Dubai Family Photoshoot Locations
Aside from outfits, the location of your shoot is the biggest decision you have to make when booking your shoot. It not only determines how your images will look in terms of landscape and colour but also the memories that will be made.
And so, because i know what an important and individual decision this is I thought I'd put together a post with all of my favourite locations and why.
1: Black Palace Beach //
Starting with an old favourite, black palace beach, or the beach between the palaces or secret beach depending on who you're talking to ;) This beach is pretty much the only public beach with Burj Al Arab views, so if you want to capture a momentum of living or visiting Dubai with an iconic back drop this is it!
This popular beach is best mid-week when it is quiet and serene, however if you must shoot on the weekend because of work or school then sunrise is really the only option.
This locations is great for families of all ages with little ones enjoying collecting shells and racing about and older children and tweens enjoying exploring the rocks. Its such a beautiful beach and always results in a really diverse set of images.
There are other beautiful beaches in Dubai that I absolutely love to shoot on, more secluded, less known beaches but they don't have views of the burj al arab so, depending on your vision for the shoot I can recommend whatever might suit your family.
Just to note some younger ones maybe sensitive to the sand on their feet and wind so this is something to consider with a beach location.
2: Al Qudra Lakes //
This is a brand new favourite location of mine for family photo shoots. It's a bit of a drive, around 45 minutes from the mall of Emirates, but in my opinion totally worth it. The lakes, trees, colours, space and nature will have you wanting to spend every weekend at this desert oasis.
Again it gets busy on the weekend so if you can book a weekday then great, but if not sunrise on the weekend is preferable. Having said that I have a secret lake ;) that (so far) has been empty... take this shoot for example which was sunset on a Friday, but the surrounding areas and the drive in and out of al qudra will be busy.
This location is suitable for children of all ages, both young and old love to explore... although bring a change of clothes just incase little ones get wet.
3: Desert //
This is another old favourite because, alike black palace beach, its an iconic Dubai or UAE location. With great open vistas and beautiful rippling dunes the desert is popular with families hoping to capture something typically "Dubai'. As with most locations this is better mid week or early morning on the weekend, although it is possible to shoot in the desert at sunset if you're willing to explore a little.
Whilst this location is great for children of any age it can be windy and so younger children sometimes get a bit fed up with sand in their eyes. Of course you know your children best, but it something to consider when making your decision.
This location doesn't require a 4x4 as we park on the road and walk in so as to make it accessible for all families. However if you have a favorite desert location that you usually go to then I'm happy to explore that with you too.
4: Bastikiya //
The Bastikiya, also known as Al Fahidi Historical neighbourhood is located in Bur Dubai. Although its absolutely beautiful with narrow, winding lanes and huge doorways, its generally a location that returning clients choose after they've done the beach, desert and home photo shoots. I'm not sure if that's due to its (previously considered) busy and difficult to get to location or just because it doesn't have the big open vistas of the above locations but its definitely a spot to be considered for its own unique charm.
Another positive to this location is that it is conveniently located near the new Al Seef area, which again is beautiful for photographs. One drawback to both of these locations however, is that they require a permit to shoot there, so need to be booked in advance to allow time for the approval.
This location is great for children of all ages.
5: Home //
An often overlooked location is your family home and garden.
Nothing holds memories like your own home, especially in somewhere as transient as Dubai. In home sessions are some of my favourite. I'd recommend that you prepare some tasks that the whole family will enjoy, baking, dancing, games, preparing lunch etc etc and then just enjoy time together in your own environment as you usually do and I can capture those authentic moments for you.
Of course, whilst its great to capture your family in your home, with Dubai being such a transient place, sometimes our homes don't really represent us, and in which case I'd recommend you choose a favourite outside location instead. If like these families however, you want simple family connections in the place you are most comfortable then home is always a winner.
Aside from these much loved locations I have shot in parks, residential areas, Le Mer, JBR, various hotel private beaches and too many more to list so if you have a great idea in mind feel free to message me to discuss :)
Above all your pictures are about you and your family so, if it's somewhere that you enjoy spending time, that will shine through in the pictures.
I look forward to discussing with you some more,