Pet Photography Central Coast

Central Coast Pet Photographer

As someone whose four legged friend sleeps on the bed and takes ownership of the couch, I’m a big fan of including pets in family photography sessions. I firmly believe ALL members of your family should be included in your session - and that includes your dog, cat, goat, chicken or any other pet that makes your family complete. My pooch features prominently in our family photo album, as time spent snuggling with Jiffy is a great chance to capture photos of my kids sitting quietly. There’s also plenty of snapshots of the kids rumbling with her, chasing her in the backyard and generally being nutters. One of my favourite photos of all time is an image of my daughter and our dog walking through the sand dunes - a timeless photograph of them doing their favourite thing together. As a doggy person I understand that including your loyal companion in a session comes with it’s own risks - I’ve had my camera slobbered on, spent time chasing wayward dogs through the bush during a photo shoot and spend a lot of time being sniffed and jumped on during sessions. It’s all fine - so long as Fido doesn’t want to bite my head off - I can deal with a bit of over exuberant puppy love.

If you’d like to include your furry friends in your next family photography session just get in contact with me here.

dog friendly beaches central coast
rescue dog central coast
best friends boy and dog
central coast horse photographer
central coast pet photographer katy allen

How to choose the best location for your outdoor photography session

Central Coast Family Photographer

Families who are keen to get out and about for their photography session often ask me “where should we go?”. The options are limitless, so in the interest of making things a little easier, here’s a few points I think about when deciding on a location…





family photography central coast


Think about your normal week or month with your family and the places you visit on regular basis. Are you beach bums like me, with salty hair and sandy toes? Do you have a favourite bushwalk you love coming back to? Maybe you spend every spare minute with your minis at the skatepark? Do you have a favourite café where they know your kids favourite milkshakes? When everyone is feeling relaxed in familiar surroundings, you’ll find your session is so much easier. You want your photographs and albums to be a reflection of who you are in this moment. When you look back on these images in years to come the memories associated with your special location will make the photographs seem that much sweeter.

documentary family photography central coast nsw


What are you hoping your family will do at this location? If your intention is for natural photographs in the bushland surrounding at the park, but your little ones spot the playground equipment and just want to play on that instead… let’s just say it may be that your intentions and the kids intentions are a little different. Awkward. In the interests of making life easy for you, if you’re looking for a nature based session, I generally avoid locations with a playground. There’s only so many photos of the kids going down the fireman’s pole that you need hanging on your wall.

kids photographer central coast nsw


Crowded places, like city streets or busy parks are some of the more difficult places for a family photography session. In these situations you spend a lot of time waiting for people to move out of the frame and will often have an audience watching your session, which can make you feel self-conscious and make it difficult to relax.  Fortunately for us on the Central Coast, finding a quiet location is not too hard to find. Even at our busy parks and beaches, you often only need to talk a few hundred metres and you’ll have the place to yourselves. Perfect.

family photography avoca beach nsw


Your family photography session will last for at least an hour, so we want to keep your kiddos happy and busy during that time. For this, variety is the spice of life. When choosing a location you want a place that has room to move, play and explore. Many of my families choose to start their sessions at their local lake and then walk around to the beach. This gives the kids a couple of different locations to play and explore and adds variety to your finished images. Bushwalks also allow for movement and exploration, with a variety of scene changes. Rock platforms at the beach are another great option that encourage movement and provide different backdrops for your photographs. Remember though – if your session is near water, your kids will invariably end up wet. I’m up for that – so long as you are too!!

family photos gosford

So that’s my go-to guide for choosing a location for your family photography session on the Central Coast.


If you would like to book your own family photography session, please get in touch.

School holiday activities for kids on the Central Coast

Central Coast Documentary Family Photographer

I know this wet weather has been getting people down, especially those with small people at home, slowly driving their parents up the wall. We’ve been away camping this past week and noticed that the weather never impacted the activities our kids wanted to do. They wanted to go surfing in the rain? Sure let’s do it. Bike riding through muddy puddles? Sounds like messy fun. Kids are resilient, they’re happy to get outside and be active, regardless of the weather. With that in mind, here’s some outdoor activities that my kids love to do, rain, hail or shine.

Winnie Bay Bushwalk

Winnie Bay Copacabana Avoca

My kids love a wander down the stairs from Copa to Winnie Bay. Mal the bird man was stoked to spot a Regent Bowerbird during one of our walks. Josie prefers exploring the rockplatforms and discovering shells.

rock hopping Winnie Bay

Surfing at Umina

surfing umina beach

Umina is the perfect learn to surf spot on the Central Coast. Long, gentle waves are just right for beginners. The shallow break means that little ones that aren’t that confident can safely wade out to be part of the fun.

kids holiday activities central coast

Little Beach

bushwalk to little beach central coast nsw

The kids love this bushwalk. The track is only a 10 min stroll through rainforest. If the tide is right they’ll have a swim in the rockpools once we get there. Otherwise they love just walking around the rock platforms.

Swimming at Little Beach Bouddi National Park

Saratoga Waterfront

Saratoga NSW

Tree climbing, walking along the rock wall and looking for jellyfish in the shallows, my two love a wander along the Saratoga waterfront.

Tree climbing Saratoga Waterfront

So that’s a few of our favorite things to do during the school holidays. Rug up, grab your rain coat and gum boots and get amongst it. Being outdoors is good for small people (and grown ups too!).

Short n sweet... with the Robertson family

Central Coast Documentary Family Photographer

Two and a half is a seriously awesome age. There's all these amazing thoughts and ideas constantly presenting themselves to you - and you finally have the vocabulary to share all these brilliant insights with others. Finn is one intelligent and outgoing toddler. This little guy talked about everything and anything. He had us in stitches with his running commentary of the world around him. Interestingly his mum Ashley said that this is new for him, only four weeks ago he was a shy, reserved little guy around new people. I feel so lucky to have met this new version of Finn. He took delight in everything he saw and did during our session at the lake. His little brother Sonny just cruised along for the session, nothing phasing him. 

father and son cuddling documentary photography central coast nsw
beach family photos central coast nsw
mother and baby snuggling natural family photography central coast nsw
relaxed family photos central coast nsw

Short n sweet... with the Smith family

Central Coast Documentary Maternity Photographer

The anticipation of waiting for the new arrival in the family is so complicated. There's the excitement of a new little human to join your clan, to love and be adored. The worry of the chaos and unpredictability of newborns sleeping and feeding habits and will bubs older siblings welcome their new playmate? Kiz is unflappable. This mumma takes it all in her stride knowing that everything will work out in the end. For her maternity session she was more than happy to just be in the moment with her busy little family, letting the kids wander in the rockpools and swim in the ocean. Bliss.

natural maternity photography central coast nsw
kids playing in rockpool unposed photography central coast nsw
baby bump maternity documentary photography central coast nsw
natural family photography central coast nsw
no posing maternity photography central coast nsw
relaxed documentary family photography central coast nsw
relaxed family photography putty beach nsw
daddy and daughter natural light photography central coast nsw
mother and son documentary maternity photography central coast nsw
playing in the water putty beach photography nsw
snuggling with baby bump natural photography central coast nsw

A half day in the life... with the Ashcroft clan

Central Coast Documentary Family Photography

This session was a little bit special. Tash had originally booked me in to document her mother-in-law Carmen's 60th birthday party. Unfortunately only days before her birthday, Carmen's husband Greg was hospitalised and all party plans were put on hold. Fast forward a few months and a healthy Greg and part of the extended family gathered at their holiday house in Copa for a relaxed afternoon together.

I felt so honoured to be able document this family during this time in their life. Their holiday house had been lovingly renovated to accommodate the three generations of the family. They made time for handball in the kitchen, bird feeding in the back yard, a hunt along the passionfruit vine and drinks on the back deck. The adults were relaxed and allowed the kids to space to have their own fun, but they were also willing and happy to join in when the kids wanted to include them. 

It was beautiful to watch the ways in which the kids interacted with the adults. Parker invited attention through play - he was into handball, footy, bodyboarding. He was active and he engaged the adults through his games and activities. Nina was so tactile, often reaching out and touching an adult lovingly as she went by. There was lots of cuddles and snuggles for this sweet girl. 

A lazy Sunday afternoon in the holiday house, a relaxed walk to the beach and a splash in the rockpool to finish things off, spending four hours with this loving family allowed me to really capture who they are at this moment in their lives.

family photography central coast nsw
cheers! family dining central coast nsw
Puppy dog hiding under the table pet photography central coast nsw
kids eating ice copacabana nsw
cuddles with grandma central coast documentary family photography
searching for passionfruit children photography central coast nsw
family walk to the beach copacabana nsw
Beach photography central coast nsw
bodyboarding in the rockpool copacabana nsw
relaxing at copacabana beach central coast nsw
rock exploring copacabana central coast nsw
central coast documentary photography 
sand art central coast family documentary photography

Short n sweet with... Millie, Ella, Nate and Imogen

Central Coast Family Photographer

This is the best present for the grandparents who have everything! Priceless photographs of their beautiful grandchild that they can gush over and show off to all their friends. These cousins were so lovely together, the big kids were patient and kind with the little ones, helping them to climb trees and keeping them safe in the deep parts of the water in the lake. There was so much joy and freedom - I felt very lucky to have spent the afternoon with Millie, Ella, Nate and Imogen. 

central coast family photographer cousins in the tree avoca beach
central coast family photographer tree climbing avoca beach
central coast family photographer holding hands
central coast family photographer swimming in the lake
central coast family photographer running in the lake
central coast family photographer sisters cuddling at the beach

Short n sweet with... the Mallyon Family

Central Coast Family Photographer

Return clients are always lovely to have around and the session is even easier when it's with friends. Lis and Chris played and rumbled and ran with their boisterous boys the whole afternoon. There were sand dune sprints, swimming in the lagoon and generally craziness. The afternoon was nearly lost with the boys freezing after their impromptu swim, but luckily daddy gave up his t-shirt so they could use it as a towel. What a hero. 

father and sons wamberal
running down the hill family photography central coast
couple walking at wamberal lagoon
brothers piggy backing
mother and son family photography central coast

Short n sweet with... Ruby and Will

Central Coast Family Photographer

How's this for a great idea for the grandparents birthday present?! Gorgeous, natural photos of the grandchildren they adore. Ruby and Will's session came about because their grandmothers birthday was coming up and their family thought a beautiful print of the grandkids would make a great gift. I love this idea!

Ruby and Will had so much energy - these two were constantly on the move, running, jumping, climbing, handstands, races, there really wasn't much downtime for these guys. And that's how I love it. Kids need to be able to move and be themselves. They brought their puppy dogs with them too and we had a gorgeous afternoon together at the lake.

little boy running through sand dunes MacMasters Beach
Ruby staring out to see MacMasters Beach
Brother and sister laughing at the beach
Little boy laughing at sunset at the beach
Puppy dog standing guard over his children at the beach
Making a splash at the lake
Ruby playing in the sand at MacMasters Beach NSW
Brother and sister hugging at Copacabana Beach NSW
Piggybacks at the beach

Sal's Surf School

Central Coast Documentary Photographer

I was pretty stoked to be able to take some business photos for Sal of Sal's Surf School at Umina. It was a blustery day when I headed down to Umina with my underwater housing and the kids in tow. As a high school PDHPE teacher Sal has an excellent background of managing groups of children and her explicit teaching instruction ensured all the kids were up on their feet and surfing in their first session. It was a great vibe on the beach and in the water. Sal and her partner Rhee were so accommodating of all the kids with their different ability and confidence levels. A great day out was had by all.

Sal's surf school kids lying on boards Umina Beach Photography Central Coast NSW
Kids dragging surf boards into the water Umina Beach Central Coast NSW
Little boy surfing Umina Beach Central Coast NSW
Dad pushing son over a wave at Umina Beach Central Coast NSW
Getting ready to catch a wave Sal's Surf School Umina Beach
Girl surfing Umina Beach