How lucky are we, getting to live on the beautiful Central Coast! It has so many beautiful spots, that we are really spoilt for choice when it comes to possible locations for photography. It really depends on your preference – do you love the beach? If it's a big fat yes from your side be prepared to walk through sand, and maybe even a few stairs to get to the perfect spot, as some of the best locations may not be in plain sight. You ideally want to choose a beach that is not highly frequented – you may not feel comfortable to have spectators watching on, and having a lot of people in the background makes photos and the editing process unnecessarily challenging, unless you love strangers photobombing your photos!
As long as you're not worried about getting sandy feet and a bit of sand or dirt on your dress (trust us - if you're uncomfortable it will show in your photos), a beach location can be the perfect choice. Afternoon light is usually the best and less harsh, so you want to time your wedding schedule accordingly for your photographer to capture the beautiful late afternoon golden glow. You can simply stroll along the beach, climb onto the rocks or if you are more adventurous and playful, splash each other at the edge of the water. We are certainly up for anything and don't mind getting our feet wet for the perfect shot.
We have done some beautiful shoots on the beach – it's always a popular choice for wedding couples and families.
If you love the ocean but are not keen on carrying sand back to your reception, there are other options to include water views. We've worked with a bride that really wanted the ocean as her backdrop in the bridal shoot, but the wind and sand would make her eyes itch, so we chose to shoot at a jetty and lakeside location instead. This also meant less walking, which is something you should consider when you are strapped for time or have people that are less mobile with you. Another beautiful way to capture the ocean without braving the elements too much is choosing a lookout or location overlooking the water as your photo location. Luckily there are plenty to choose from, whether you are on the Southern or Northern part of the Central Coast.
The lush greens of the bush are a stunning backdrop as well, not just here on the Central Coast. We love shooting areas with indirect light and a bit of shade – the light is so flattering and on a hot day you will be grateful for getting out of the sun for a bit. To get to the really magical spots you usually need to be prepared for a bit of a walk, so bring a comfy pair of shoes for the walking part! However, sometimes a line of trees that is easily accessible – a public park, your backyard or even a pretty driveway – might do the trick, too. But don't be discouraged if you're not up for the exercise or are short on time - an experienced photographer will be able to make the most out of almost any location.
How amazing are waterfalls as your photo backdrop! A favourite of ours – but, in most cases, they require quite a bit of walking, and your timeline needs to allow enough time to get there and do the shoot. You will certainly be rewarded with beautiful images though! However, not every couple is willing to spend hours away from their guests on their wedding day to have their photos taken. A shoot at the waterfall definitely requires more time, due to their usually remote locations. If you love the setting but can't find enough time in your wedding schedule, how about booking an engagement shoot there instead, like our couple below?
We also love it when our clients have unusual ideas or requests, too – it really gets the creativity going! The dance photo shoot with the waterfall as the backdrop was challenging for all sides, but so much fun, and we ended up with some amazing and unique photos.
One thing important to do is research – certain locations, landmarks or national parks will require you to pay a fee or permit to photograph there. Please don't leave it up to your photographer to organize! If there is a fee involved (whether it is for parking, council fees or the use of a private property) it is your responsibility to cover the cost, unless arranged otherwise. There's nothing more embarrassing than rocking up to a shoot and then be refused entry or be send away mid shoot. You certainly don't need that kind of stress on your wedding day!
So, how do you choose your perfect photo location for your wedding photos here on the Coast and beyond? Your first step is to find the right wedding venue for you. If you have ceremony and reception at the same location we usually have more time for photos, as we don't have to travel in between, but this doesn't mean you shouldn't choose different locations you fell in love with! Different locations can give you more diverse photos, and as long as you time your wedding schedule right - leaving a bigger gap in between ceremony and reception - no location change should be an issue. You have to choose your venue to suit you – of course, it has to fit in your budget, but in the end it will be your heart that will let you know you have found the right one. Once you have secured your venue your photographer will help you choose suitable photography locations. You may have some ideas, but the experience your photographer brings to the table will definitely help narrow down options and also let you know if something won't work.
You might really love to have different photo locations, but your wedding timeline is only allowing an hour for the bridal shoot. Sorry to say, but unless you have wings (wish we did!) you won't make them all and you may need to compromise or rethink your plans. It is good to have several locations in mind, but you may only be able to choose your favourite one when time is sparse. Once we know what kind of setting a couple likes we go into scouting mode ourselves, to try and find beautiful locations that suit both their brief and the timeline of the day.
A lot of couples underestimate the time it takes to get from one location to another, plus any delay in your formalities affects the running of the rest of your day. We are all only human – the bride may want to grab a quick drink, someone needs a toilet, a groomsman is running late, the wedding car hasn't found a parking spot, someone gets lost on the way... you get the picture.
With weddings you have to be prepared things don't always run smoothly and according to plan, so please consider this when you work out the timeline and leave a little wiggle room here and there, so you don't get stressed. We are always happy to help our couples with working out a timeline of the wedding day – after all, if we don't get enough time for photos with you, you might miss out on images you really wanted. And we certainly want you to be happy and relaxed in our photos, not to worry that you might miss the entrees because of time slipping away.
Wedding planning can be overwhelming, and being spoilt for choice can lead to more confusion. Rest assured we, as well as your other wedding suppliers, are always happy to help find options that will actually work with your wedding plans. Ultimately though, it all depends on you – choose a location together that represents you and speaks to you. Maybe it is a place that has special meaning to you, where you got engaged, had a date or love going together. If you are comfortable in a place it will help you be yourself and relax in front of our camera. Your energy and connection will transpire into your photos and will give you those candid images you dream of.
Do you have a favourite location here on the Central Coast? We'd love to hear your thoughts!