Memorial Day was yesterday which marks the start of the Hamptons family photography summer season! You can’t have a professional Hamptons family photographer with you taking photos all summer long (or can you?), but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do some memory capturing of your own!
As a Hamptons family photographer & Fairfield County family photographer (helloooo Long Island Sound, my first beach as a kiddo & Fairfield native), I’ve spent a lot of time photographing kids on the beach.
Of course, I recommend you schedule a professional family photo shoot in the Hamptons each summer (or whenever you are able to get out east) to honor the growth of your family and create timeless images you can enjoy throughout generation. And of course, you’re going to snap plenty of your own pics on the fly!
1. If you have littles, get up early. Or, stay up a little later. If you’re a parent, chances are you’re already up at the crack of dawn with your little ones. Turns out the crack of dawn is one of the best times to hit the beach for photos – or even just for fun. It’s not crowded, it’s not yet crazy hot, and the sun isn’t omg-I-can’t-possible-keep-my-eyes-open bright yet. Another alternative is to photograph later in the day, towards sunset. If you have kids, a great option is to head to the beach after dinner time to take some photos with the promise of dessert right after. Yes, it might be out of routine and a bit rough getting those sugared up kiddos into bed, but you’ll have some awesome photos!
2. Beach photos don’t have to be right on the beach. I get it – the early morning or later in the evening timing just isn’t possible for all families. No worries – a skilled photog can make beautiful photos happen at any time of day, and yes, you cell-phone photographers can do it too! Mid-day, the beach is crazy hot, bright and crowded and I would bet you lots of money your kids will have no interest in sweating and squinting into the camera out on the sand. But wait! The beach itself is not the only photogenic spot on the beach – how about that tree lined walk on the way from the parking lot to the sand? What about that shaded spot right near your favorite food truck? And how about the beautiful grassy path to the beach in the shade of the dunes? See if you can find some shady spots for soft, even light, less heat and much happier subjects!
3. Don’t be such a control freak (I can say it because I’ve been there) – give in to the candid moments. If you are trying to photograph your kiddos on the beach, especially if it’s in the middle of your playful beach day, it’s no fun for the kids if all of a sudden you’re telling them to stay still, look at you and say “cheese” – you’re going to get some really fake smiles and stank faces and all of a sudden find yourself making promises of gifts and candy that you really don’t want to keep. Are your kids running around like maniacs on the beach? Cool! Grab your phone, don’t even tell them what you’re doing, and start snapping! Take a ton of photos as your littles run around and explore, and you’ll be surprised to see the few gems you’ll capture where your child just happens to be looking in your direction with a genuine expression of joy on their face.
4. Think of activities your kids love…Are they obsessed with popsicles? Grab them one at the food truck, sit them down somewhere, and capture that messy goodness. Do they love chasing their sibling around at the water’s edge? Encourage a splash fight and capture that. Is your child a quiet book worm? Capture that smarty pants deep in their favorite beach read. If your kids are focused on something they love, they won’t bother being annoyed at you for taking photos of them, and you’ll have some truly authentic images that really represent who your child is at this stage of their life. Win win win!
5. Clouds rule! There’s a very common misconception that you need *perfect weather* for photos on the beach. Guess what? Perfect weather for photos means NOT a sunshiny bright day with a clear blue sky. If it’s a gray day, grab your phone and head to the beach to snap some pics. Cloudy days mean diffused light, less crowds, more vivid colors, cooler temperatures and less squints. Cloudy days are my favorite to photograph on the beach!
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