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 boring, especially if your family is full of fun and personality.
If you want your photos to really POP, I recommend lots of color!

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).
  • 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 time, and here are my tips for preparing for an amazing portrait session.

  1. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready! You're probably on vacation, which means, if you're like me, your watch stayed at home. But the last thing you want to do is arrive at your shoot feeling rushed or even late.
  2. Stay out of the pool! If you're not OK with blood shot eyes and red faces, don't got swimming in the pool that day! Trust me, I'll know immediately who ignored this advice, and you'll see it in your photos.
  3. Wear your sunscreen. 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!
  4. Eat dinner! Especially if we're shooting at sunset, do not come hungry! Full bellies = happy faces.
  5. 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/way 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!


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!
  2. Bring a toy! Again, a happy child makes a great photo!
  3. 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! 
  4. 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.
  5. 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!