The Northern Beaches of Sydney are renowned for their natural beauty, pristine coastline, and picturesque settings, making them an ideal backdrop for unforgettable family portraits. In this ultimate guide, we will explore the best locations in Sydney’s Northern Beaches for your family portrait session. From golden sandy beaches to rocky headlands and lush parks, these spots offer a variety of stunning backdrops to capture your family’s joy and create lasting memories.

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Curl Curl

Curl Curl Beach is a gem of the Northern Beaches, offering a long stretch of golden sand, crystal-clear waters, and beautiful vegetation-covered sand dunes. The dramatic cliffs at the northern end of the beach provide a captivating backdrop for your family portraits.

ultimate guide to choosing a location for your family photos on the Sydney Northerm Beaches with Bree Hulme Photography

The sand dunes stretching between North and South Curly beaches offer the perfect place for play and exploration to capture candid moments of your family away from the hustle and bustle of the swimming areas, providing privacy and calm for your family photos.

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Shooting during the early morning sunrise or late afternoon sunset golden hours will provide soft lighting and a tranquil atmosphere.

Narrabeen Lakes

The tranquil waters of Narrabeen Lakes offer a unique setting for family portraits. Explore the sandy beaches, jetties, and lush surroundings of the bushland to find the perfect spots. The calm lake waters provide beautiful reflections, while the surrounding park and bushlands offer a mix of natural beauty and recreational areas.

ultimate guide to choosing a location for your family photos on the Sydney Northern Beaches with Bree Hulme Photography

Shooting during the early morning or late afternoon will ensure the softest lighting and a peaceful ambiance. There are plenty of areas to explore making it easy to escape the crowds and busy pedestrian and cycle thoroughfares, whilst providing space for play and exploration to capture those candid, natural moments with your family.

Parks and spaces around the lake are dog friendly making this the perfect location for including your fur-baby in your family photos.

ultimate guide to choosing a location for your family photos on the Sydney Northern Beaches with Bree Hulme Photography

At certain times of the year there are even some beautiful floral blooms that pop up around the lake to create a truly magical setting.

Long Reef Headland

Long Reef Headland offers panoramic views of the coastline, making it a spectacular location for family portraits. The grassy cliffs, rocky outcrops, and breathtaking ocean vistas create a stunning backdrop.

Capture your family against the backdrop of crashing waves or silhouetted against the rising sun. Timing is crucial here, with the golden hours providing soft, warm light and a magical atmosphere as well as avoiding the crowds who walk around this spectacular headland each day.

The ultimate guide to the best northern beaches photo locations for your family portraits Long Reef Headland and beach

This location does require some walking especially if heading down to the aquatic reserve under the headland cliff. Dogs are not permitted into the aquatic reserve under the headland so be sure to check with your photographer about where you are having your photos. Ensure everyone is capable of the physical exercise needed to reach the headland and make the steep descent and ascent to the aquatic reserve below if planning to explore the rock platform.

The Beach Rockpools & Ocean Pools

The enchanting rockpools and ocean pools around the beaches of the Northern Beaches provide another picturesque location for capturing beautiful family portraits.

The ocean-side rockpools provide a serene atmosphere and a natural backdrop of rocky formations. Capture your family exploring the rockpool, or position them on the surrounding rocks for a visually appealing composition. In still waters the reflections can be mesmerising.

Search for sea urchins and star fish in the naturally formed pools on the rock platforms. Sunrise or sunset shoots will enhance the warm colors and create a dreamy ambiance. Of course, always check the tides and ocean conditions when planning a shoot near the rockpools. These areas can be a precarious place especially with young children.

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And be prepared to end the session in the warmer months, with the kids in the pool! Bring some towels and a change of clothes, because it can be hard to resist the cool waters on a hot summer morning. Sometimes it is even hard to resist for the adults!

Practical Tips

Plan your shoot during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset for the most flattering light and atmospheric conditions. This also helps to avoid crowds who love to visit the beautiful beaches year round.

Consider the tides and weather conditions when shooting at the beach to ensure safety and comfort. If the weather is going to be cold, make sure your family dresses for the conditions – cold kids don’t love having their photos taken.
Coordinate outfits that complement the natural surroundings, such as earthy tones or soft pastels.
Communicate with your photographer to discuss your vision, get their expert recommendations, and make the most of the chosen locations.

What if my kids won't sit still family photos with Bree Hulme Photography

The Northern Beaches of Sydney provide an abundance of stunning locations for capturing family portraits. From the golden sands of Curl Curl Beach to the tranquil waters and bushland of Narrabeen Lakes and the dramatic cliffs of Long Reef Headland, these spots offer a range of backdrops that reflect the natural beauty of the area. By planning your shoot during the golden hours, coordinating outfits, and embracing the unique charm of each location, you can create family portraits that evoke joy, love, and the timeless beauty of the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

These locations offer diverse landscapes and backdrops, allowing you to choose the atmosphere and setting that best suits your family’s style and preferences. Remember to consider factors like lighting, privacy, accessibility, and any specific guidelines or restrictions that may apply to each location. Ultimately, the best location will depend on your personal preferences and the vision you have for your family portraits.