1 Of the Best Photography Locations Near Me In Johannesburg
Bryanston Pine Forest is one of the most beautiful and versatile free photography locations near me!
Photography packages do not always include a great location for your photo shoot. One of the difficulties of living in the city is finding a photography location near you that does not contain buildings and concrete.
Don’t get me wrong, these can still make amazing photographs, but if you want a more natural background, this can be a bit challenging. So today we are going to talk about one of my favourite photography locations near me right in the heart of Johannesburg.
Luckily Johannesburg is one of the greenest cities in the world and does have a few spots to take photos. But many of them do require permission or have fees attached to them.
However, if you are looking for a beautiful FREE venue to take photos at in Johannesburg, look no further! We have just the answer for you!
Bryanston Pine Forest is a hidden gem amongst the city’s stone and brick, located in the north of Johannesburg.
If you are looking for a natural woodland look, this is the right spot for you, and you don’t even need to leave the city to get there! This makes it one of the most popular photography locations near me that I use quite often!
The best part about it is it’s free, and no booking is required! Let’s look at some of the other reasons this is such a great venue and is ever popular with the photographers.
1. What and where is Bryanston Pine forest
2. What to look for when choosing a photography venue
3. What makes this one of the best photography locations near me
4. What to be prepared for when you have a photoshoot at Bryanston Pine forest
5. Conclusion and helpful links to photography locations near me
What and where is Bryanston Pine Forest?
Bryanston Pine Forest is a block of very tall pine conifer trees in the middle of Johannesburg. It is surrounded by residential areas and is a hidden gem not many people know about except for photographers.
The municipality has kept it as a public park and, as such, is a free venue to use. Many Johannesburg residents like to use it for walks, dog walking, and it is extremely popular as a photoshoot venue in Johannesburg, and below you can see some of the reasons why this is one of the best photography locations near me.
What makes Bryanston Pine Forest an excellent location for a photoshoot?
When booking your photography packages, finding a venue to take photos in Johannesburg can be challenging for many different reasons. Below, we first go through what makes a fantastic location for a photoshoot and then explain why Bryanston Pine Forest is one of my preferred photography locations near me.
A photoshoot location needs good lighting – Bryanston Pine Forest is a block of tremendously tall pine trees. As such, it allows filtered light through to its ground level.
From a photography point of view, it means you can shoot here at almost any time of the day, and you are not limited to sunrise or sunset times, otherwise known as the golden hour. Meaning it still gives you the best photos and light at any time of the day.
You can get away with having your photoshoot later in the morning or earlier in the afternoon. The trees also aren’t overpowering enough to block out the light entirely, so there is still ample light at sunset or sunrise to get the best shots.
The photography venue should be safe for both photographer and client.
We all like to go exploring as photographers. Still, we need to remember that we are carrying around some costly equipment, and it is not like you can hide it under your jacket or be inconspicuous as you are doing your photo shoot.
Unfortunately, it can make photographers a target. There are not many places you can go in Johannesburg and still feel safe enough to do this.
However, Bryanston Pine Forest is one of the safer photography locations. Being in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, it is much quieter, away from the bustle of the city and the prying eyes of would-be opportunists.
So as a photographer, you can confidently let your clients know they will be in a safe area. Or, if you are the client yourself, you can breathe easier!
The background should add to your photo, not distract from your subject.
Personally, this is what I like the most about Bryanston Pine Forest because the trees create a beautiful abstract background, which is excellent for portrait photography as you don’t want the backdrop to be too distracting.
Never overwhelm your audience with the background, get them focused on the people in your photos. The forest is a perfect background because it is not bland, and you can still get pretty colours and textures from the trees and leaves in the park.
Use the trees as props in your photos – Trees can be a versatile prop to use in your photos when you are running out of poses to do with your clients.
Or, if you want to do something different and creative, get your clients to lean on a tree in various poses or play hide and seek with small children and peek around the tree to get a more natural smile from them.
The pinecones are also great props for small kids as they seem to get fascinated with them just long enough for you to get some spectacular shots in, especially if they are crying or not wanting to look at the camera.
Space for kids to run and play and explore- Bryanston Pine Forest is also a fun venue for family photos with any age group of children as they seem to love the extra outdoor space to run, play a bit and explore. It usually translates into more natural and better photos all around!
It’s great for photos in any season – although the colours may change, the location is lovely in summer or winter!
There may be more green pine needles on the trees in spring and summer, but the winter browns and fawns still have a unique charm, and you can create stunning images. Sun flares and haze are easily controlled through the trees.
BONUS – this is an entirely free photography location to use – Most of the safer places you can go to take photos in Johannesburg require either an entrance fee or permission or a fee to photograph at the venue.
Bryanston Pine Forest is one of the few photography locations near me that do not require any entrance fee, permissions or booking in advance.
It is certainly something to consider when looking at photography packages, as venue fees can add even more to the photoshoot.
What else do you need to know to prepare for a photoshoot at Bryanston Pine Forest?
While this is a great photography location to use, you need to consider a couple of minor things before choosing this venue for your photoshoot.
There are no bathroom facilities – One of the downsides of this venue is the lack of bathroom facilities. So, if you are planning on using the venue, you may want to make sure everyone has gone to the bathroom before they leave the house.
Especially if the photoshoot includes small children, you don’t want to have any unfortunate accidents while they are in their best dress. It also means that there is no place to change outfits if you plan to have more than one outfit during your photoshoot.
However You can work around this by getting creative with a couple of sheets in between trees if you really want to – it has worked in the past for me!
It is VERY popular with photographers – being a free safe location in Johannesburg can come at the cost of overcrowding. So, finding a space to take photos at this venue with no one in the background can be challenging.
A professional photographer will not have a problem with this and should work around other photographers at the location but do bear this in mind and make sure your photographer is up to the task.
If you can, go on a weekday instead when it is less likely to be busy.
It is a public venue, as mentioned. So, if you are more adventurous and perhaps looking for a venue to do a lingerie boudoir or maternity photo shoot this may not be the best option for it as it is very difficult to find a private enough space to take the photos.
There you have it, one of the best free hidden gem photography locations near me in Johannesburg!
If you are a client, be sure to let your photographer know this is the location for you! If you are a Johannesburg photographer and have not been to Bryanston Pine Forest yet, I hope you enjoy exploring it further!
Also, be sure to check out our venues page for more options if Bryanston Pine Forest is not quite your vibe. Lovilee also has a great list of additional photoshoot locations in Johannesburg for couples ≫.
Below you can click on the link to see more photoshoots Renphotos has done at this location or contact us directly to discuss our photography packages.