This is a guest post by my longtime friend Corey, owner of Best Part Photography. She’s been taking stunning pictures of beautiful families for nearly ten years. Check out her pro tips on taking the best beach photos.
Hi! My name is Corey and a journalist turned photographer and mom of 3. I’m so glad Tracy (who used to be my boss!) asked me to hop on her blog for a quick post about beach photos for the summer! Here are my best tips for getting great beach photos of your kids this summer!
1- Set your expectations low. Like really low. I would say 90% of my clients stress to the max about family photos; what to wear, where to take them, when to do them, whether the kids will behave.
If you go into family photos expecting at least one kid to throw a fit, another to make silly faces half of the time, and ready for your husband to ask if we are finished yet after only 10 minutes… then you will be pleasantly surprised when only a couple of those things happen!
When you are throwing the beach as the setting into the mix, it can be even crazier. The beach is where kids go to play. They don’t go to sit and pose and stay dry. Which brings me to my next point….
2- Get the ‘posed’ photos out of the way first. If you want to get a picture of all three kids clean and unwrinkled and dry, do it first. And if you need to…
3- Bribe them. No judging here. If big brother doesn’t like to hug his little sister, bring out the big guns. Lollipops, iPad apps, whatever.
4- CHEESE. All kids have them. A fake smile. You say ‘smile’ and they show you their teeth but their face isn’t actually smiling.
Getting a real smile out of kids can be a challenge especially if Mom is already stressed about who is wrinkled and which child is running full speed towards the water.
Beforehand, think about what makes your kids laugh. Often times it’s potty talk. Before I take a picture I yell ‘poop’ or another gross word that makes kids laugh. I actually learned this trick FROM clients and it usually works pretty well to shake the fake smile and make them laugh.
5- Once you get a few ‘posed’ photos out of the way (let’s be honest, how many do you really need? A couple good ones is all you will use anyway) let them run and play and get dirty. Let them be themselves, this is when you may get your favorite photos!
6- You may have heard the phrase ‘golden hour’. This is the time of day when the sun is setting and the light is yummy and rich and not making anyone squint.
As you consider when to take your photos, especially at the beach because there is NO SHADE, you should plan to shoot first thing in the morning (think sunrise) or in the golden hour (the 45 minutes or so before sunset). This is the only way to avoid squinting eyes, shadows on faces, and overexposed photos.
7- And finally, the weather. Obviously, you won’t take photos in a storm but a lot of people forget the beach can be VERY windy. Generally, any gusts over 12-15mph create a disaster at the beach. Hair will be blowing, so will skirts and SAND. And there’s nothing worse than kids in uncomfortable clothes who are being forced to stay clean for five minutes while getting pelted with stinging sand. So check the wind speeds before you do everyone’s hair.
Good luck! And have fun! Laugh with your kids. And most importantly (in my opinion) get in a few pictures with your kids!
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