Our trips to 30A have served as the perfect backdrop for family photos over the years — the beautiful white sands, the crystal blue water, and the sunshine of course. Today I wanted to share a wonderful 30A photographer, Brenna Kneiss, who makes family photo sessions a breeze as well as eight tips for successful family beach photos!
1. Think beyond the beach!
Let’s face it: trekking down to the beach at witching hour is not always fun. Plus, you have to deal with the wind which can be a problem for hair during beach photo sessions. So consider the front porch of your vacation rental or the charming pathway to the beach – either would make for a beautiful backdrop for photo sessions.
In 30A, Grayton Beach State Park has some beautiful spots for photo sessions as do many of the neighborhoods. My cousins did family photos with Brenna on the Rosemary Beach green with Rosemary Beach in the background and they turned out so cute!
2. Don’t fight nap time.
A long day in the sun can make children cranky. So allow plenty of time for young children to nap or rest (and have a snack) before a session.
3. Choose a natural color palette.
White is always popular for beach photos but soothing colors that blend in with Mother Nature’s palette also work well. And if you don’t want everyone to be matching have family members choose something in the same color family. And always avoid busy patterns in beach photos!
4. Make sure clothes cover tan lines.
Photoshop is always an option post-photos but best to avoid that issue altogether!
5. Make sure girls wear diaper covers or bloomers.
If children are being held by parents or splashing in the surf you don’t want their underwear or diapers to show. My girls always wear these bloomers and they look cute if they happen to get in a photo.
On that note, if women are wearing white or light colors, check that clothes won’t be see through with that golden hour light. A slip or better undergarments may be needed so be sure to pack one if needed.
6. Book session earlier in your trip if possible.
That way if it rains you might have time to reschedule. And if you book something earlier in vacation you can avoid the “sunburned look” in photos.
7. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready.
It always takes way more time than I think to get everyone ready for family photos (four girls!) and especially at the beach when I am not in my own home. I forget to iron something or have to find a missing shoe. And rushing leads to stress which can show in photos. To avoid stress and meltdowns, try laying everything out the night before.
8. Bring props that organically fit into the shoot.
Seashells work great to distract little hands during beach photos but don’t leave it to chance that you’ll see one at your session. You may want to bring a few along for and strategically place them so your child can “find” them during portraits. Cute shovels and sand pails work, too!
Many of you have asked about photographers during your 30A visits, and I cannot recommend Brenna Kneiss enough. She does family photos and weddings and works with brands and influencers, too!
And if you’re looking for more 30A recommendations, be sure to take a look at our Guide to 30A and our Best of 30A as well. Both posts are filled with popular favorites and hidden gems!