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5 Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Family Beach Photo Shoot

5 Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Family Beach Photo Shoot

A family beach photo shoot can be so much fun if you’re well prepared. Clients often experience the most stress during the “getting ready” stage just before their session. However, with the right planning put into place, you and your loved ones can have a stress-free family photo shoot!

As your photographer, I want every step of your family photos to be memorable, relaxed and fun. There are a few simple things you can do before your family beach photo shoot to ensure that everyone arrives comfortable and excited for the session.

Family of four play with their dog on the beach for their family beach photo shoot captured by Island Style Images, a Waikiki Family Photographer.

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Beach Photo Shoot

1. Get Your Family Excited Before Your Photo Shoot

A parent’s attitude about a session can set the tone for the entire family. If you are excited about your family photo shoot, that energy will be contagious! On the other hand, if you are stressed out or dreading your session, your family members will likely feel the same way.

Talk about the session in a positive light and let everyone know how much fun you’re going to have! Allow your children to be a part of the planning and preparation process so they can feel like they are contributing. This will help them feel even more excited about the photo shoot.

If you are planning on taking family pictures during your vacation, it’s best to book your family photo shoot at the beginning of the trip. Otherwise, you may feel anxious instead of excited as you anticipate the session during your trip. If you book your family pictures near the beginning of your trip, you’ll feel more able to relax during the remainder of your vacation.

Mother hugs her two daughters for their family beach pictures taken by Island Style Images, a Halewai Family Photographer.

2. Choose the “Right” Wardrobe

Choosing your family’s outfits for your family beach photoshoot doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Stick to a natural color palette that will feel timeless and coordinate well with the beach setting. Select materials that will be comfortable to wear at the beach, something lightweight, that you won’t mind getting sandy or wet.

You also want to make sure that the outfits you select will cover any tan lines you may get from time spent on the beach during your vacation. If you have young girls, make sure they wear diaper covers or bloomers under their dresses to make sure everything is covered up nicely during the more playful shots in the session.

If you want more tips for styling your family for your photo shoot, I have an entire blog post dedicated to this topic here.

Two daughters hug their dad for their family beach photo shoot captured by Island Style Images, a Honolulu Family Photographer.

3. Make Sure Everyone is Well Rested and Well Fed

If you have little ones who take regular or scheduled naps, it’s important not to disturb their schedule. You want your kiddos to show up for your family photo shoot well rested so that they feel their very best! Book a session time that will work well with their nap schedule and allow for plenty of time to get ready before their session.

It’s also important to make sure everyone is well fed before your photo shoot as well. Nothing is worse than trying to smile and have fun with a grumbling, hungry stomach! If your family is well rested and well fed before their session, you are more likely to be able to relax and enjoy yourselves during the photo shoot!

Two sisters in pink dresses play in the water on the beach captured by Island Style Images, a San Diego Family Photographer.

4. Bring Items that Will Get Your Kids Excited

If you’re already at the beach, you might as well make the most of it! Bring along beach/sand toys, bubbles or anything that will get your kiddos excited for the session.

Pack bathing suits, a change of clothes, and beach towels for after your photo shoot so that your family can stay a little longer to have fun. This also helps everyone avoid getting back into the car in cold, wet or sandy clothes.

Two sisters jumping in the water at the beach during their family photo shoot taken by Island Style Images, a Honolulu Family Photographer.

5. Be Yourselves and Have FUN

It’s important to note that family sessions with me aren’t all forced poses or stiff smiles. My job is to capture your family as you are. I want you to laugh, play, be yourselves and have fun! Allow your family’s unique personality and connection to be the star of the show. Nothing is more meaningful than those candid shots that really showcase your families’ true smiles.

If a family member is reluctant or nervous about the photo shoot because they think it will be a “modeling session”, reassure them that this photo shoot is all about having fun and spending time together.

Two sisters playing in the water at the beach for their family session by Island Style Images, a Waikiki Family Photographer.

The Key to a Great Family Photo SHoot

The key to a great family beach photo shoot is all in the preparation. With the right plan in place, your family will enjoy the session and it will become a fond memory. This will make looking at your family photos even more special each time you pull them back out to reminisce on this season of life. Family pictures don’t have to be a source of stress or overwhelm! They can turn into a family tradition that everyone looks forward to year after year.

Family of four walks along the beach holding hands with their dog for their family pictures taken by Island Style Images, an Orange County Family Photographer.

Want to book your family photo shoot with me? Contact me here to get started.

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration for your family session!

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