The Dandenong Ranges offers so many beautiful and amazing locations where sessions can be held and these are just some of my personal favourites.
If you have another spot in mind or would like your photos shot in your own home or on your property I would be excited to discuss the details with you.
I am pleased to announce that I am the first family photographer to be licensed by Parks Victoria to operate in the iconic Gardens Of The Dandenongs which include;
*Alfred Nicholas Gardens
*Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens (formerly known as the Rhododendron Gardens)
*George Tindale Gardens
If you are interested in a garden location I can discuss the specifics of each with you to assist in choosing the one that best meets the size and needs of your family.
Located on the southern edge of the Dandenongs, Upwey offers a lighter and brighter feel than the more heavily wooded forests further up the mountain. With dried out trees and logs and long grassland it offers the quintessential look of the Australian bush and the gravel paths are perfect for reflecting light back up onto subjects' faces. This location is easily accessible without having to drive the hill roads and is about a 300 metre walk from the nearest carparking. This location is dog-friendly and especially good for dusk sessions.
Located on Wellington Road at the very western end of the Greater Dandenongs area this spot offers wide, clear views across green farmland to the hills beyond. There are large boulders to climb or sit on as well as plenty of fallen logs. There is a range of large native trees, some with spectacular spans and some which have died off and offer an arty, sculptural feel. This location is a short walk up a moderately steep path from the nearest carparking. This location is dog-friendly and especially good for dusk sessions or on overcast days when the storm clouds roll in.
This forest links to the forest at Selby but this area has a totally different feel. It offers a large cleared area of grassland surrounded by beautiful gum trees and the area is home to hundreds of butterflies during the summer months. There are dragons nests to explore which have been built by locals and a wide open path to travel along. Kookaburras are plentiful and lyrebirds can sometimes be spotted in the undergrowth. This spot is ideal for dawn or dusk sessions and is a 400 meter walk from the nearest carparking. As part of the Dandenong Ranges National Park dogs cannot be included in sessions at this location.
The Arboretum is perhaps the most iconic and most popular spot for professional photos in the whole of the Dandenong Ranges and for that reason it is best suited to those who don't mind an audience. It offers a range of European trees including birches and conifers which create a great spot to play hide-and-seek with your children or to capture more intimate shots if doing a couple shoot. In Spring the open field fills with wildflowers and year round the view to the Yarra Valley and beyond provides a stunning backdrop, especially at sunrise or sunset. Much of the area is sloping and without paths so it is best suited for those without mobility issues. Unlike many more secluded spots this location does have public toilets available and is dog-friendly.
Emerald offers several adjoining areas of parkland that offer a variety of European and native trees and flowering shrubs. The range of plantings means it provides a different look with each season and it is especially spectacular when the Autumn leaves turn in April and May and fairy-like toadstools can be found. It the perfect place to engage little people by having them do a nature scavenger hunt or to hide amongst the trees. The area is dog-friendly, has public toilets and is immediately accessible from the carparks and for those who can make a stroll it provides a versatile range of backdrops to provide added interest to your gallery of images.
This location offers a combination of soaring eucalypts and stunning tree ferns. With fallen logs, winding paths and a small creek it is a fantastic place to explore with children. It is a secluded spot and passerbys are a rarity so it is an ideal option for those that don't want onlookers while being photographed. This location is a 200 metre walk along a pram friendly path from the nearest carparking and is perfect for morning or dusk sessions and if we are lucky we might even spot a wallaby. As part of the Dandenong Ranges National Park dogs cannot be included in sessions at this location.