Exciting, you are all ready to book in a family photography session! But there are so many different spots in Auckland - from the Wild West beaches of West Auckland like Muriwai and Bethells, to the more accessible North shore beaches, a multitude of different parks and the city itself - we are spoilt for choice!

There are a few things to consider when you pick the perfect spot for your family photoshoot, so have a read below and decide what will be the best spot for you and your kids!

Think about your family's interests and personalities

  1. Have a mull over what the perfect family outing looks like for you - does it involve sand castles and swimming, climbing trees or getting to the top of a hill and finding treasures along the way. Or do you love hanging out in more urban areas, and grabbing an ice cream on the waterfront or by a playground. Chances are, if you’re playing to your favourite outings and interests, the kids will be engaged and happy, and you’ll end up with memories that represent you as a family!

How about: Ice creams and a walk around Wynyard Quarter or the City? Climbing the rock formations and getting your feet wet at St Heliers Beach or Narrow Neck Beach?


Definitely one to think about if you have young children or elderly family members. Some locations like Muriwai or Long Bay might not be suitable as there are steep or longer walks to the beach, and the ocean can be unpredictable and wild. Do you need a toilet nearby? Are Dogs quite often present off leash and you have a family member who is scared of them? All worth a mention to your photographer, who can help tailor the right location to your needs.

How about: One Tree Hill side of Cornwall Park for an easily accessible wild field vibe (and dogs are only allowed on leads), or Piha with a short easy walk to the beach and public bathrooms on site.

The Light!

AKA That thing that photographers are always harping on about! If you’re after a golden sunset vibe, then your family photos will need to be taken during golden hour, that’s within 1 hour of sunset. During Autumn and winter is a great time for a nice early sunset time, you’ll be all done by 5pm. But in Summer you’ll be looking at up to an 8:30pm finish for a sunset vibe especially in a bright open location like a beach. So if that won’t work for your little ones and you need an earlier start time, somewhere with open shade, or good coverage will be ideal. Or you can embrace a bright direct sun vibe too! 

How about: Riverhead Forest for an earlier in the day shoot, or in the trees at One Tree Hill. Or for your best sunset vibes go to Piha, Muriwai or Bethells Beach.

An In Home Session

Another great choice for a family or maternity session is at home! Keep it warm and cozy, in the place where you spend the most time together, and create memories that are authentic and true to you as a family. A home shoot is a great way to incorporate activities that you enjoy together too - check out some ideas here.

How about: Snuggling up in bed and reading a book together, capturing bath time or whipping up something special in the kitchen together.