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  • Grant Hoskinson

Top 5 Wedding Photo Locations In Sydney.

Updated: Jun 15, 2019

Last weekend I was shooting a wedding in the city. The ceremony was finished and we were on our way to shoot some location photos at Lavender Bay (one of my favourite wedding photo locations). On the way there I drove past a popular wedding photo hotspot. There must have been around twenty brides taking turns and queueing up with their photographer to get photos with the Opera House and Harbour bridge. I asked myself, why? What's so important about having the Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the background of your wedding pics at the expense of so many more essentially important elements. Lighting, freedom of movement, a calm and relaxing environment. So I stopped the car and watched for a minute. As I had expected what I saw was very posed, very stiff, very unemotional shots - but they did have the Opera House in the background. I wondered why so many photographers can't suggest better locations for their clients wedding photos. So I decided to put together a Top 5 list of my favourite wedding location spots in Sydney. So here they are....

1. Centennial Park Pine Forest.

The afternoon light in this spot is incredible and it's been a favourite location of mine for many years. A lush grove filled with huge pine trees close to the centre of Sydney. Its peaceful, spacious and makes couples feel relaxed which is important when shooting a natural and relaxed style of wedding photography.

2. Lavender Bay.

Once again this location has great light. It's also a very versatile location. There is a lush tropical garden, a big old staircase lined with trees. An old tunnel with beautiful heritage brickwork and a long jetty with water surroundings. Its like three locations in one. It's also not flooded with tourists and there's no queuing for spots and no stress. Winner!

3. Royal Botanic Gardens.

There are many great wedding location photo places within the botanic gardens but my favourite area to shoot in is around the rose garden lawn. Any time of the day or any time of year the light is going to be great as its filtered heavily and perfectly by the lush trees and gardens. There are rarely any other bridal parties there as most people tend to head towards the harbour end of the botanic gardens to once again get the opera house in the background... even on those bright summer days when the light is harsh and unflattering. You'll never have to squint into the sun in the rose garden and you'll look amazing.

4. Hyde Park

You would think that a huge park in the centre of the city would be crawling with tourists..... and it is. But there are a few specific spots in Hyde Park that are quiet and with awesome light. My advice is to stay away from the cheesy traps that beckon many wedding photographers (the fountain, cathedral) and stick to the smaller areas with no people and the best light. Its a great location to go to if you're having a city wedding.

5. Camp Cove, Watsons Bay.

Once again this spot is quite versatile as far backgrounds are concerned and the afternoon light there is stunning. There is a small bush trail. A boardwalk. An old jetty with a little hut on it, and a beach. Its a great place to get your location photos particularly when your ceremony or reception (or both) are in one of the many venues around the eastern suburbs of Sydney.

So They're my favourite wedding photo location spots in Sydney. All with great light (the most crucial element of all) and usually without crowds of people around. I usually spend a lot of time with couples discussing photo locations before the wedding because at the end of it all I want them to look great. This is why I go on so much about lighting and not being as concerned about what's in the background at the expense of light, movement and expression. The last thing you want to see is a shot of the Opera House or Harbour bridge with a bride and groom standing awkwardly in front of it squinting into the sun. Better off going somewhere where you're going to look great.

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