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Common Questions - Family Beach Portraits

Common Questions

 As a family beach portrait photographer, I love capturing the joy and connections of families against the stunning backdrop of the beach here in South Jersey. My family portrait sessions that are tailored to create fun, beautiful, and timeless memories for you and your loved ones. I’ve provided a list of common questions and answers below that you may find helpful. Of course, you can always reach out to me directly as well! Let’s make some magic at the beach!


 How do I book a family beach portrait session with you?


 What should we wear?

  • Probably the most common question we get!  I want to capture you looking both comfortable and natural, so I recommend clothing that complements the shore environment and reflects your family's style. Remember, this is the beach! Soft, neutral colors work well, particularly beach tones like blues, whites, greens, and light browns. Coordinating outfit colors among the family is great, but don’t be overly "matchy". I also recommend staying away from loud patterns or stripes where possible. Shorts and casual collared shirts make a nice touch for men and boys. Sundresses for ladies create a beautiful, natural flow in the ocean breezes. Same goes for kids.  Clothes that you feel comfortable and beautiful wearing will naturally radiate that relaxing feel to the rest of you. Nothing overly “designer-ish” - choose something you can get sandy or dirty. Sandals or bare feet are fine. For more ideas, feel free to browse some of the galleries on my website or I'm happy to provide more specific clothing recommendations during our consultation.


What is the best time for a beach portrait session?

  • The best times for beach portraits are typically during the "golden hour" starting about 1 to 1.5 hours before sunset, or earlier in the morning a few hours after sunrise. The lighting during these times is soft and warm and the shadows less harsh, creating a magical ambiance that complements your family's images beautifully. Still, we realize that families have lives and schedules, kids have bedtimes, etc, so we will do our best to work with your schedule. 


How long does a typical session last?

  • Depending on the number of people, a typical family beach portrait session takes around 45 minutes to an hour and a half. This timeframe allows us to capture a variety of poses and candid moments while ensuring a relaxed and enjoyable experience for your family.

Can we bring props or special items to our session?

  • Absolutely! Personal props and items that hold special meaning to your family can add a unique touch to your portraits. For children in particular, I usually suggest bringing along a beach toy or two, blankets, or any other items that reflect your family's personality and story.


What happens if the weather is unfavorable on the day of our session?

  • Safety and comfort are a priority. In the event of unfavorable weather, we can reschedule your session to the next available date that works for both parties. I closely monitor weather conditions and will be in touch if rescheduling is necessary. Outside of heavy rain, I’ve also had success shooting in hazy, foggy, or cloudy days, and in fact, the results are often softer and more subtle - without harsh shadows. 


Can you recommend specific beach locations for our session?

  • Absolutely! I'm familiar with a variety of stunning beach locations from Ocean city to Wildwood - though I personally prefer the uncluttered and more natural beaches of Strathmere, NJ - located between Sea Isle City and Ocean City. The beaches and entrances there are less crowded, with fewer buildings and other distractions in the background. By contrast, it can be quite difficult to find a time when Sea Isle or Ocean City beaches are secluded. But this is YOUR  shoot, and I’m happy to photograph your family wherever you feel most comfortable. I’m happy to help you choose a location that suits your vision.


How soon can we expect to see the final photographs?

  • After your session, I carefully curate and edit the images to bring out the best in each shot. I am a stickler for removing distracting items (people, buildings, trash) in the background and do my best to minimize any elements that detract from you and your family. In fact, this process generally takes me about 8 to 10 times longer than shooting the actual images, but to me, it’s worth it. My goal is for you to receive your gallery of professionally edited images within 2-3 weeks after your session, depending on my schedule, though it is often much less. This time frame ensures that each image receives the attention it deserves.


How will I receive my pictures?

  • Your session with me entitles you to unlimited downloads of the resulting processed images which will be available for download via web browser. The first set will be unwatermarked and of an appropriate quality and resolution for high-quality printing.  Images in the second gallery will display our BeachPathImages watermark and will be sized and optimized for social media sharing. You are more than welcome to share any of the images with friends and family, via social media, etc as often as you like. (in fact, we encourage it!). 


Can I share my images with friends or on Social Media?

  • Absolutely! In fact, we encourage it! Feel free to share your images wherever you’d like. We just request that if you DO share the images, you share copies bearing the BeachPathImages watermark in the corner. 


Can we obtain copies without the watermark for printing?

  • Absolutely! Each gallery will contain a set of non-watermarked images printed in a larger, higher quality format. If you have an questions about the right size or format for printing, I'm more than happy to advise you or recommend printers that I've used and trust.  I want your prints to come out their absolute best.


Can we order prints or products after the session?

  •  Absolutely! There are many great sites that will let you order high quality prints, canvases, and other products. This makes it convenient for you to select your favorite images and customize your order at your own pace. I’m happy to provide recommendations of trusted printing companies that I’ve used and would recommend. 


How can we prepare our children for the session to ensure they're comfortable?

  • Children's comfort and happiness are key to capturing genuine smiles and interactions. I recommend talking to your children about the session in a positive and fun way. Bringing a favorite toy or snack can also help them feel at ease during the shoot. A day at the beach can be exhausting for little ones, so if you have an evening shoot planned, you may want to make the day a bit shorter and the naps a bit longer so that they have fun and look their best. And nothing says the shoot can’t end with kids in the ocean to make up for what they missed! 


Is a tip or gratuity expected for a photo session? 

  • (While a bit awkward, I include this here as it's often asked.) Tipping is a always highly personal and subjective, and to be clear I never expect nor require a gratuity for photo session. But if you are pleased with the session and service I've provided, a small gratuity is graciously welcome and greatly appreciated.

  • As an alternative, if you're happy with your session, a positive review on in a local social media group (such as Facebook's Sea Isle Chatter), Google Reviews, or Yelp is a wonderful way to show it. These reviews not only help me, they help other families find my services. 

Can we include our pets in the family portraits?

  • Pets are cherished members of the family and can add a special touch to your portraits. That being said, most beaches in South Jersey (including Sea Isle, Ocean City, Strathmere, Avalon and Stone Harbor) don’t permit dogs on the beach during the summer season due to nesting birds. If you’d like to include your pup, just let me know in advance, and we'll plan a location accordingly to capture delightful moments with your furry friends.


What sets your family beach portrait photography apart from others?

  • I'm dedicated to creating a fun, authentic, and memorable experience capturing YOU and YOUR family. As such your needs and desires come first. Sadly, I see too many photographers seemingly set to use their clients as models and props in preconceived, “artsy” poses.  I couldn’t disagree more. My approach focuses on capturing authentic moments, genuine connections, and the unique personalities of each family member. I strive to create portraits that tell your family's story in a beautiful and heartfelt way. I’m happy to take any of your recommendations for locations and poses, or provide my own. If what we create together makes you happy, then I’m happy. 


If you have any other questions or specific inquiries not covered in this FAQ, please feel free to contact me directly. I'm excited to work with you and create cherished memories at the beach!

Got Other Questions?

Feel free to get in touch so we can start making a beautiful, authentic experience for your family.

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