Photo Spots & Tips
Geelong and Surrounds
by Alex Shore Photography
The Surf Coast
Where: Torquay Lifesaving Club.
Insider tip: At low tide, you can wander around to Rocky Point, getting your toes wet in the rockpools set below the surf coasts’ iconic orange cliffs. If the tide is too high, take a stroll over the water footbridge to Rocky Point Lookout.
Where: Drive straight to the end carpark and head left towards the decks looking east.
Insider tip: The backdrop here is of dense green bushland and orange sandy cliffs - simply stunning. This location is perfect for an afternoon or morning shoot when the sun is low.
The Bellarine Peninsula
Where: Barwon Heads Bluff. You can walk around the headland along the cliff top, or head down to the beach.
Insider tip: With a more exposed southern beach, and sheltered eastern bay, you can usually find some shelter even if it’s windy. Take advantage of all the timber stairs which look great in photos.
Where: Lookout decks along Thirteenth Beach Road
Insider tip: The decks attract the last of the evening sun for soft lighting and an ocean backdrop - this can be a great spot late in the day.
Where: Take the time to wander off the main strip and surrounding streets, a great spot is the Queenscliff South Pier.
Insider tip: The whole town of Queenscliff is simply beautiful. As one of the oldest maritime townships in Victoria, built in the gold rush, there is lots to see. A great photo can be taken from the beach to the east of the pier, looking back at the old mustard yellow stilted timber structure. There are some lovely timber walkways through the bush here too.
Where: There are plenty of beautiful venues and wineries nearby, one of the best has to be Jack Rabbit. Jack Rabbit boasts a grassy slope on the water’s edge overlooking the You Yangs and Point Henry.
Insider tip: With a northwest facing view of ocean and mountains, golden hour and sunsets here are simply stunning. Head straight to the grassy hill for sunset! The surrounding venues also have good views of the You Yangs and photograph beautifully at this hour.
Where: The streets of Geelong.
Insider tip: Don’t be afraid to have a drive and wander the streets of Geelong. The beauty of photography is that pictures only show what the camera sees; you only need to find one gem in the rough. This could be a beautiful road, or historic structure with interesting doorways or stairs. Look for long streets with old buildings lined by rows of mature trees (just look out for traffic and parked cars in your shot!)
Where: Provenance Wines.
Insider tip: A beautifully converted mill with high ceilings and bluestone walls, set high on the bank of the Barwon River. The water is a bit hard to get to, so try the cute little alleyways around the complex with its many grand doors and brick chimneystack.
Where: Geelong Botanical Gardens.
Insider tip: Take a stroll in the gardens and look for small scenes you like; a path surrounded by trees, the entry gate and sign surrounded by plants, or an area of large mature succulents. This spot is perfect for up-close photographs – the focus on you and your partner, but with hints of the beautiful and interesting garden behind.
Where: Balyang Sanctuary
Insider tip: Perfect for quick elopements! If you walk around the area there are a few spots for a small ceremony. Try around the car park at the end of Marnock Road for photos amongst the trees, or the rundown brick building and chimney stack to the east; this can generate some great snaps, especially when the grass is long and dry.
Insider tip: The feeling of the Australian bush can be captured only a stone’s throw away from a busy suburb or street. Get out your map and have a look around your wedding venue or ceremony location. Are there any walking tracks or parks nearby? A photographer only needs snippets of an environment to set a scene. If you find a path or set of trees you like, why not take a photo and pin drop a location to your photographer for their advice. Have fun and explore!
Where: Dog Rocks Sanctuary, Batesford.
Insider tip: This is a special spot. Giant stones are set in the middle of a field with a view of the countryside for miles! It’s a perfect golden hour spot for walking among the rocks, grass and trees with a photographer in tow capturing everything that unfolds. Treat the place with respect, it has a very spiritual feel. Access is to the north via the playground; just be mindful of the time of year and snakes coming out to say hello.
Always have a backup!
Unfortunately, living in Victoria means you could have all four seasons predicted for your wedding day. It’s always a good idea to have a few backup photo spots up your sleeve so you’re ready to go on the day no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.
Cloud and rain can create some epic backdrops for wedding photos, in fact it can be preferable to a sunny day. In the event of strong winds joining the party, find some shelter among trees, or in the doorway of a structure, these can make great shots. A backup suit/dress is never a bad option when wet weather is involved!
If it does rain, the biggest tip from me is for you to stay dry! Grab yourself a clear umbrella and enjoy the shoots you were already planning! Your photographer should have a raincoat and photography gear that can handle a bit of rain, or an assistant to hold a brolly!
And remember, it’s your day –embrace it, have fun, stand out in the wind and pouring rain, your photographer will love you for it!