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Bottle Lake Forest

Bottle Lake Forest: Is sheltered in many spots from both wind and the sun making it an ideal location for wedding and engagement photography location in different weather conditions.

couple standing in the bottle lake forest


We have used Bottle Lake forest for some Portrait, Model and Engagement shoots and love how on each visit the lighting and mood in the woods are different.

Overcast days seem to be the best days to shoot in the forest, and are ideal for family portraits or if you are after flat even lighting for your subjects.Although it can be a bit on the cooler side weather wise, the lighting is at its best.

On the flip side, sunny days can be a challenging when shooting in the forest as you have dappled light to work around. On saying that, if used in creative ways, dappled lighting can produce images with high impact and opens doors to be creative.

Early morning sun especially in winter, combined with foggy weather can give an enchanted magical feel and look. The only downside is an early morning start for the photographer and the subjects to catch the mist and fog before it burns out, but the photos can be worth the trouble.
We have even gone to the extent of purchasing some canned fog to experiment with in the forest; now we don’t have to wait for a foggy day.

On the other side of the day. Shooting in the woods when the sun is close to setting can spark some creative use of the suns rays filtering through the forest trees.

Props and composition elements

The things we love about Bottle Lake is the variations in the scenes. Having couples walk along narrow paths which are in the midst of tall brown bare tree trunks makes for stunning perspective images.

Fallen trees provide somewhere for the subjects to sit or lie. They also give a high elevation point from which to shoot your subjects.

Talking about shooting your subjects from above, the pine tree leaves provide great backgrounds if the photography subject is sitting or lying on the ground. It may take a bit of clearing out of sticks and finding the right spot for the look you will be going for and there is nothing wrong with doing a bit of on-location photoshop to get clean images.

Other elements that we love although they require some forest searching are moss covered trees and tree stumps. These are very ideal for fairies or mythical related shoots more than engagement or wedding shoots. But if your subjects are keen to try out something different then go for gold.
Using moss covered trees and tree stumps is a very tempting idea for a trash the dress photo shoot.

Other forests we love to shoot at which similar to Bottle Lake Forest are:

Spencer Park Forest

• Pegasus Forest

• Another popular one even though it’s not in Christchurch is Hanmer Forest


There are other forests in and around Christchurch which will give you similar looks to what we have mentioned above. It’s up to you to try them out and figure out your favorites.


Christchurch Wedding and Engagement Photography Locations