Dress comfortably! You will be asked to sit, kneel or even lay in the sand.
No need for everyone to match exactly, however, we do recommend coordinating outfits. What does that mean? Choose 2-4 different colors and use some of those colors in each outfit. Small groups should stick with 2-3 colors.
Solid colors work well on the beach, whereas busy prints and patterns can distract from your faces. Subtle patterns can work well if only one or two people are wearing them and if they work well with your color scheme (see family to the left).
White & khaki offers a classic look but don't be afraid to be different! Add a splash of interest with your favorite colors. Blues and greens look great on the beach because you see those colors naturally in the sky, water and dune grass. Pull colors from the sun, such as reds or pretty corals. Pair these colors with black, brown, gray and/or khaki.
Avoid short, tight skirts and dresses - they ride up when you sit, exposing undies and can be difficult to pose. Aim for knee length or longer and you'll be comfortable and easy to pose!
As far as footwear goes, barefoot is best unless you want to show off some pretty sandals! If you are foot-conscious, rest assured we are not zooming in on your toes and bare feet will look SOOOO much more natural than sneakers on the beach!! And you can always dig your toes into the sand a bit.
If weight is a concern, avoid very tight clothing and sleeveless tops.
HOT TIP . . . To conceal peaking panties, have little girls wear coordinating leggings, capris or cute shorts under their dress or skirt. We all know how little ones don't always remain in the perfect pose for long and legs start shifting in undesirable directions!
General Preparation Tips
LOTION: AVOID it at all costs! It makes sand stick and this is nearly impossible to remove digitally.
TOWEL: Bring a small one for brushing off sand or dirt. Larger towel for wet children or dogs that can't resist running into the waves!
WIND: Unfortunately, we can't control it, so come prepared - bring a hairbrush and hair ties in case long hair needs to be pulled back.
EYEGLASSES: Please be aware that camera flash can cause glare on your glasses. If possible, temporarily remove your lenses OR borrow a set of frames without lenses. Eyeglass glare can usually be removed digitally for a fee.
PROPS: Feel free to bring along anything you feel may add to your portrait session, such as a giant seashell, toy sailboat, beach ball, etc. Don't forget the Santa hats for your Christmas photo!
FLIES: Occasionally we have the unfortunate experience of battling nasty flies on a beach shoot. For whatever reason, beach flies seem to be immune to bug spray. If it gives you comfort to have the spray handy, then by all means bring some. We recommend you do not spray in advance as you will run into the same problem as with lotion. Hold off until absolutely necessary. If flies are an issue, we will do our best to move quickly through the session or move to an area where they are less troublesome. We are in the process of developing Fly-Kryptonite to alleviate this situation but it is still in the development phase.
Preparing Children for a Photo Session
We want your family portrait to be a pleasant experience for your entire family. If children are prepared ahead of time they know what to expect and are usually more cooperative. We have compiled a list of tips that we received from parents of past portrait sessions on how they successfully prepared their kids for their photo session.
1. Talk to your kids (no matter what their ages). If kids know what to expect ahead of time, they can mentally prepare for what is to come and are more patient during your session. Be sure to let children know:
You are going to have some pictures taken on the beach.
Many pictures will be taken.
They will need to listen to you and be on their best behavior.
They will need to take directions from a stranger (the photographer).
Anything else you feel will prepare your children.
Also, please make sure everyone is aware that we are not allowed on the dunes. We will do all our posing in the safe, "allowed" areas.
2. Get them EXCITED!
Start talking about your photo shoot days in advance so you can build up the excitement of getting your pictures taken on the beach!
Treat it like a trip to the zoo or playground or whatever normally gets them excited.
Get excited yourself! Talk to them enthusiastically and show them you are excited about this - odds are they will get excited too.
Depending on age, maybe include them in planning the wardrobe for everyone. Some little ones love to help out and be part of the planning stage.
3. Offering rewards . . . It's been our experience that children not only behave better, but get excited about the prospect of receiving a reward after the photo session. Ice cream seems to be the reward of choice for most families, especially at the beach. What would work best with your kids? A trip to the arcade, a new toy or special treat? You know your children best and what will work for them.
4. The Final 4 - Make sure your kids:
Are well fed.
Are well rested.
Have an empty bladder.
Have a snack and/or small beverage handy.
ONE LAST TIP . . . we know it can be frustrating when your children are not listening to you or following directions during a session. Please do your best not to yell at the kids which may lead to crying and puffy, red eyes. We always bring along some extra patience and will do our best to help you in getting all children to cooperate.