40 Great Locations to Shoot Portraits in Dublin
The success of a photo shoot depends on a number of factors, with the right location being one of them. I believe in planning ahead, so location (alongside clothing and timing) will be one of the things that we’ll discuss prior to the shoot.
For individual portrait sessions, the style and theme of the shoot will often dictate the choice of location. For couples’ sessions, choosing a location that has special meaning to you may be a good idea (e.g. the place where you first met, the beach where you went on your first walk, or a park where you go for regular strolls, etc). The choice is yours.
Dublin is a very diverse place and offers a great variety of locations suitable for photo shoots. The possibilities are endless really. On the one hand, there’re breath-taking seascapes, cliffs, mountains and parks and on the other hand, there’re beautiful city landmarks such as Trinity College or the cobbled streets near the Guinness Storehouse. And there’re also the more gritty and edgy urban spots like Dublin Docklands, the industrial area beside Poolbeg Station, and the derelict Dun Laoghaire Baths to name but a few.
I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting locations and love to scope them out prior to shoots. Killiney Hill Park is on my list of places to investigate next!
Below is a broad-strokes list of places that I would consider suitable for portrait photo shoots (the majority of these would also suit couples’ sessions).
Parks and Gardens:
There’re lots of parks in Dublin that offer a fantastic selection of backdrops for a portrait session.
1. Botanic Gardens
2. Bushy Park
3. Cabinteely Park
4. Fairview Park
5. Iveagh Gardens
6. Herbert Park
7. Killiney Hill Park
8. Marley Park
9. Merrion Square
10. National War Memorial Park
11. Phoenix Park
12. St Anne’s Park
13. St. Stephen’s Green Park
NB: You must abide by all relevant bye-laws when doing photo shoots in Local Authority parks.
Mountains and Seascapes:
For the more adventurous kind, I would suggest heading to Dublin mountains or the breath-taking cliffs by the Irish Sea in Howth Head. Photo adventure is a great way to spend a few hours in the morning or late afternoon and one of the reasons I love doing what I do.
14. Dublin Mountains
15. Cliff walk around Howth Head (Sutton to Howth)
16. Donabate to Portraine Loop Walk
Beaches and Waterworks:
There are so many wonderful and diverse beaches in Dublin with rock formations and sand dunes. My favourite water locations are listed below:
17. Killiney beach
18. Sandymount beach
19. Dollymount Strand in Bull Island
20. Portmarnock beach
21. Malahide beach
22. Bohernabreena waterworks
Harbours and Piers:
There’re a number of cute coastal villages in South and North Dublin that are a great choice for a shoot.
23. Dun Laoghaire Pier and Harbour
24. Howth Harbour
25. Bullock Harbour in Dalkey
26. Malahide Marina
27. Poolbeg Lighthouse Pier
Castles and Estates:
28. Ardgillan Castle in Balbriggan
29. Malahide Castle
30. Dublin Castle
31. Ashtown Castle in Phoenix Park
32. Farmleigh House and Estate in Phoenix Park
NB: Generally speaking photography for personal use is permitted. However, this needs to be verified with the individual locations.
Although busy city centre locations are not ideal for a portrait or engagement photo shoot, there’re some beautiful spots in central Dublin that are not busy when the timing is right.
33. Trinity College
34. Cobbled streets near the Guinness Storehouse
35. Street Art/graffiti in the Temple Bar and Tivoli Theatre area
36. Walk alongside the Quays/Bridges
37. Walk alongside the Grand Canal (from Grand Canal Dart station towards Portobello)
38. The grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Kilmainham
39. Grand Canal Docks
Edgy and Derelict:
Photographers love derelict and abandoned sites and I’m no different in this regard. An abandoned location can help create a certain mood and add character to the shoot.
40. Abandoned Ireland is a great resource for anyone looking for abandoned spots in Dublin as well as other counties in Ireland.
Please feel free to share this post and add any new suggestions in the comments section below.