Ideas for Family Beach Portraits

Ideas for Family Beach Portraits – Beach Photography

Simply is always better. Don’t sweat the small stuff, just enjoy the session.

What is the best time to have a beach portrait? We only shoot beach portraiture in the evenings when the light is most pleasing, simply called The Golden Hour of Light, which provides the most dramatic lighting of the day. Therefore availability is limited, each photographer only has one session for the evening. Any other time of the day the light will be too harsh to obtain a professional quality beach portraits.


Your beach location & scenery is half of your picture! Some areas we have too many people, choose a place with less people & away from buildings. Dunes in the background or foreground should be small in scale and pristine. If possible select a beach that is level with the horizon. Physically clean up debris such as seaweed around the area where your having the pictures taken. If you plan on choosing to have your picture at the location your vacationing at, it most likely won’t produce the results like the pictures on this website. We will recommend great locations in the area where you are staying.


  • Ladies: Wear your make-up as usual, use a neutral toenail polish if any.
  • Please do not wear any moisturizers or creams that are too oily or greasy, it will be hard to remove the sand in sitting poses.
  • Men: Keep in mind that an evening portrait will benefit greatly from a fresh shave!
  • Eye Glasses: If you wear glasses, try to get your optician to supply you with empty rims for the day of your appointment.


Florida Sea Breezes – The beach is a WINDY place 99.8% of the time. It is generally a slight breeze around sunrise, by noon a slight to moderate breeze, just before sunset a moderate breeze.

Remember any type of clothing that can lift in a breeze, usually doesn’t work well in photographs. Wear dress shirt’s that has button’s on the collar corners or use heavy starch on the collars. Avoid ruffles on dresses, tops & skirts if possible. Remember any type of clothing that can lift in a breeze, usually doesn’t work well in beach photographs.

Use hair care products such as hair spray or heavy sculpting gel which has a great hold to keep your hair in check during your beach excursion. Consider using barrettes, bands, and hair ties.

Family Beach Portraits, What to Wear – Clothing Ideas – Coordinate Clothing

  • No short skirts these are family portraits, please make sure the hemline on skirt or dress is just above the knee.
  • No shoes required, you will be barefoot on the beach. Bring sandals for walking to the beach.
  • Wear solid neutral colors, stick to lighter tones and pastels.
  • A couple or group should be the same or complimentary in style and color clothing.
  • By selecting mid tone blues or mid tone greens clothing, you risk blending into your background.
  • Visit fashion boards and clothing boards on Pinterest for ideas.
  • Casual Portraits = Simple & Elegant
  • Use Color Scheme Boards

Trendy / Contemporary Portraits

The photographer will split everyone according to the colors chosen, consider the placement of each person when choosing a color scheme beforehand.


Contemporary Color Schemes

light blues & light yellow
light blues with white
light turquoise, light khaki, & white
light turquoise, & light denim
light coral & light grey


Helpful Tip, layout your clothing as shown in these images on this page, consider placement of each person.

Dress appropriate for the season wear long sleeves & pants in the early spring, late fall, and winter. Short sleeves & shorts for the late spring, summer, & early fall.

Additional Helpful Tips

Some boys have a tough time with pictures, you may want to consider props such as a football, musical instrument, surf boards, etc… to loosen them up!
Not all the pictures these days are formal. Add some fun to your shots, use some props such as cowboy hats, sunglasses, and funny glasses are great suggestions.
Beach Baby’s, make sure they have a blanket for a portrait, preferably light in color.

IMPORTANT – Don’t wait until after the session to eat. Please eat before you come to the session. At least have a small snack before you come. Bring water and snacks to avoid mid-shoot meltdowns.Infants & Toddlers – Make sure they rest during the day. The session time may held around the time your infant or toddler usually goes to bed. Have them take a nap before you head to your portrait session.

Ideas for Posing

Browse family pictures online for inspiration. Remember To:

  • Get in Close
  • Pucker Up
  • Get Silly
  • Hold Hands
  • Hug It Out
  • Play it Up
  • Jump
  • Lie Down
  • Stack Them Up
  • Focus on the Kids
  • Focus on the Parents
  • Focus on the Grandparents
  • Act Natural

Posing Tips – Looking good in front of the camera, who doesn’t want that!

  • If you put weight on your back leg, you’ll feel more comfortable and look natural instead of awkward.
  • To look thinner, leave space between your arms and your body to show your waistline.
  • Remember to push your shoulders back and don’t slouch.
  • Avoid looking down to prevent a double chin.
  • To avoid the totem pole look, bend whatever you can bend.
  • Don’t leave your arms hanging straight down.
  • Try touching the person next to you or resting your hand on a nearby object.
  • To avoid shine, use lots of powder on your face and neck.
  • Give the kids a break in between shots to stretch, run, and play.
  • Let the kids play during the pictures!
  • You’ll get great candid shots and capture your little ones the way they really are.
  • Play peek-a-boo, tickle, and hold the baby up in the air for real, genuine smiles.
  • BRIBERY, works very well! Remind them if they do well, they will get a reward.

    Items of Necessity

    Bring cold refreshments, especially during the summer months when it is extremely hot. If the temperature is above 90 degrees consider bringing a personal towel to remove perspiration. If you have infants & toddlers make sure to bring baby formula, wipes, diapers & facial tissues.