• Kimberly Kelly

How to Prepare for a Family Beach Photo Session

Updated: Aug 31

Your family beach photo session can be fun...REALLY! Follow these tips to make sure your smiles are real and everyone feels great! (Hint: It’s all in the preparation!)

Think simple and comfortable clothing for that relaxed beach vibe. Lightweight cotton, linen, or knit outfits are a good choice. Stick to 2-3, solid colors (avoid logos, graphics, or loud patterns). Light green, light blue, or pink are all great choices that can be paired with white or tan. Or choose a couple vibrant complementary colors paired with neutrals for a bolder look. Textures like lace look great in photos.

Try choosing your own outfit first, then pick coordinating (not matching) outfits for the rest of the family. Check out Baltic Born for gorgeous mama outfits. And skip the shoes! Bare feet and the beach go hand in hand.

Cover your shoulders if you need to hide tan lines. Minimal jewelry and simple accessories (a hat, hair pins) are good but avoid large watches. Don’t forget to leave cell phones and glasses in the car.

Go for a minimal, natural style for your hair and make-up. Mascara, brow pencil, and a colored lip gloss are all you need. You may want to wear your hair down or use a simple hair pin to keep it out of your face when the wind blows. Beach waves look nice. Check out my new favorite hair toy...the BeachWaver! Skip lotion to avoid having sand stuck to your skin.

Schedule your shoot in the morning or evening golden hours during which time the light is softer and more flattering. If you are an early riser, go with sunrise. If evenings are better, go with sunset. You can’t go wrong! If possible, choose a beach that is less populated to avoid unnecessary distractions in the background.

Bring a bag packed with a neutral colored blanket, a textured throw (if chilly), and some non-messy snacks. Consider packing a small, cherished toy for little ones. Bring towels and keep them in the car.

Take care of yourself. Make sure you have tried on all your outfits and practiced how you will style your hair before your session. EAT beforehand and get plenty of SLEEP to avoid crankiness.

Once the shoot begins, leave it to your photographer to take the lead and capture those precious memories! Your job is to have fun and enjoy yourself- it will truly show in your photos! Hug, hold hands, get on each other’s backs, CONNECT! If you are up for it, splashing around in the water at the end of your session is a fun way to wrap things up and get some really playful shots. If your little one wants to wander around a bit, that’s OK and can make for some really cute shots! When it’s over, you’ll be thinking about what a fun time you had and when you see your pictures, you’ll be remembering that great day!

Kim Kelly Photography is a Jacksonville family photographer who lives in Neptune Beach, FL and truly enjoys capturing connections between people who love each other.