Ideas & Tips for Photography in Sydney

Tips & Ideas for photographers in Sydney Australia

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Informational article about Sydney photography

Summary of what is covered

There aren’t many articles online about photographers in Sydney either for new freelancers or for the professional photographers already on top of their game that we can find.

So in this article we’ll try to give you a comprehensive overview of interesting stuff that’s related to both photography and Sydney.

Including places to photograph, jobs, legal concerns with street photography and some photo suppliers. Education whether self taught, workshop or formal traditional learning in TAFE and other independent schools.

Also one of our favourite related subjects, the history of photography in Sydney and it’s crucial role in documenting the great events and changes over time.

When you are finished reading this article, check out the photographer brief page or one of our photo case studies.
Photo of Sydney Opera House - silhouette with photographer

Photo of Sydney Opera House – silhouette with photographer

Top Photographer List of Lists

Here’s a photographer round up of what others are listing as their top photographers.

Many listed are the usual good photographers you’d expect to see. Others are listed because their website met a traffic threshold and presumable will link back to the article article improving their own rankings. And one website looks like it’s a paid membership drive, sign up for the fee and we list you, otherwise not. So take these top photographer lists with a grain of salt.

List of Top Photographer Lists

  • https://www.pixpa.com/blog/photography-blogs
  • https://www.pixpa.com/blog/photography-blogs
  • https://phlearn.com/magazine/best-photography-blogs/
  • https://www.format.com/magazine/resources/photography/photography-blogs
  • https://www.photoblog.com/learn/best-photography-blogs/
  • https://blog.feedspot.com/photography_blogs/
  • http://resourcemagonline.com/2014/07/18-great-photography-blogs-reading/40655/
  • https://expertphotography.com/best-photographer-bloggers/
  • https://detailed.com/photography-blogs/
  • https://photodoto.com/inspiring-photo-blogs/
  • https://photographycourse.net/best-photography-blogs-2019/
  • https://industrydev.com/top-50-photography-blogs-bloggers/
  • https://teckers.com/top-10-photography-blogs/
  • https://www.creativebloq.com/photography/websites-10121096
  • https://www.diyphotography.net/great-photography-blogs-galleries-and-photography-sites/
  • https://www.sitebuilderreport.com/inspiration/photography-website-examples
  • https://colorvaleactions.com/blogs/business/blogging-week-1-photographer-blogging
  • https://www.photoworkout.com/best-blogs-learn-photography/

4 spots we like to Photograph in Sydney

Fleet Steps Farm Cove

Sydney Photographer Fleet Step Farm Cove

Near Mrs Macquaries Rd

Hyde Park Sydney

Hyde Park Sydney portrait photo

Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park

Sydney University

Old School Building (G15) Sydney University portrait photo

Old School Building (G15)

Hickson Road Reserve

Hickson Road Reserve family portrait

Near Park Hyatt Sydney

The Photographers in Sydney you can depend on

History of the art of photography in Sydney

Where can I learn about the history of photography in Sydney?

There are 3 places online where you can get more information about early Sydney photographers.

Photos we love spending hours looking through are the ones from the City of Sydney Council Archive libraries. These early photos have some information on the photographers of the time. Here’s the section that has photos from the significant events in early Sydney.

Early notable photographers in Sydney include;

  • Percy James Bryant Photographs
  • Mark Stevens Photograph Collection
  • Len Stone and Vic Solomons
  • Mark Goddard Photographs
  • Tim Cole Photograph Collection
  • Adam Forrest Grant Urban Collection
  • Johnny Barker Photographs
  • Gary Deirmendjian Photographs
  • C.Moore Hardy Photographs
  • Graeme Andrews Working Harbour
  • Brian McInerney Industrial Images
  • Patricia Baillie Villages
  • John Ward Transport

Check out the full photo albums here.

The other place is on photo sharing website Flickr. Aussie Jeff beautifully restored photos with notes are a treat to look through. Many have additional thoughtful comments from admirers and give you an insight into the culture of the time.

The other tip on historic Sydney photos are archived on the State Library of NSW website. Well worth your time if you are interested in the early photos of Sydney.

There’s a mixed collection of photos originally in glass negatives including views of Sydney Harbour, Royal Botanic Gardens, and Circular Quay, Sydney, ca. 1890-1910.

Historic Sydney Image 1850

We like this image for a few reasons, it shows in a stylised fashion how the very early Sydney looked like towards the north. The image appears to be from what is now Strawberry Hills and what possibly could have turned into Cleveland Street. To the right is Chalmers Street where we are located. The harbour to the left is Darling Harbour, it was much bigger than now.

The original creator is Rae, John, 1813-1900. It was created in 1850 as a water colour and digitised.

First railway in the Australasian colonies at Redfern, Sydney, N.S.W.

Photo Credit: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. Out of copyright, original by John Rae. First railway in the Australasian colonies at Redfern, Sydney, N.S.W.

4 of Sydney’s Best Photo Spots

What are the spots you must capture photos in Sydney?

These are the places in inner Sydney you much get your camera out for; Fleet Steps Farm Cove, Hyde Park Sydney, Sydney University and Hickson Road Reserve amongst many others.

Top location at Fleet Steps, Farm Cove for photos?

Over on the east side of the Botanic Garden just down from Mrs Macquarie’s Road is a beautiful spot to bring a friend or two and take some shots in the late afternoon.

The later the better as when the sun starts to set and some lovely hues brush the sky use you Speedlight to make you portraits pop against the city high-rise building lights.

Only paid parking or walk in.

Map co-ordinates -33.86122849280548, 151.22113739671715

Where to shoot in Hyde Park Sydney?

So many great spots to shoot family portraits in this Sydney park favourite, here are a few.

Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park North is a good place to start. Take some shots facing south along the Hyde Park Central Avenue with it arching Hills Weeping Fig trees framing the portrait, together with the dimmer luminance under the canopy you can make the model pop by using a little Speedlight for the foreground.

Another spot used less are the Sandringham Memorial Garden and Fountain area, (next to Park Street). You can also get some great photos with St Mary’s Cathedral in the background.

Some paid street parking, paid parking stations or public transport from the Sydney city circle train line.

Map co-ordinates -33.87090450502472, 151.21179005306328

Where to take photos in the Sydney University?

The Sydney University has so much history and character one could spend a few days taking photos of the architecture of the buildings and gardens.

You can start in Victoria park and walk your way to the quadrangle and then head south east or use one of the City Road entrances.

This spot is a little less well known for taking photos. The closed point of entry in via Maze Crescent. The Old School Building (G15) is a gothic revival style heritage building. Lot’s of little and bigger spaces for your friend to model in. Lovely old verandas too with quaint archways.

Street parking is usually available outside of business hours or bus from City Road.

Map co-ordinates -33.88990671287207, 151.19245222084436

Where is the best spot from Hickson Road Reserve for photos?

For the most Australian iconic backdrop in your photos there are few places like the Hickson Road Reserve to take photos from.

Just south east of the little park is the board walk area around Sydney Harbour and round to Circular Quay. Right on the corner is the perfect spot to take photos of your friends and family with the iconic sails of the Opera House in the background. Very touristy, yes, but why not enjoy our own backyard.

A tip for this spot is to avoid the midday sun. Overcast day is preferred if you get a choice of weather and also avoid the weekends are there will no doubt lots of people enjoying the foreshore walk.

A little paid street parking if you are lucky otherwise catch a train from Circular Quay station.

Map co-ordinate -33.85587196472719, 151.21015079246894

NB. Depending on the type of photography you are doing, you may need a permit to photograph in some city parks and harbour foreshore.

Photo gallery for top spots in inner Sydney for shoots

Find a Photography Job

Where to find photography jobs in Sydney?

Try these job listing places online such as;

Most you can automate with your ‘photographer’ keywords for an email alert.

No doubt you’ll already have an eye out on other more common social channels.

Find Photography Suppliers

Photography suppliers and printers we use in Sydney

Nikon Australia’s services in Rhodes. Using only Nikon cameras and lenses means we rely on their service and expert support when needed. The NPS professional service is great and they have always been helpful and accommodating.

Pixel Perfect photo lab located at 90 Abercrombie St, Chippendale Chippendale, this is another supplier we’ve used for over 10 years. They care about printing as much as we care about our clients.

For camera and related equipment we regularly use, George Cameras located at 387 George Street, Sydney, and Didi Direct at Shop 3/75 King Street, Sydney.

Sydney street photography

Where can I get information on Sydney street photography legalities?

There two great places we know of to get free information about your rights about street photography in Sydney.

One is Arts Law, they cover what you can do and also some areas you need to be aware that in some jurisdictions you need to get permission first. Direct link here.

Such as Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. Other places such as The Sydney Opera House, says no commercial photos of the outside design. Although there may be some leniency as there are a lot of wedding couples that have a professional photographer taking lots of shots.

The other place you can read about street photography rights is titled “Australian Street Photography Legal Issues” although last updated in 2016 it is more of an easy to read style, written by Andrew Nemeth.

Find Photo Studios

Inner Sydney photo studios, where to find them?

There are many options for creative studio spaces to hire, getting this information in an easy to read way is not so easy. Here’s a few studio’s and places you can hire

Have a look at tagvenue.com/au/hire/photo-studios/sydney, here they list a few around Surry Hills and Sydney CBD. There were a lot more pre restrictions. Prices for studio hire varies greatly depending of the level of services, space, how many inclusions and of course proximity to public transport. Not all talent and assistants have their own car so public transport options should play a big part in deciding which studio.

Another option when searching for a photo shoot studio in Sydney is to use creativespaces.net.au website, it has great search features and easy navigation.

How much are photo studios in inner Sydney?

Most commercial photo studios operate on very small margins. So look at other options if you need a big discount on the advertised prices.

You can expect to pay from $300 per session up to well over $1000 for the larger ones with all the extras you might need for a more complex shoot.

If the costs are above your budget, consider going outdoors or even a friends yard or balcony can be used with extra creativity.

Photography education sources

Are there photography schools and education sources?

There’s a few recommended places we’d suggest you research for learning about photography and the business of photography.

Self taught photography option

One place to gain some knowledge is on informational websites, although some professional photographers websites are all about the services they sell. Other websites are all about affiliate sales offers, so take these with a big scoop of salt.

There are other sites (such as ours) that have articles that have been written to help beginner or intermediate photographers on their journey. The advantage here is that you are getting information directly from working photographers, not just educators or content writers. The disadvantage is that you may need to sift through many pages until you get to the informational content rather than service pages.

Unless of course they have a section in the menu or footer with grouped informative articles ready for your reading. (check out our footer section)

Some websites are all about educating either in photography tips and techniques or or the actual running of a photography business. Check out Andrews podcast and website for starters.

Workshops and formal education options

There are also numerous workshops being offered by current or previous professional photographers in groups or one on one. But the cost can be very high for a year’s worth of education.

Formal schools are a great way to get a more structured learning experience, but can be costly in money and time. So be prepared for that.

Related training courses are available from the Academy of Information Technology ait.edu.au in Ultimo Sydney. They have related courses such as ‘Film making courses’, ‘Digital design courses’, Business courses, IT and related courses.

Also check out ‘The Australian Film Television and Radio School’ AFTRS has multidisciplinary courses that focus on video production, but they have some strong shared learnings for photographers at first glance.

A much cheaper option are the training courses offered at TAFE NSW, tafensw.edu.au/photography When courses are run they will be structured, (hopefully in person), and be within many people’s budget. Plus you also get the essential networking opportunities that will help you along your career in photography.

Before you spend all that time and money for education and experience do your research about your prospects for a photography job in Australia by visiting the Australia Government ‘Job Outlook’ website joboutlook.gov.au/photographers and decide for yourself.

Photography industry journals and magazines in Australia for industry wide general education;

  • Australia Council for the Arts
  • NAVA
  • Artshub
  • Arts Law Centre of Australia

Sydney photography exhibitions

Where do you find Sydney photography exhibitions?

One of the ways to find photo art exhibitions is too look at where they have been held in the past. They are likely to be on show again. Here’s a list of a few photo exhibitions or places in Sydney we know about.

  • https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/
  • https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/ world-press-photo-exhibition-2021
  • https://www.sydney.com/events-exhibitions-and-shows
  • https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/ tags/photography
  • https://www.sea.museum/wildlife
  • https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/ exhibitions/now-and-then
  • https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/ exhibitions/thousand-words
  • https://www.mca.com.au/artists-works/exhibitions/sydney-photographed/

History of Photography Exhibiting, Collecting and Curating in Australia

Everything you ever wanted to know about the curation of photography in Australia’s history in easy to follow chronological order is on the Curating Photography website. https://photocurating.net/?page_id=194

Right back from 1847 and the daguerreotype portraits of Aboriginal people in the Exhibition of Pictures, the Works of Colonial Artists.

The 1876 Centennial Photographic Co gallery photos, mentions of the Photographic Society of New South Wales 1903 and right through the 1900’s in detail and to contemporary photography influencers that held positions such as curators of photography at the Art Gallery of NSW and the National Galleries.

Well worth spending time on the page if you are studying photography.

About Curating Photography – It forms part of a joint research project between Prof. Daniel Palmer at RMIT University (formerly Monash University) and Assoc. Prof. Martyn Jolly at the Australian National University, supported by grants from the Australia Council and the Australian Research Council.
The project seeks to recognise the crucial role of exhibitions in the development of photographic practice. Towards this end, we aim to offer a systematic account of the history of photography curating in Australia.

One subject we haven’t added is on ‘Who are the best photographers in Sydney’ for that we’d need to define which genre and other criteria. Having said that, we may add our top 10 photographer list some time in the future.

Hope you have found this page helpful on the subjects related to photography and Sydney. If we’ve missed anything you think should be included or there are errors, please drop us an email.

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