Because you and your family are the stars of this photo shoot, choose a location which brings out the best in all of you. It’s got to be somewhere which makes you happy and that you would love as the backdrop for your photos. Choose something personal which has meaning for you. The best backdrops are generally the cleanest, least busy places.
Melbourne Family Photography Beach Locations
The beach is an obvious great choice for a family photography session. There are plenty of places which are fairly empty at sunset, which is the best time of day for a photo shoot. Beaches are calming and there’s plenty of sand and seashells to keep the kiddies entertained! You could also take along some beach toys which will really keep them busy! Keep in mind that it does mean there’s going to be a bit of a sandy mess if you do – but it still looks great in photos! Best of all, you get to walk barefoot through the sand and sea. Combine the beach with some rockfaces or the stunning Melbourne piers.
There are so many beautiful beaches in Melbourne to choose from. If you can’t think of one, we can help you out with some choices. Some of our favourite beach photography spots include Half Moon Bay, Brighton Beach (using the beach boxes), Port Melbourne Beach, Saint Kilda Beach and Chelsea Beach.
Half Moon Bay Beach
There are two sides to this popular beach which is approximately 30 minutes drive from Melbourne’s CBD. If you take a left when you head down to the beach, there’s a quiet part of the beach. This is mainly due to the fact that it’s smaller than the main area, that the toilet facilities are further away, that the cafe is further away and that it consists of a lot of rocks. These rocks make a great photo backdrop by the way.
The main area of Half Moon Bay is usually packed full of people whenever the weather is nice. We hardly ever shoot there – but the beach empties fast during the evening sunset times. Winter is also a great time for a photography session in that area. What we do use is the beautiful rockface which is a few minutes walk along the beach. This is popular at times but it’s always less crowded due to the distance away from the amenities and the cafe. This rockface landscape offers a great backdrop for photography sessions as well as the view out towards the sea.
This is a great spot for those wanting to incorporate the colourful beach boxes in their family photo shoot. It’s such a popular spot for the locals and visitors to the area so some patience will be required as we wait for the right moments to get our shots. The city skyline is also visible from Brighton Beach and we can also use the clean horizon of the sea as the backdrop. Sunset time is best for beach photo shoots. It’s also quieter during this time as there are no cafes in the area which means that most head home for dinner.
Port Melbourne Beach
Don’t you love a beach which is so close to the city? You would think that’s it’s always crazy busy but it’s beautifully quiet at times, especially sunset when you need some space for your family photo shoot. The city makes a great backdrop and sometimes the Spirit of Tasmania is in the port. Shooting towards the sea and gives us a clear view of the horizon. The walkway is lined with palm trees for a more tropical city feel.
Saint Kilda Beach
This is another beach close to Melbourne’s CBD. It can get really busy at times but people normally venture away for dinner at sunset which gives us space for photo shoots. The Saint Kilda Pier is an amazing spot for photos but there is hardly ever a time when there is nobody else there. Sunrise is the only time you’ll get the pier empty but not everyone is keen for a sunrise photo shoot! There are also large rocks which run alongside the Saint Kilda Pier which is a great spot for photos. The end of the pier is also a great photography spot, with the great looking kiosk and more rocks to walk along on.
Chelsea Beach is a beautiful, minimalistic beach for a relaxed family photo shoot. The water is crystal clear there. At low tide, you can swim or wade out to a sand ridge which is not too far from the shore and walk along with it. On the beach, there are a couple of beach boxes for some added colour. The fancy-looking beach-front properties are great for a backdrop. The sand dunes on the beach are pretty, with long grass and a field of golden daisy flowers makes for a very pretty picture in the summer.
Parks and Gardens In Melbourne for Family Photography
There is a park for every type of family photography in Melbourne. Designed landscapes or rough bushland – you have the choice.
The Royal Botanical Gardens
One of the most beautiful gardens in Melbourne is the Botanical Garden in South Yarra. There are so many gorgeous spots within the Botanical Gardens for your family photography session. There’s Guilfoyle’s Volcano which is a water reservoir with a plant-lined boardwalk leading up to the top. The view of the city is lovely from the top. The lakes and islands make for pretty backdrops. There are palm trees and rainforest. In spring, there are flowers galore!
Around the outside of the Botanical Garden are some wonderful floral installations. The Domain Garden nearby is always luscious and green and the very pretty Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden is a popular spot for photography. Please check if permits are needed to have your family photography session there.
The Carlton Gardens
This is a very popular spot for any type of photography and is normally busy on the weekends with bride and grooms and other couples. It’s also perfect for your family photography location. There is the tree-lined path, a cute little lake, the flower garden, the impressive main fountain (which you see in most Carlton Garden photos) and the Carlton Exhibition Building itself. This garden calls for a bit more smart-casual or sophisticated styling compared to other gardens as the Carlton Exhibition Building and the fountain look very grand.
The Fitzroy Gardens
The Fitzroy Gardens offers so many different areas for your family photography session. The well-maintained garden on the outskirts of Melbourne’s CBD looks spectacular all year long. There are flowers in bloom all year long and the autumn leaves turn the garden golden in autumn. Winter can get a bit wet and slushy as most gardens do, but great photos in the Fitzroy Gardens can be produced throughout the year. Photo sessions on the weekends might see you fighting for the most popular spaces with brides and their grooms. Dress up as much as you like or come casual for your family photography session in the Fitzroy Gardens.
St Kilda Botanical Gardens
This garden has the nicest collection of roses close to Melbourne’s CBD. There are so many little photography spots within the St Kilda Botanical Gardens. It’s a popular birthday party and wedding venue. The gazebos are a nice feature to use but may be busy with weddings during the weekend. There are palm tree-lined paths and large trees which children can climb and an ornamental pond. The tall hedges are also great as a backdrop. Late afternoon until sunset is the best time for this well-lit garden. This garden is a great spot for a picnic style photography session. You can also choose to dress up for a photo shoot here.
Westerfolds Park in Templestowe is beautiful all year long for your family photos. There are no flowers here, just luscious green scenery with fallen down trees and curious wildlife. This is a popular running and walking spot for the locals and there’s hardly ever another photo shoot happening at the same time! You will be required to walk a little so if you’re wanting to wear heels, bring a pair of flat shoes to walk around in! There are walking paths but it’s mostly unpaved. Dogs are welcome but must be on a lead at all times. This is for the protection of the wildlife in the park as well as for the protection of the dogs due to the snakes in the area! Don’t worry, we’ve photographed there many times and have not seen one yet. Just be careful in the long grass!
Ruffey Lake Park
This gorgeous park in Doncaster is a great location for family photography sessions. There are evergreen trees and trees which change colour with the seasons. In spring, you can find plenty of blossoms! There’s a huge lake which houses wild ducks and other birds in the middle of the park and a few spots where you can enjoy a picnic and watch the cockatoos feeding. There are flat areas as well as hills to climb. There are enough park areas so finding a spot just for you and your family won’t be hard. Ruffey Lake Park is a great space where we will be able to produce plenty of beautiful images of your family.
Cranbourne Royal Botanic Gardens
Want something a bit different? The Australian Outback within Melbourne – red desert and sand so close. A great spot for some family photography. A bit further away from the city but worth a visit.
City Family Photography Locations
Studley Park Boathouse
A photoshoot should not be a photoshoot – make it a fun trip out. How about a rowing trip on the Yarra River at the Studley Park Boathouse. It makes a great adventure and great photos. Consider that you need a bit more time to shoot here when you want to get in the boat. There is also. beautiful bridge over the Yarra – a perfect photo spot.
Close to the city is the Abbottsford Convent which is just beautiful for some family photos. You can combine it with a visit to the Collingwood Childrens Farm. Lost of amazing backdrops hide in this Melbourne Gem.
Melbourne has so many laneways and street art which make a perfect backdrop. Combine it with a visit in a funky cafe. Hosier Lane will be the most popular one and you could just go to Federation Square – the Melbourne icon after. (Tip: When you go behind the buildings ofFed Square you get the architecture for yourself – after this venture to Birrarung Marr and take in the Yarra and beautiful park grounds with the skyline in the back.)
Want a modern take on your family photography. Yachts, modern architecture, skyscrapers & a modern harbour creates a beautiful backdrop for your photo shoot. It’s usually not very busy and especially at sunset times, you get beautiful light. Definitely a location for some stunning photography. Maybe go on a Ferris wheel ride on the Melbourne Star and capture some stunning images from above. When you go close to the Bolte Bridge you have a wonderful view of the city skyline.
Olympic Park & AAMI Stadium
A modern building with some stunning architecture. Lots of steps and different viewpoints. Just make sure you go there when there is no event or game on.
Further out of Melbourne? You find great remote spots for your family photos!
You don’t need to travel far to get some great family photography locations – but when you do you will get rewarded with some fantastic locations. It’s a bit of effort to travel there – styled outfits and a great location is ideal the ultimate family photography shoot. Here are some ideas:
- Sherbrooke Forest in the Dandenongs
- Vineyards in the Yarra Valley
- Sanddunes in Wilsons Prom
- Point Nepean
- Cape Schanck
- Merricks Beach
- Cherry Farm on the Mornington Peninsula in Redhill
- Warrandyte State Park
These are some of our top picks for photography locations for kids and family photography. There are so many beautiful parks around Melbourne to choose from. Maybe you have somewhere special in mind where you would like your family photography session. We’d love to hear from you!