A sunset beach love shoot really is a dream come true for many couples. But how do you create the magic that it takes to organise and create one, and how to do it without spending a small fortune?  Photographer Lauren Joy and florist Clear Henderson from Run Wild Flora explain the inspiration behind this stunning shoot and some tips and tricks on how to create the perfect wild & romantic beach sunset shoot for your engagement photos. 

We wanted to show couples who want something special for their engagement pictures that you can achieve something special without buying expensive outfits or spending a lot on props and styling. So why not rent something unique and create some magic?

In line with changing bridal shopping behaviour, sustainability has become an emergent theme. The rent your wedding dress idea is becoming increasingly popular. We rented a gown from Statement Robe Hire in Brisbane – they have a variety of rental tulle robes for shoots ranging from engagement shoots to maternity. Gorgeous muse and model Georgia Phillips did her own makeup, florist Clear from Run Wild Flora did two bridal bouquets early the same morning and I, Lauren Joy Photography, grabbed my camera and off we went.  We had half an hour in between a raging storm right before sunset and we captured total magic at Currumbin Alley on the Gold Coast. And we have to add that Georgia was an amazing sport even getting in the freezing water without a complaint! Capturing amazing shots by the ocean can be tricky if you haven’t done any preplanning. Here are our tips on how to make this dream a reality!


Pre-check the weather to ensure conditions are suited to what you want! (And don’t be put off by storms or some rain – if you catch a break in the weather you can manage to capture really moody wonderful shots!)

Don’t shoot in the middle of the day when the light is harshest, shoot at sunrise or sunset when the light is optimal for photos. The golden hour right after sunrise and right before sunset is perfect for ultimate lighting. Remember that depending on the time of the day or the season, the same beach will look totally different.


In Australia, the beaches are quieter in the winter but not freezing cold. Unless you are in an isolated location keep in mind there will be other beachgoers present. Winter beaches have a different vibe and moody light!

You could avoid crowds by going to less-visited beaches. This means you might need to travel a bit farther away. You’ll want to get away from parking areas and other facilities that attract people, like bars and restaurants.

Rain clouds, storms, and rough seas can paint both the sea and sky in beautiful colours. Our shoot was in the middle of a storm in winter. It was pouring rain and windy and we had a 20 min reprieve where we shot, you don’t need a lot of time just go for it.

Use the background as props/styling!

We are in Australia and lucky enough to have the best beaches in the world at our fingertips. You don’t need a massive crew to create some magic, sometimes a smaller spontaneous shoot gets the most amazing results. Rocks, piers, cityscapes in the background – all of these work beautifully in the background.

Make it fun!

Let the subject enjoy themselves! Don’t go for overly posed images, you are on a beach so run wild with it.  We love it when the model gets in the water – get that dress wet! Props like a bouquet of flowers add a gorgeous colour pop in a moody setting.