The BEST Tips for Stress-Free Beach Family Photos

Beach Photoshoots, What to Wear

May 2, 2022

Stress-Free Beach Family Photos… Sounds like pure bliss, doesn’t it! Well, truth be told, this is an obtainable feeling. You’ve looked forward to your upcoming family session, you booked your photographer, maybe found outfit inspo on Pinterest, decided on your location, and you’ve already planned where to hang your wall art. But we all know that things can get stressful and hectic quickly!

Whether you are at the beach for an afternoon or a week-long vacation, it’s a great time to capture your family with a professional photographer. Beach family photos combine it all: stunning views, beautiful memories, and lots of family fun. I have photographed many families along gorgeous beaches of Panama City Beach and 30A, so I wanted to share my tips for stress-free beach family photos.

Book the best time of day for your family!

Book your shoot when your family is their happiest selves. Fall sunsets are much earlier than Summer Sunsets. If 7:00 p.m. is too late for summer pictures, maybe think about a sunrise session. Plan for whatever works for YOUR family! If you are planning beach family photos on your vacation, plan a day early in your stay!

Eat Something!

If your session includes little ones, try to plan around nap schedules and meal times. Honestly, make sure everyone is feed before your session! Hungry people are not happy people, and we don’t want that to reflect in your beach family photos! Also, that doesn’t mean heading over to the local seafood buffet and loading up with everything you can eat! Eat something light or enough to hold you until after your photos!

Decide on your outfits as far in advance as you can!

Again, if you are planning on having stress-free beach family while you are on vacation, do not wait until a few days before your trip to plan! Don’t hesitate to ask your photographer what would look good and photograph best with the location of your photos! I tell my clients to decide on everyone’s outfit or color pallet a week or two in advance. 

Plan enough time to get EVERYONE ready!

Give yourself plenty of time to get ready. This step is SO important, especially if little ones are involved! Parents focus so much on making sure their kids look perfect that often times this is where stress comes in to play, and maybe they don’t have enough time to focus on getting themselves ready. Not to mention, it’s easy to lose track of time while you are on vacation! Set an alarm for more than enough time to make sure everyone, including yourself, are ready to go!

Pro Tip: Bring your children’s outfits with you, get them dressed at the shoot destination a few minutes before it starts. This can alleviate that feeling of worry that they may find something in the backseat or car seat and get their clothes messy before being photographed. 

Location is EVERYTHING!

Let your photographer know what kind of setting and mood you are going for with these photos. They should be able to give you some locations that you can scout out beforehand.  My favorite spots are St. Andrews State Park. I love Gator Lake, Jetties, and the wooden pier. If you are looking for something that’s not as beachy I have some perfect locations.

Just be sure that your family session reflects what you want, and keep in mind the best light of the day is an hour before sunset. On the day of your session, plan to arrive a few minutes early. If you have children, wait until your photographer arrives to let them out of the car. Kids get bored with everyday surroundings very easily, and you want your photographer to capture their excited little faces being somewhere new. Those candid shots are pure gold!! 

Have Fun!!

Your family looks amazing, and you made it on time. Take a deep breath and pass the torch, let your photographer take over from here! Have some fun, after all, you hired the best photographer! It’s MY job to get your children’s attention and direct the show. We will be playing some fun games. I encourage you to embrace, cherish and enjoy the chaos. Being a first grade teacher for over fifteen years, I know how to have fun with children and capture them being themselves in front of the camera. My aim is to take photographs that capture REAL moments.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to have amazing and stress-free beach family photos. Give yourself some grace and let’s make some beautiful memories! Head over to my contact page to plan your stress-free beach family photos today!!!

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