Four Tips for Your Next Family Photos at the Beach

As I prepare for my own extended family photos at South Padre Island, Texas, I wanted to share some tips to help you with your next family photography session at the beach.

We just had a new addition added to our family, so I am currently coordinating outfits for 13 people. Pray for me!

So whether you schedule a beach session this year or you want to plan for next year (or even for this fall because Texas is hot through December), here are some tips to consider for your next beach family photo session:

  1. Choose coordinating outfits that are comfortable and appropriate for the beach.
  2. Consider the time of day for the best lighting.
  3. Be prepared for wind and bring sunscreen, water, and towels for your family.
  4. Relax and have fun! I will guide you through the session to capture beautiful memories.
  1. Choosing outfits for your beach session

The best part about beach photos is you don’t have to worry about SHOES! This takes one thing off of your list when coordinating outfits for family photos.

When choosing outfits for family beach photos, I love to choose cool clothing options like sleeveless dresses for the girls and shorts for the boys plus cool materials like cotton or linen.

Mom first: As with all session types, I always recommend starting with mom. Choose your dress first to make sure you feel confident and your best, mama. Then you can use the pattern or color pallet of your outfit to choose the rest of the outfits.

Sample styling guide for beach sessions by MC Photography

Unless you find a cute dress for your daughter or shirt for your son, then you can use that pattern to coordinate the rest.

Use your first pattern or outfit and choose complimentary colors for the rest of the family.

If you still need help or just want a second opinion, text me your outfit(s) and I’d love to help!

2. What time is best for beach sessions?

Don’t let this scare you off, but sunrise is my favorite time for Texas beach sessions because the sun rises behind the water, making for stunning sunrise photos.

san antonio family photographer
Sunrise beach session in Corpus Christ, Texas
san antonio family photographer
Sunset beach session in Corpus Christi, Texas

It’s obviously hard to predict the weather and if we’re going to have a clear, colorful sunrise, but chances are high. I have had one cloudy sunrise session, but the rest were stunning.

Sunrise at Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, and South Padre Island is around 6:30 a.m., so for best lighting, we would need to begin at this time. I always recommend arriving 10 minutes early.

If this time just absolutely will not work for your family, sunset is always a beautiful option as well. Sunset is at 8:30 p.m., so we would begin at 7:30/7:45 p.m. Even after the sun sets, we would still have about 15-20 minutes of light available.

3. Be prepared for these things…

If you’re planning your beach session during a family vacation, schedule your session toward the beginning of your trip because sunburns. As much as we apply sunscreen and try to avoid it, it’s likely your family may have a sunburn or tan lines, and although I can edit things out, it’s not ideal to edit each individual photo, and it will add additional cost post session.

It will be hot and, most likely, windy. So use hairspray as needed.

Bring water and even snacks for bribing. And bring a towel in case you get wet.

You can also bring a beach blanket for some sitting photos.

4. Have fun!

My biggest tip is always just to have fun with your family! Not only are you on your beach vacation, but kids have fun during photos when you’re playing.

Spray water at them. Toss a football. Build a sand castle. Chase the tide.

I will also have some fun prompts to help you and your family have fun and engage.

Let’s have some fun!

Check out my summer booking calendar for my availability

Ready to book your next session?