The number one location that is requested from families is no surprise–the beach. Its a favorite for out-of-towners and any family that spends a lot of time there. They are slightly unique from other locations but if you know what to expect and plan for it, your photo session will sing!
- Embrace the Elements
Surprise! There is wind, water and sand at the beach. Your hair and clothing will be blowing. Embrace it! The movement will add a whole element of fun that can yield playful results. Women and girls look particularly fantastic in flowy skirts. There is nothing static about the beach. It’s all moving. In addition to the wind, there is the sand and water–it’s gonna stick to you. Add them together and you are bound to bring a few grains home. Going in the water fully clothed is magical, and no matter how hard you try the water is very hard to resist. I mean, you only live once. Expect pant legs to get wet and for there to be splashing. Bring towels and a change of clothes for the ride home; a sweater might not be bad idea once the sun goes down. It will be a beautiful mess. Go with it!
- Wear Color.
The sky is bright. The water is reflective. And the sand is white. Avoid the white shirts and blue jeans…I beg you. The 90’s called and said they were sorry for the confusion. The beach is typically void of color. Wear deep saturated colors to make your family pop from the background. I’ve seen purples, reds, oranges, dark blues, bright yellows, magentas, and even blacks look amazing! Fun colors make for fun photos. Live a little!
- Ditch the Shoes.
Most people are smart enough to leave the high heals at home, and the knee length boots just don’t fit the scene. Sandals or ankle high shoes seem like a good idea until you start walking on the sand, shaking the sand out of your shoe with every step. Just ditch the shoes. It’s totally normal not to have your shoes on at the beach anyway. Which brings me to my next point…
- …Bring a Bag.
In fact, bring two. One for the shoes and one for all the other things you’ll undoubtedly have with you: sunglasses, purse, phone, etc. I prefer one of the million reusable grocery bags we now have living in our trunks. If you don’t have one because you’re from out of town and didn’t think to pack one, let me know and I will do my best to accommodate you. We take those things off and set them aside so we don’t have to worry about hiding them each time we set up. Avoiding those distractions allow us to be mindful of memories we are making.
- Visit the Beach Before Your Session.
This is espcially true for young kids. There is a lot going on and it we all have a tendency to zone out on the waves, or the seagulls, or the sand, or the seaweed, or any number of things stimulating our senses. It’s a bit much to take in. If you haven’t been to the beach in a while please take a moment to go as close as you can to your session date. Doing this an hour before your session does not count. Remember what I said about water and only living once? They are going to go in!
So if you have decided that the beach is definitely the location you’d love to visit for your family photos, make yourself a packing list and plan to arrive 15 minutes early just to get organized, an extra 30 if we are in the height of tourist season and are in need of parking. I’ll be ready to follow you into the water and waiting to play tag!