My desire is that you not only end up with some amazing photos, but that you finish our session with a great experience as well. Many people imagine a professional photo shoot to be a chore, but if you'll take the time to read my suggestions below and be prepared for your shoot, I can pretty much guarantee you'll walk away with so much more!

What should we wear?

I personally LOVE and highly recommend lots of color and personality. The natural colors of the beach are blue and white and brown. So, the common assumption is that solid, primary colors work best. While white shirts and khakis do look timeless and classy, they can also look dull. Especially if your family is full of personality, allow your clothes to reflect it.
If you want your photos to really POP, I recommend lots of color!

And, just in case you don't already know, the beach is full of sand!  Bring open toes shoes, but my suggestion is that we always shoot barefoot!

What should we bring?

I recommend you bring:

  • An adventurous spirit (because I'm going to have fun with or without you)
  • A relaxed attitude (because it's the beach, and you need to be ready to possibly get a little wet, sandy and wind-blown)
  • A bottle of water (because even at sunset, it can be hot on the beach)
  • And maybe a towel!

How should we prepare?

This is probably the most important question you can ask! What you do the day of the shoot and the few hours before the shoot will have more to do with creating great photos than anything else! I've been doing this for a long are my tips for preparing for an amazing portrait session.

  1. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready!
    If you're like me when I'm on vacation, your watch stayed at home. But the last thing you want to do is arrive at your shoot feeling rushed or even late. Plan accordingly, and give yourself and your family plenty of time to look your best and arrive on time!
  2. Know where you're going and how long it should take to get there!
    I'll send you an address/map of where we'll be meeting, but it's up to you to arrive at the correct location. Don't be that one family I book every year who calls me from the wrong pier wondering why I'm the one running late! Make sure you understand how slow summer traffic on the Outer Banks can be and plan accordingly!
    Your session begins at the time we agreed upon, with or without you!
  3. Stay out of the pool!
    If you're not OK with blood shot eyes and raccoon faces, don't go swimming in the pool that day! Trust me, I'll know immediately who ignored this advice, and you'll see it in your photos.
  4. Wear your sunscreen all week! 
    We Outer Banks locals have an affectionate term for vacationers..."sore-backs". I can work a lot of photoshop magic, but I can't remove your sunburn! (If we're shooting at sunset, you shouldn't need sunscreen during the shoot.)
  5. Eat dinner!
    Especially if we're shooting at sunset, do not come hungry! Full bellies = happy faces. Nothing will kill the fun and quality of a photo session like a hangry family!
  6. Seriously, relax! Have fun!
    I can't tell you how many times somebody has said to me at the end of our session, "That was way more fun/much easier than I thought it would be." If you're not used to being in front of the camera, it can feel a little awkward at first, but I promise to make it easy and fun if you're willing!


Parents, this next little bit is just for you! Again, I've been doing this for a long time, and I've seen it all. Here are my seasoned tips as a photographer and a parent for experiencing a great photo shoot with your young children!

  1. Bring a snack!
    Even if it means I'm shooting your child with a little food in their hands, if it makes them happy, it will make for a great photo! No hangry children allowed!
  2. Bring a toy!
    Again, a happy child makes a great photo!
  3. Bring a towel and maybe a change of clothes.
    If your kids are like mine, they will be wet and sandy by the time you're ready to load back into your car. Most locations on the beach have an area to rinse off and maybe even a bath house to change into some dry clothes for the trip home.
  4. Allow me to take charge!
    I've been working with young children for most of my life, and I enjoy them so much I have two of my own! If there is any way to capture great photos of your family, I'll figure it out!
  5. Let them play!
    If you're stressed about keeping the sand off their legs and the wind out of their hair, you'll be fighting an uphill battle against nature and your kids! A little sand and water and wind-blown hair might be exactly what helps to create the perfect photo that you'll have hanging on your wall for years to come. You chose the beach for a reason!
  6. Prepare them!
    If your children are old enough to understand, tell them that you're going to play at the beach, and I'll just happen to be there to take some photos. I promise that we're going to have a great time!
  7. Leave your cell phones in the car!
    Be in the moment with your family! I promise I'll take all of the photos you'll ever want and need, so enjoy this time with your family and make these photos reminders for years to come of a great day on the beach!

Make sure that you have my cell phone number just in case you get lost or are running late! Feel free to call or text me for any reason! 

I'm always on time and usually early. But, if for any reason I am running late, I will call you to let you know!