What should we wear for beach portraits?
The big answer is whatever your family is most comfortable in. Here are a few suggestions to make your beach portraits even better. First of all, relax! You are on vacation. Sessions are very laid-back and we want your family to feel as comfortable as possible and enjoy it!
Should we all wear white?
White is classic for beach portraits, and can be easily matched as white is pretty much the same among clothing items and the sand will not show up on it so you will not need to dust it off as often. (Watch out for creams or off whites that will not look white on the beach or in your photos.)
What about color? We have had some wonderful images from clients wearing navy, black, brown, and of course color. Our favorite is blue jeans and white. Just keep in mind that your eye will track to the lightest thing in the image, so if someone is wearing white, then that will be the focus and you all need to be the focus.
Try and keep everyone’s outfit in the same tonal range. For instance: if your kids are wearing light colors or pastels, make sure that you and your husband wear light colors as well. Try light blues, greens, coral, or any pastels. Your family does not have to dress exactly alike in order to look connected. Try laying the clothes out on the bed to see how they look together ahead of time.
Remember: all light or all dark.
What should we know when planning our beach portraits?
Bare feet! … if someone does not want to take their shoes off it is ok. Just try and get them to wear light socks and light colored shoes if possible.
Solids are best. Avoid patterns of all kinds. Even a single stripe across a polo shirt can distract from your face and that is the most important thing.
Simple Jewelry…classic. Bold big pieces can be very distracting.
No trendy clothes.☼ Try to avoid really trendy clothes, as they date your portrait. Think classic…these styles will stand the test of time.
Avoid strapless!☼ Everyone looks better in shirts and dresses with sleeves than straps, strings, or ties. Bare shoulders can be distracting and make ladies appear larger. Please watch your tan lines. If you have serious tan lines, you really need to avoid the spaghetti strap and strapless tops. These tan lines really show up on the beach and will cost you to have them blended or removed later in your portraits.
No short skirts.☼ Sit down in your dress or skirt and make sure you will not feel uneasy due to the length sitting in the sand. If you are uncomfortable or worried about your clothes, it may show in your expression. Tops that rise when you sit can make you feel uneasy as well. Avoid mini shirts, they do not photograph well.
Watch thin whites! ☼ White or a light colors. Stand in front of a bright window and look to see if you can see through it. If so, wear a slip or undershirt. For those with little girls, slips can really make a difference in the portrait. Cartoon and themed underwear or diapers can show through white and even light colors, so think about bloomers or wear white, or skin color solid underwear.
Many colors of khaki. Khaki or beige shorts and pants come in a variety of shades. Lay them all out and avoid the darker ones as they will not blend as well with lighter shades. The same goes for jeans and jean shorts…choose jeans in the same color range.
Things to remember before getting ready for your beach session.
Expect Wind! Keep in mind that WIND is a constant at the beach and we usually have it everyday! Expect your top or skirt to blow and move so choose one that will flow with it!
Hair Spray! ☼ For your hair, try and wear it up or pulled back for the shoot. This is especially important if you have shoulder length or long hair. You should use hair spray even if you don’t normally. Spray it heavily...to the point of stiff....even the men and boys.
No sunglasses. ☼ Remove your sunglasses at least an hour before you arrive for the session, to allow your eyes to adjust to the brightness even for the evening sessions. You will be able to open your eyes more easily without squinting. It will also ease those red marks they can leave on your nose! Do not arrive wearing them as you will squint more.
Limit Lotion. Apply lotion early so that it is absorbed into skin, as the sand will stick to moist legs.
No Bling! **Avoid anything with glitter or sparkle. Crystals, sequins and even sparkly jewelry will distract. The camera flash, sun, and water reflections catch these sparkles leaving unwanted stars on your face and clothes.
No Cameras or Phones! Leave all electronic devices at the condo. We do not allow any type of digital device to be used during our session. Remember the sand can wreak havoc on these as well and I do not have a safe place to store them.
Eat A Snack! Before the session have something to eat. Everyone will feel better if they are not hungry. If you plan to wait until after the session to go to dinner, make sure you all eat a little something before or bring a snack with you. Families with small children need to remind little ones to go to the bathroom before you leave as some locations do not have restrooms nearby. Avoid red wine with white clothing!
Smile & Relax! Most important remember to relax and smile. Your family is going to have a great time and you will leave with vacation memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.