Sydney is ridiculously beautiful! With iconic architecture, spectacular harbour views, soft white beaches, lush green parks and gardens, street art and forgotten enchanted graveyards there is so much to see. On top of that the sun shines almost every day which makes Sydney the perfect city for an outdoor portrait session with natural sun light. The endless amount of possibilities makes it very hard to choose the right portrait location. This post serves as inspiration and guide for Sydney’s most beautiful portrait session locations.
Disclaimer: The places mentioned below are listed in no particular order.
1. Sydney Opera House
Why not start with the obvious? The Opera House is a fantastic place to take photos. I discover new angles, corners and perspectives every time I shoot there. It really never gets boring. The light is just as gorgeous in the mornings as it is in the evenings. I recommend it for small groups and couples as well as for everyone who wants a modern and fashionable angle in their photos.
2. Milsons Point
Milsons Point’s main selling point is the stunning harbour views with none of the crowds. It is located on the opposite side of the harbour bridge and offers therefore a great view over the Sydney CBD skyline, harbour bridge and Opera House – at the same time.
3. Royal Botanic Gardens
Right next to the Opera House are the Botanic Gardens. Thanks to their proximity to the Opera House these two locations can be combined in one portrait session.
The Botanic Gardens are always a great option. Throughout the whole year there are flowers blossoming. Roses in winter, tulips in spring, sunflowers in summer – every season offers something different. There is always a quiet romantic corner or a shady tree to take beautiful photos at. I can recommend this place to couples who want a whimsical and romantic atmosphere. It’s also great for kids as there is plenty of space to run around and discover flowers, birds or eels in the pond.
4. Lady Macquarie’s Chair
This place is located right next to the Botanic Gardens and could possibly be combined with the first two locations in one portrait sessions. It offers nice harbour views with the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in the backdrop. There are beautiful old and majestic fig trees that are iconic for Sydney. Recommended for everyone and anytime but preferably relatively close to sunset.
5. Observatory Hill
Observatory Hill is probably the most popular spot for wedding photos in Sydney and there are good reasons for it: First of all, there is the spectacular view over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Secondly, it’s never too busy and the park with its old trees is just so very pretty! Recommended especially for people who want to bring their dog along with them and for families and couples alike.
6. The Rocks
The Rocks are the old part of Sydney with buildings from the first settlements, old pubs and some history museums. Its narrow streets, small cafes and old historical houses are perfect for everyone who wants a backdrop unique for Sydney and prefers an urban atmosphere over parks and gardens. Taking photos in the Rocks can be combined with photos at Observatory Hill and directly at the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
7. Harbour Bridge
Also a classic – the Harbour Bridge. Taking photos there can be combined with either the Opera House stairs or with The Rocks + Observatory Hill.
8. Sydney’s Inner West – Newtown
Sydney’s Inner west isn’t the first location that comes to mind for a portrait session although it is one of my absolute favourites! I lived in Newtown for a year and I never stopped discovering new places. There is unique street art on every corner, beautiful parks with lakes and even an enchanted sailor’s graveyard! The inner west with its little alley ways and walls is great for modern head shots and the street art can give your portraits a fashionable and modern edge. The parks and graveyard are wonderful locations for a magical and whimsical atmosphere. Newtown is amazing no matter what time of year or day it is (although the hour before sunset is always the most beautiful one):
9. Bondi Beach
Another iconic location in Sydney is Bondi Beach. No other place depicts the Australian lifestyle better than Bondi Beach: Sun bathing, sunshine, ice cream, exercise and of course – surfing.
The best time for a portrait session at Bondi Beach is before sunset or in the early morning on a sunny week day, ideally off-season.
10. Blackwoods Beach
Blackwoods Beach in Cronulla in the South of Sydney, the Sutherland Shire is the perfect spot for a romantic sunrise portrait session. It’s small and private which is great news for everyone who gets a little self conscious in front of a camera. It’s only a ten minutes walk from Cronulla station which makes this beach easy to reach by public transport.
11. Greenhills Beach
Also in the Shire, this beach stretches endlessly far along soft sand dunes. Greenhills beach is one of Sydney’s most beautiful beaches in the nature. It’s a perfect spot at sunrise and sunset and it’s dog-friendly too!