Best Sydney Locations for your next Model Shoot

Sydney is arguably the most beautiful city in Australia, with its harbour setting, golden beaches, rugged coastal cliffs, historic architecture, and numerous beautiful gardens and national parks. As a photographer, the choices for a model shoot are almost too numerous, so this list should help you start to narrow down your options.


Sydney’s waterways offer myriad choices, from bustling Circular Quay to marinas, and many of the islands that dot the harbour are accessible to the public. However, depending on the nature of your shoot, you may need to contact the relevant authorities to check whether or not you need a permit, and what that might cost. For instance, the Sydney Opera House and its environs is free for personal photographs, and some wedding shoots, but there are various regulations that come into play if your shoot is deemed to be commercial. Similarly, historic sites on and around the harbour have various categories that are dependent on your set up, and the ultimate destination of your images.

City of Sydney

The city itself offers a considerable range of options for a photographer. From the busy modern commercial areas, right through to the historic Rocks precinct or the iconic Queen Victoria Building, there's a rich variety of potential backdrops that could work for your shoot. The City of Sydney website has an excellent page that will enable you to access information on what permits might be needed.

Public and national parks

Sydney is home to a number of public parks, including the Botanic Gardens, Centennial Park and historic Hyde Park in the city centre. Travel a little further afield, and national parks abound with rustic bush settings, magnificent cliffs and stunning views. The larger public parklands and national parks are usually subject to permission, permits, and in some cases fees for use as sites for professional shoots.

Historic houses

The Historic Houses Trust is a network of living history museums that are open to the public. Try the imposing sandstone Elizabeth Bay House for some old world glamour, or Vaucluse House for a touch of country manor by the sea. You will need to seek permission, and usually pay a fee. As is the case with all public venues, scheduled events will take precedence over public bookings, so you’ll need to work around their existing bookings.

Studio lighting in Sydney

Although the harbour city can turn on spectacular weather, especially throughout the summer months, you might find you need to supplement the natural light a little. This will depend on the type of shoot and the conditions, and whether you want to create specific effects. Sun Studios offers a full range of studio lighting in Sydney for hire. Our professional quality equipment is kept in excellent condition, and we can even deliver it directly to your location.

No matter whether you choose to shoot in an historic home, or around the iconic waterfront, you have an excellent range of options in and around Sydney.