New announcement. Learn more


My favorite Wellington locations for family photography

cousins having fun on a wellington family photo shoot

I often get asked where the best photography locations in Wellington are, especially for family photoshoots – so today, I’m going to share some of them with you (but shhh! You have to keep them secret!)

First, however – what actually makes a good location? It ultimately comes down the three S’s: Setting, sun, and shelter. 

While you would think that a great view automatically means a great backdrop, it’s not always the case. Beautiful views can be distracting from the main subject of the photos (your family!). In addition, I always aim to get the best light I can for the people in the photos, rather than for the landscape – so you might not see all that detail in the far off scenery in any case. Spots with those jaw-dropping views also tend to be the busiest locations, so unless you want to have passers-by in your photos, best to stick with a spot that’s peaceful, serene, and where you and your family can relax without an audience witnessing the photoshoot. The best settings are interesting but not overpowering.

When choosing a great spot for family photos, I’ll always keep in mind what time of day we’ll be shooting and where the sun will be. I don’t want you and your family staring right into the sun for the entirety of the shoot (I’m not that mean!). I prefer to go for locations that have lots of lovely, open, shaded areas. Lush, tall, bushy trees or rolling hills to soften the sunlight are great options and make for much more flattering light.

Now this one is particularly important when choosing a location in Wellington! As we all know, Wellington tends to be breezy even on the calmest of days – and the last thing we want in your family photos is hair flying wild and dresses blowing up. I like to choose locations that have at least some shelter from the crazy Wellington wind, particularly the strong, gusty northerlies (unless you’re a fan of that windswept look!) 

Okay, sorry to spoil the alliteration – but this point is probably the most important of all! The best locations for family photography are always the ones that your family has a connection to. Whether it’s the place you got engaged or married, or just your favourite spot for a Sunday stroll with the kids – whatever the connection, choosing a significant location will always add more meaning to your photos. 

So, without further ado, and in no particular order: here are some of the best wellington family photography locations around Wellington or as least my favorites!

Yes, it’s seen some better days and needs a bit of love, and hopefully the renovations they are currently doing will breathe some life back into the place – but, hear me out! It’s super convenient and easy to get to, there’s always shelter and shade no matter the time of day, and if you get there outside of the city’s lunch hour, it’s usually pretty peaceful. There are also a tonne of creative, quirky and urban photo spots.

I’m not talking about the lookout, but rather the gorgeous Newtown side! There are plenty of amazing little spots tucked in around the town belt with beautiful mature trees, dreamy light, and far less people than the more well-known spots.

Where’s this, you ask? It’s one of my faves – a quaint little park in Thorndon. This spot has the formal garden feel of the nearby Botanic gardens, but without the constant flow of park visitors. Plenty of well-manicured shrubbery and pathways, a playground for the kids – it’s definitely worth checking out on your next family outing! 

A bit further away from the city but much closer to my studio! This is one of the best photo spots around – lovely bush, serene water, and so many sheltered areas. It makes for a truly stunning location. 

A disclaimer – this one breaks all the rules I just set! The views from Whitireia Park are incredible, there’s almost no shade from the sun, and it’s extremely exposed to the wind – but there is just something about this location! The long grass, beautiful blue sea, wide open skies; it’s really worth putting up with the wind! Come prepared with hair ties (and I wouldn’t recommend this one if you have wee ones that like to run around as it is located cliff-side so can be a wee bit dangerous). This space has such a great energy. 

Now for some eye candy! Have a look below at a recent shoot I did at Camborne Walkway (and click here to see a recent shoot from Whitireia Park!). 

Don’t forget to check out what I have been up to on Facebook here