Your Guide for an Engagement Session in Port Stephens

As a fine-art photographer in Australia, I may have a certain love affair with Port Stephens. It’s an idyllic place for romantic proposals, engagement sessions, luxurious elopements, and picture-perfect honeymoons. 

But I’m not the only one who adores this slice of paradise. The amazing beaches, landscapes, incredible dining, and gorgeous accommodations make Port Stephens a hot destination and one of the most visited places for Sydney travelers. 

If you’re considering adding engagement pictures to your pre-wedding to-do list, make it a bucket list situation and have them taken in Port Stephens! You’ll get to see the sights, eat delicious food, AND walk away with a collection of elegant engagement photos to use as you wish. 

Read on for what you need to know about having an engagement session in Port Stephens – with me!


The Best Time to Have an Engagement Session in Port Stephens 

Port Stephens’ slogan is “Incredible by Nature.” One of the reasons is because of its mild and comfortable climate. 

Autumn (March-May) is the best season to have an engagement photo session. Temperatures fall between 12-24°C. The bay winds have calmed down, and the waters are warm. Afternoons are sunny but not too hot, so we won’t roast while taking photos.

Winter (June-Aug) still has sun but cooler temperatures ranging from 9-18°C. If you head off the coast, you may catch a family of whales migrating to warmer waters. Over 40,000 humpback whales are known to pass by the Port Stephens coastline during this time!

Spring (Sep-Nov) offers more sun and warmer evenings. Temperatures fall between 13-25°C, making this season another wonderful time for an engagement session. 

Summer (Dec-Feb) serves up the warmest temperatures, ranging from 18-28°C. It’s the perfect time for days at the beach and yummy fruit cocktails. 

Favorite Photo Locations 

I could write a complete travel guide on this subject. And in fact, I did write a post about 10 of the best outdoor locations (which you should definitely check out!). 

But let’s talk specifically about some spots I recommend for an engagement session. 

Shoal Bay 

Shoal Bay is a beautiful ocean town with lots of backdrop options. We can stroll through the village, pop into a cute café for photos, or take pictures on the beautiful white sand beach. 

Zenith Beach

Located just on the other side of Shoal Bay, Zenith Beach is an unspoiled paradise of natural beauty. Think lush mountains, powdery white sands, and turquoise water. Let’s take a sunset walk down the shoreline and create memories you’ll cherish forever.   

Little Beach 

It might be called Little Beach, but there’s lots to do. Including having your engagement photos taken along the coastal path, around the Nelson Bay Native Flora Gardens, and on the jetties. If you get hungry after the session, head to The Boathouse Restaurant, where you’ll enjoy scenic views and fresh seafood. 

Boat Harbour 

Boat Harbour is another small bay with sparkling, calm waters and soft sand. We can take photos on the beach or on the grassy hill, where sweeping coastal views will serve as your backdrop.  

Sand Dunes and Secret Spots 

The Stockton Sand Dunes are shapeshifting timepieces that produce the most beautiful patterns. By timepiece, I mean these dunes are made up of three layers of sand that date back millions of years ago! The engagement photos taken here really can’t be beaten.

And then there are all of the lovely secret spots only a local would know about. Just let me know what ambiance you’re going for, and I’ll scout the perfect location. 

How to Use Your Engagement Photos

Your engagement is a special chapter in your life that tends to go by quickly. It’s also often shadowed by the rush of wedding planning. Engagement photos can serve as beautiful, tangible memories of the sweet moments before you say, “I do.”

Once you have your images, you can use them for save-the-date cards and on your wedding website. Display them in your home as artwork and create prints to give to family as gifts. 

You can also display them at your rehearsal dinner, at the wedding, or in your guestbook. There are many ideas and ways to get the most out of your photos!

How I Can Help You 

I love helping couples with their Port Stephens engagement sessions. And my assistance goes beyond getting great photos. I’m here for your whole session planning journey! From helping you pick out what to wear and finding locations to recommending hair and makeup vendors, I’ve got you covered. 

I want you to enjoy the prep as much as the engagement session. So I do my best to take out the stressful bits and pump you up for a fun day. 

Booking a session with me is easy. But here are some things to keep in mind for the best experience.

Ideally, you’ll want to book your engagement session four months before your wedding. If you’re going to use them for save-the-dates, consider booking six months before. This gives us time to plan and prep without feeling rushed. 

Rent a nice Airbnb in case the weather flips, and we need a pretty indoor area for photographs. 

Book at least two hours of coverage if you want images from multiple locations (the beach, a park, etc.). 

When creating your timeline, consider how much time you need for hair and makeup and schedule accordingly, so you’re not rushed and stressed. It’s also a good idea to start the engagement session 2 1/2 hours before sunset. We’ll have plenty of daylight and get those gorgeous golden hour photos.  So what do you think?! Doesn’t Port Stephens sound like a magical place to have an engagement session? Between the incredible landscapes and agreeable weather, it really is paradise. Contact me, and let’s talk about making this bucket-list wish come true.

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Whether your love story is one blossomed from elegant romance or one of epic proportions, I am so excited to be a part of this journey with you and can’t wait to get to know you more. I am a fine art photographer providing my services all throughout NSW, Australia and destinations worldwide. Passionately devoted to capturing the beauty of your special day. 

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Sheri Mcmahon

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