Family Beach Portrait

Best time to shoot is around Sunset!

  •  Simply called – The Golden Hour of Light,  provides the most dramatic lighting of the day.

Your beach location & scenery is half of your picture!

  • Choose a place with less people & away from buildings.
  • Select an area favorable to wind conditions and the direction you will be facing in your portrait.
  • Dunes in the background or foreground should be small in scale and pristine.

Start out with walking on the beach, kids playing with shells & starfish, and candid shots.

  • Focus on the interaction of people.
  • It’s simply to bright out to look towards the camera.

Follow up with portraits mid-session when the light is just right.  Make sure you are not squinting in your photographs!  (Nothing forced, it takes time for your eyes to acclimate to the existing light.)


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.

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 them 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 of the reward throughout the shoot.



Feel free to bring any props during the session that will get your child’s attention.

  • Blanket
  • Toy
  • Boat
  • Umbrella
  • Boots
  • Hat
  • Scarves
  • Angel Wings
  • Tutu

What to wear

  • Clothing, wear solid neutral colors, stick to lighter tones and pastels.
  • Try to avoid prints, patterns, and stripes.
  • A couple or group should be the same or complimentary in style and color clothing.
  • No short skirts, you will be sitting in the sand. Please make sure the hemline is just above the knee.
  • No shoes required, you will be barefoot on the beach.
  • Bring sandals for walking to the beach.
  • Dress appropriate for the season.
  • Long sleeves & pants in the Spring, Fall, and Winter.
  • Short sleeves & shorts for the Summer.


  • 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- Avoid a sandy sticky mess!
  • 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.

  • Wear a dress shirt that has button’s on the collar’s.
  • Avoid ruffles on dresses if possible.
  • Use hair care products such as hair spray or heavy sculpting gel which has a great hold, promising to keep your hair in check during windy a beach excursion.
  • Consider using barrettes, bands and hair ties.

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.

Additional Tips

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.




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Sunset Beach Portraits, Seacrest Beach Florida ( Photographer Jay Michael with The Beach Portrait Company)

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