I always recommend that couples schedule an engagement shoot before their wedding. They help you feel much more relaxed with your photographer, which lets you enjoy the experience. The amount of time we spend shooting portraits on the wedding day is quite short, so coming into that time feeling calm & confident is a huge advantage. Planning your engagement shoot around Newcastle is easy, because there are so many great locations nearby. I’ve explored most of them and listed the best below.
A great engagement shoot location has lots of variety within walking distance. If you head into the east end of town there are cute terraces, ocean baths and the Newcastle harbour all within a few minutes. I love shooting around these streets, there are always new spots to find even after coming back for years.
The area around Cooks Hill, Civic Park & Honeysuckle also has many different looks close together. This part of town has changed drastically over the last few years which makes each shoot a little time capsule.
A popular spot for photographers, with good reason. This other-worldly location is just a short drive north and has a truly unique look to it. You’ll need a 4WD and a permit if you’d like to drive on the dunes, but they are accessible by foot as well. Walking across all the sand may induce a slight cardio workout, but I promise the results are worth it.
Lots of couples are after a nature/bush type feel, but don’t want to drive far – Glenrock is great for this. The sun disappears earlier here so you do miss out on part of golden hour. There is also a bit of walking involved, so wearing heels is not advised!
WATAGAN STATE FOREST
About an hour from town, this forest doubles down on the nature vibes mentioned above. A 4WD is handy for access (especially if there has been rain recently) but not essential. Watch for leeches.
It’s no surprise that many couples from Newcastle love having photos at the beach. Caves Beach offers a great mix of sandy beaches and rocky outcrops. There can be beautiful sunsets here, or finish up at Murray’s Beach to get a little more out of golden hour.
NOBBY’S BEACH / BREAKWALL
Iconic Newcastle. Walking out along the breakwall gets a great angle for the sunset.
My favourite local beach for photos. The incredible cliffs, the shark tower and the seemingly endless stretch of sand are perfect for engagement photos. You can also bring your dog here off-leash if you’re keen!
A LOCAL VENUE
Many local wedding venues will be happy to open their doors to you for engagement photos. Mon-Thurs dates will make it less likely for them to be hosting another event. Some may request a fee, a vineyard might ask you buy a case of wine, or some can be free. If there’s a venue you love the look of, there’s nothing to lose by asking.
I always love the opportunity to photograph couples inside their own homes. These images really capture a slice of history that you’ll come to appreciate more as the years go on. We can always mix this in to any session by starting at home before heading out.
These are a few of the more popular locations, but really we can shoot anywhere. Think about places special to you as a couple, or somewhere you’ve visited that looks amazing. The session is more about us getting to know each other and breaking the ice – many of my favourite images don’t feature the location at all. Living in Newcastle, we are so lucky to have such beautiful landscapes on our doorstep to create amazing photos.