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Beach Photo Shoot

I don’t know about you and your children, but all we have wanted to do in this crazy heat lately is submerge ourselves in any water going! Luckily my kids are equally happy with a river as they are a beach which helps!

Now I don’t know if you’ve ever considered a beach photo shoot, but you’re probably thinking that it sounds horrendous! Why would you want a beach shoot in the middle of the day when you’re all hot and sweaty with hundreds of people around you? Well, how about having a beach shoot first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening? When it’s cooler, quieter and you can just have fun!?

The beach is most definitely our happy place. It doesn’t seem to matter how much the kids are squabbling or how grumpy any of us are. As soon our toes touch the sand, all of that seems to melt away and we just relax and enjoy. I can’t tell you how many people are the same. I had one family recently who mentioned that they have more photos of their son smiling in our beach photo shoot than ever before!

How does a beach photo shoot work?

Unlike my other family photo shoots, where we tend to walk and talk and play, my beach photo shoots tend to be a bit more chilled. Normally there is a lot more kit to take, from picnics to paddle boards to sand toys to spare clothes, so I have found that it easier to set up a base at the beach and then work from there. I always ask the types of images you’re after and we will mix up the more posed ones with the more relaxed ones and just play everything by ear. It is definitely worth bringing several outfits though as inevitably the children will get wet and covered in sand so worth pre-empting this by bringing loads of changes of clothes. This saves you worrying! Some of the best images are the spontaneous ones where the children run into the sea with sheer joy on their faces!

We then will take it as it comes and let the children take the lead because nobody wants to be rushed but likewise you don’t want to run out of time either! SO long as you have food and water I am happy to keep going for as long as possible (till the kids crash, or it becomes too dark or until you need to be somewhere else!)

I always bring a variety of lenses as I think it’s awesome to get a lovely set of close up images as well as the bigger picture ones where the whole landscape is taken into consideration!

children running along the sand during a beach photo shoot

Things to think about with a beach photo shoot:

Clothing / colours. I set up a beach shoot for my family in January. We were having our lounge redecorated and I wanted lots of pops of yellow throughout. So we chose to do a beach shoot in golden hour and also dressed my daughter in a yellow hat and jumper! It came out so much better than I possibly could have imagined and makes such a difference. If you know that want a certain look or feel, then plan your colours and outfits carefully! The beaches where I shoot (like West Wittering pictured here) are really simple. Fluffy sand, dunes and the sea. So the focus is all on you!

Dog-friendly. I am a massive believer in dogs being included in as many shoots as possible. They are such an important member of the family.

Sand activities. The gorgeousness of the beach is you do not need to worry about the kids getting bored! I find that kids are so happy at the beach that their smiles are full of sparkles! Whether its’s sand castles they’re making, cartwheels they’re performing or sand dunes they’re jumping, I guarantee they will have a blast!

Water activities. As a family we are really getting into paddle boarding and find it a really lovely and relaxing thing to do. Worth considering if you wanted me to capture you as you go out – this would look particularly epic at sunset!

Parking. At West Wittering you pay quite a lot for parking and in the summer months you may need to pre-book your parking. It’s worth checking that any beach you want to go to has a car park. Especially as you are likely to be weighed down with clothes, picnics, paddle boards etc.

Why is time of day so important in a beach shoot?

So my clients who know me will know how I feel about the sun and lack of shade or cloud! I have a love/hate relationship with it! Obviously I love the sun, the warmth and the happy feelings that are associated with it. But the lack of shade or cloud cover causes all sorts of problems and makes the shoot a million times harder. I always aim for uniform lighting which is softer, more flattering and means that squinting and dark shadows are eliminated. In the cooler months then you potentially can have this all day, but in the summer months we absolutely have to plan more carefully.

During summer I would always advise early morning or evening for any family shoots, particualrly beach ones. Not only are the evenings cooler, but it is also softer lighting and far more flattering. Not to mention there are far fewer people around to photobomb and get in the way! 

I appreciate that looking at golden hour shoots with young children can be daunting, but if you can make it work then it will definitely be worth it!

Golden hour is the hour before sunset, so can vary between 3pm and 9pm depending on the time of year!

What can we do with our photos after a beach shoot?

Once your images have been processed and returned to you, the fun really begins! Now I am not one to dictate what you do with your images – they are after all, your images! But if you can afford to, I honestly can’t recommend enough the products I stock. Of course, you’re thinking, she would say that! But it might be worth you knowing that I am slowly working my way through all the images in our house and only getting them in my products such is my love and passion for them.

As I mentioned above, we recently redecorated our lounge and I planned the shoot, styling and products carefully and I cannot get over how amazingly it has all come together. I made a big investment in some large acrylic prints (in my mind – go large or go home) and the simplicity of the product with the beach shoot images just works!

These sorts of decisions are definitely worth thinking about in advance. If you know that you want a picture in the dining room for example, and you want it as clean and white as possible to keep with your modern and minimalist decor, then make sure everyone is dressed accordingly! If you know you have a large space in your room and would rather opt for a collection rather than a single image, then please tell me at the start of the shoot so that I shoot accordingly and make sure I get the right sort of images for you!

Get in touch

If you would like to discuss a beach photo shoot with me or talk through ideas for other shoots please do not hesitate to contact me.

girls play in the sand during a family beach photo shoot
boy jumping over sand dunes during a beach photo shoot
walking the dog along the shore during a beach photo shoot

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