You've done all the work to prepare your family for a gorgeous beach session. Here are eight tips to ensure that your photos will be gorgeous. These tips were developed from years of experience doing family photography sessions on San Diego's beautiful beaches. Hopefully you will find some of these helpful and relevant (and if you follow all eight, your photos will show you and your family at their best!)
1. Lay out everyone's clothing ahead of time, and press out wrinkles.
Plain and simple: Wrinkles can ruin a photograph.
Please press out wrinkles and don't let your kids wear something they picked up off the floor. Wrinkled clothing looks messy and dirty (If the fabric you choose, such as linen, naturally wrinkles, that is perfectly fine. I"m talking about clothing that has wrinkle marks from prior wearing). Keep your family outfits looking fresh for your photo session.
2. Test your makeup ahead of time.
There is nothing worse than having your makeup be the first thing someone sees in a photograph. Pro tip: Test your makeup and have a plan for the day. You want to look like your natural self (unless you are going for a dramatic look, in which case, you should still test the look out before the day of the photo session). This goes for people with blemishes as well. Practice covering up the blemishes ahead of time, so that your skin looks natural. If you or a family member have a skin condition, please mention it to the photographer ahead of time, and address whether you would like any photoshopping done.
3. Have back up plans for hair.
Windy days on the beach can play the best made hair plans. Allow for two different looks - one pulled up or back, and one with your hair down. Bring along hair ties, bobby pins, hair bands, hats - whatever you think you might need for a "plan b" for you and your family. Let your photographer know if you don't mind the wind blown look in your pictures. Most of the time though, photographers will encourage you to keep your hair out of your face. And having a "plan b" is a great tip any time you have photos made at the beach.
4. Clean your fingernails. Please.
Dirty nails can deflate the beauty of a wonderful photo. It is nearly impossible to photoshop out dirty nails. Please clean your nails before your family photography session.
5. Brush your teeth.
Food lodged between your teeth is a big "No". You don't want your beautiful smile ruined by food scraps. This is an essential grooming tip for all professional photos.
6. Apply hairspray TO EVERYONE'S HAIR
This is one of the best beach photography tips I can offer to you. You don't need to apply a ton of spray, but by coating everyone's hair, you'll prevent those tiny little fly away hairs from blowing across your beautiful face. Yes, even the guys in the family should have a little hair spray applied. It really works magic!
7. Bring along some hand wipes.
Or boogie wipes. Kids faces collect all sorts of little crusts that aren't always obvious. Wipe them down. Please. And remember to wipe around their little noses too! This is one of the best ways to keep everyone clean during a family photo session.
8. Lint rollers are your friend.
Wait until you arrive at the session, then pop out the lint roller and gather all of the dust / animal hair / car debris that may be hiding on your clothing. A lint roller is a great way to keep clothing free of debris at a family photography session.
MJ Falvey is a beach photographer who documents stories of love and connection. She specializes in in active, vibrant, and joyful photography of people and pets on San Diego's beautiful beaches, especially those of North County San Diego: Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar and La Jolla.