in Caboolture, North of Brisbane towards the Sunshine Coast.  Family Portrait Sessions are typically held on Saturdays in a location of your choice.  A quality range of options for displaying your family portraits are available, whether you are looking for something small such as a matted print or an acrylic tile, an heirloom album or large wall art.  Family Portrait Sessions start at $95 and your choice of prints and products range from $50 per print and up to $995 for a 40x60” Canvas print for your wall.


McBride Family Photos | Centenary Lakes, Caboolture

McBride Family Photos

An afternoon adventure at Centenary Lakes, Caboolture

I met Suzy, Fred and their two adorable boys at Centenary Lakes in Caboolture for a photoshoot full of fun and adventure. We moved around the lakes from spot to spot chasing the sunlight and working through a range of activities to create some lovely family moments.

family portrait of brothers sitting on a vintage timber crate at Centenary lakes Caboolture
Thanks for a relaxed afternoon taking photos of our family. Our 3 year old quickly warmed to you and you were patient with him when the crazies kicked in.
Dad and sons pretending to fish at Centenary Lakes Caboolture

Suzy mentioned that Rowan loves to go fishing so they brought along his fishing rod. These made for some great moments between Fred and his boys as they pretended to fish in the lake.

family portrait in golden sunlight at Centenary Lakes, Caboolture
We now have some lovely photos and your print products are high quality. Looking forward to working with you again to capture our extended family. Thanks again.
 
Acrylic tiles with printed image
 

There are many options available to display your favourite photos and for Suzy and Fred, the best way was a story box of ten 8x10” Matted Prints and a pair of unique Acrylic Tiles for Suzy’s desk at work.


Stuart Cox from Stuart C Photography is a professional photographer who works with children and families in the outdoors to create awesome artwork for you to keep and display in your home forever. Based in Caboolture, North of Brisbane towards the Sunshine Coast.  Family Portrait Sessions are typically held on Saturdays in a location of your choice.  A quality range of options for displaying your family portraits are available, whether you are looking for something small such as a matted print or an acrylic tile, an heirloom album or large wall art.  Family Portrait Sessions start at $95 and your choice of prints and products range from $50 per print and up to $995 for a 40x60” Canvas print for your wall.


Brooks Family: Beerwah and Maleny Family Portraits

Brooks Family Photos

Rural scenes from Beerwah and Maleny

Meet the Brooks Family, Matt, Jess, James, and Henry. We spent an afternoon together close to home in Beerwah before heading to Maleny to capture sunset portraits.

Before the shoot Jess downloaded the preparation guide to Outdoor Family Photography which covers locations, what to wear, how to prepare, and explains each step of the portrait process from start to finish.

Jess was after a Rural and Bushland setting and had in mind the idea of a sunset with the Glass House Mountains in the background. I knew of the perfect spot for the sunset photos but wanted to find somewhere else that was quieter for James to run around. I spent quite a few hours scouting online before setting off to visit the shortlist of locations. We started the photo shoot close to home, down the end of their street.

James is very cheeky and quick. He is so hard to capture a good photo that’s not blurred
 
 

At the end of a very long quiet dirt road we were able to ease gently into the photo shoot. I needed to make James comfortable and trust me, we bonded over dinosaurs and played little games to keep his interest. I had the above image planned out and prepared a vintage timber crate to sit on, I love how the rows of macadamia trees in the grove give contrast to the bright golden sunlight coming in from the side.

Henry, well he’s just a chubba!
 
 

We moved on from the dirt road in Beerwah to a fantastic roadside spot at Maleny that overlooks the Glass House Mountains just in time for sundown. The weather had been quite patchy in the lead up to the shoot but the sky put on some really nice colours. Again we played games, ran about, and captured some authentic family moments as the light faded.

An online gallery was created for Jess and Matt who chose their ten favourite images for a Matted Print Box. These boxes are a great way to store and display you images for many years to come, you can even frame the individual prints to hand on your wall or place on a shelf.


 
Preparation Guide to Outdoor Family Photography
 

What to wear to your Outdoor Portrait Session

There are many approaches to dressing for your portrait session and I generally take a casual approach to suit the location and activity.  I want to open up some new ideas, concepts and general rules of thumb to help you choose what to wear and look your best in for your next outdoor portrait session. 

 
  • Confident yet Comfortable

  • Suits the Activity and Location

  • Complimentary, Not Matching

  • Avoid Logos and Text

You want to look your best for your photoshoot session but you also want to be comfortable in what you are wearing because if you feel uncomfortable, you will most like look uncomfortable.  Dress for the occasion, activity or location; a tight dress and heels isn't going to work for a day at the beach, but would be perfect for an urban setting.

 

Think about how the colours and styles will look in your home

 

Think about the location and the activity and what you would normally wear, then step it up just a little with some attention to detail and coordination.  

Take for instance a photoshoot at the beach wearing shorts and t-shirts with thongs or sandshoes.  Now pick three bright colours and  a base colour that work well together.  Mix them up between shorts, shirts and accessories so not everyone is wearing the exact same thing but there is still connection.

If that's too much colour, perhaps you could choose one colour that everyone would wear, whether it be pants, a shirt, a head band, or a scarf.  I believe there should be something in common, but not the same item, to connect everyone in the image.

Pay attention to the details by making sure your clothes are clean and lint free, shirts have been ironed and don't have large creases, buttons and zips are intact, bra straps are hidden, and tags have been removed.

I always recommend that you avoid large logos, text and images where possible because they can date an image and be very distracting to the viewer.


Download the Outdoor Family Photography preparation guide

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Portraits in Urban 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, Dark and Moody, Gritty

  • Greys, Browns, Blacks, Whites, and Bold Colours

  • Be bold with patterns or colours

  • Any time of day and night

It's quite surprising what you can find close to home.  I find urban locations to be quite intimate places featuring rough walls and textures.  It's hard to beat the Powerhouse at Newstead but if you look closely, hidden gems can be found close to home.

Urban areas are often quite drab with shades of greys and browns, sometimes covered in graffiti or overgrown greenery, or you may find walls covered in bright solid colours.  Bright and bold clothing, both in colour and pattern, lend themselves well to Urban backgrounds.

These locations are typically shaded and dark but you can find the off open area that will get some rays, however most of the time will be in soft light or artificial light such as flashes.

A variety or moods can be created within an urban setting such as light and bright, warm and intimate, cool, dark and grungy.  You should be able to shoot at anytime of the day or night but it depends on how you want your image to look and feel, and also what best suits your desired urban hang out.


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.


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.


 

    

My Children: Newstead House, Newstead

Kids running down stairs in traditional cottage garden. Outdoor family photos Caboolture Photographer Family Photography

One thing you can never have enough of is photos of your kids, they grow so quickly.  

This year my wife Kathy has asked me to keep up the photos of the kids and do at least one proper photo shoot a month of the two of them.  Every year we have made ourselves a photo book with images of them doing all kinds of activities and visiting places near and far.  

This month we headed to Newstead House, one to learn about local history and secondly they have fantastic manicured gardens everywhere.  Technically I'm not allowed to shoot there with out a permit for a paid gig, but as it's personal it didn't really matter so much.

I'll definitely be printing these images to be hung around the house.


Merchant Family: Shorncliffe Pier

Boys will be boys, lined up at the handrail near Shorncliff Pier

Boys will be boys - like herding cats but you can't beat candid and natural moments

You don't have to apologise for your children not following instructions or sitting still and posing perfectly for the camera - that just isn't going to happen.  Just embrace it, run with it, see what they do and be quick to capture.

I spent the morning with these boys, all cousins from three families and it was chaos but it was great; They couldn't sit still no matter how hard everyone tried.  But sometimes that makes for fun photos, candid memories of kids being kids - playing, exploring, completely oblivious to the camera.  

I have young children myself so I know what it's like; don't be embarrassed, don't apologise, don't worry - I've got this.   


Van Gosliga Family: Lake Eden, Northlakes

Adult family portrait at dusk under jacaranda tree

Over the past year or so I have built a good relationship with Rex.  Rex owns and runs a cafe local to my office, I drink a lot of coffee so I see him regularly.  One afternoon we arranged to meet down at Lake Eden, Northlakes for a family portrait session - these images were from session number 2 as we rescheduled due to being rained out on the first attempt.

After previous experimentation with flash, soft boxes and dusk lighting, we decided at the end of the session to keep shooting into the falling light.  While they aren't natural looking outdoor photos that I would normally take, I do like how everyone pops off the dark background and the rest of the light at the edges falls off.   


Becky & Dan: Mary Cairncross Park, Maleny

Tight crop of Becky and Dan sitting in long green grass

What a place, what a vista.  Mary Cairncross Park on the way to Maleny in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland offers up some amazing views of the Glass House Mountains to the south as well as a fantastic park, playground, and of course Mary Cairncross Park with its kilometers of boardwalks and pathways through the rain forest to explore.

Becky and Dan along with their daughter came up for an afternoon family portrait session and a play in the park.  The weather was starting to turn a little grey but I reckon that just adds mood to the images, it certainly didn't put a damper on the shoot.