7 REASONS TO BOOK A PHOTOSHOOT IN MELBOURNE'S DANDENONGS IN WINTER


We typically associate winter with being cold, wet, grey and miserable don't we. Why on earth would you even contemplate doing a photoshoot during the long winter months from June to August? It may seem almost counterintuitive so I'm here to explain why you should absolutely consider doing photos in the hills during the off-peak season.


During winter I offer, at no additional charge, the option at the time of booking to reserve a second timeslot. That way we already have a backup time in all our calendars should our initial date be washed out due to inclement weather.

Sunrise over Yarra Valley from RJ Hamer Arboretum Olinda

1. The best light is at more child friendly hours

Ask any photographer and they will tell you the best light to photograph in is the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset, the so-called golden hours. If you want this type of light at the height of summer you need to be shooting at either 6am or from around 8pm. If you have young children you know the chances of getting them ready and somewhere by 6am are slim to none. The odds are probably the same of them being at their best come 8pm at night. But I have good news. Come mid-winter the golden hours occur from 7:30am and again from 4pm. How good is that? You can maximise your chances of golden light and still get little ones home for dinner and bed at their usual times.



2. You won't be hot and sweaty

We all know Melbourne's weather can be unpredictable but I can safely say with confidence that you will not get a stinking hot day with belting sun in the hills in June, July or August. Therefore, if you are like me and can get red faced and sweaty just walking around the block a winter shoot might be for you. The cooler months mean you don't need to worry about sweat stains on the armpits of your shirt or that your makeup will be running down your face before we even take the first frame.



3. Life is generally a little less busy

With the end of the school year and Christmas falling in Summer here in the Southern Hemisphere things can be HECTIC. Bbqs, concerts, working bees, camping trips, parties, jobs around the yard. Then comes the back to school period and the rush of birthday parties, swimming lessons, after school activities. Before we know it we are up to Easter and the year is already a quarter (or more) gone. But as the temperature drops for many of us so do the number of engagements and commitments in our diaries. Things just slow down in winter and it is often a chance to relax a little and recharge ourselves. And that can make it the perfect time to finally schedule the photo shoot you have been meaning to do for so long but keep putting off because you can't find a free day in your calendar and the whole prospect just makes you feel frazzled.



4. The hills are quieter

The Dandenongs are popular with day-trippers and tourists year round. In Spring visitors come to see the bulbs, wild flowers and rhododendrons in bloom. In Summer it is a popular destination as it can be up to 5 degrees cooler on the mountain compared to the surrounding suburbs. And Autumn, well we all know that Autumn is peak visitor season in the hills as people flock to see the gorgeous turning of the leaves. But in winter it is somewhat quieter as people discount it as a destination and this means you can enjoy a more peaceful version of the mountain. If you want to make a whole day (or even weekend) of your photoshoot and continue on to explore the surrounding area and sample local food winter can be a great time as you don't have to compete for carspaces or wait for tables or service.



5. The mist and fog

Winter in the Dandenongs is often misty and foggy making the forests seem almost mystical and magic-like. These conditions create very flattering, soft light and can give your photographs a totally different feel to those taken in other weather conditions and is really something to consider. And once the fog burns off the winter light is still generally less harsh than that in summer so shoots into the mid morning or from mid-afternoon onwards become a more viable options for those that just can't do the golden hour times.



6. Beanies (and gumboots)

One thing I love about winter is living in gumboots, coats, scarves and beanies (yay no need to straighten your hair!). And guess what I personally think this stuff looks AMAZING in photos. Winter weather accessories make it so easy to change up the look in your photos without having to duck behind a tree to do a full outfit change. And for those of us that might be a little body conscious well winter layers are perfect to hide all that whether it is a mummy-tummy, untoned upper arms, lily-white legs or receding hairline and thinning or grey hair. Just think about it, no need to worry about shaving your legs or giving thought to which bra won't show under your sundress come winter ;-)



7. Snuggles

You know the feeling at the end of a hot summer's day when you are so irritable and overheated and over it and just don't want anyone to be near you let alone touching you? If you can relate you can probably understand why taking natural family photos showing all the love and connection can be a little hard in a heatwave. Fast forward six months and two seasons and you will actually want to cuddle into your significant other, children, dog or a cosy blanket to keep warm and this natural instinct can make for truly epic photos with none of the effort it sometimes takes at other times of the year.



So if these reasons have gotten you thinking that maybe, just maybe, you can be intrepid and book a winter photo shoot head to my portfolio to check out my work.

Sunset over hills at Gembrook outside Melbourne in the Dandenong Ranges

Kate Cashin is a family photographer based in the Dandenong Ranges outside of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

She specialises in nature sessions and forest adventures with the motto "Play. Move. Explore.".