The top 7 Frequently Asked Questions About Beach Family Portraits | Bayside Family POrtrait Photographer

Shot taken just as the sun was setting

It’s hard to avoid here in Bayside, we have a heap of amazing beaches and we are a pretty beach centric community. From nippers, dog walking, swimming, paddle boarding and just taking the kids for a splash, the Bay is a huge part in our lives which also explains why it’s one of the most popular locations for Bayside family portraits.

So, it’s pretty easy isn’t it. Just head down to the beach and take some snaps? Well.. yes and no. There is little more in it, looking at time of day, the style of beach and what you love doing there all are big factors in the success of a great beach portrait session.

So here are the top 7 question I get asked almost daily about beach family portraits.

Just after sunrise before the sun hit
Cloudy day
20 minutes before sunset

1: What’s the best beach in Bayside for photos?
My answer always starts with “What is your favourite beach to go to?”. Each beach has different times of day that work better plus it depends on what you love doing at beach. If you love kicking a soccer ball around there are great wide flat beaches, if you love looking in rock pools there are other spots that work or if you want a sunset reflected in the water there are shallow beaches that work for that.

Morning before the sun rose above the cliffs
Just after sunset
Just after sunrise before the sun hit ~ 7am

2 What is the best time to photograph at the beach?
Mornings and late afternoons are the best time. Generally for a morning session we look at meeting about 10 minutes before sunrise (yes, you read the right), but if there is a big cliff that will cast a shadow a bit longer through the morning we can go a little later. At the other end of the day generally we would meet up 30 minutes before sunset and photograph right through the sun going down so we can get the warm glow of the evening and then the soft light once the sun is in bed. 

Just after sunrise in the morning, and it was raining
cute candid family photographer Melbourne
Just before sunrise at about 6.30am

3 Thats before the kids get up / after their bedtime? Are you sure?
Yep. Giving kids experiences outside the norm lights them up most of the time. Staying up late and going to the beach is one of my daughters favourite things, but I know that every kid. As long as you plan for it, ie and early night or a restful day / longer nap, it tends to work out pretty well.

Very windy afternoon but sheltered spot
Cloudy late afternoon
Melbourne Family Photography

4 What if it’s cloudy?
Unless you are really set on a certain look to the photos, cloudy is the best for the beach. No glare, squinting and it opens up so many more options for locations. If we have a sunset / sunrise shoot booked in, we will generally move it a little later (sunrise) or earlier (sunset) as we won’t be dictated to by shooting spots that only work when the sun is up.

Sunny morning, early before the sun rises too high
Cloudy morning

5 What do wear for a beach session?
Clothes, I highly recommend clothes. The style of clothes is up to you, generally most families go for pretty relaxed clothes, the clothes they would normally wear at the beach. Others love to do a bit of a contrast and dress up a bit. It’s really up to you and before the session we will chat through all the options and work together to come up with the best outfits for your portrait session. 

Sunny morning, early before the sun rises too high
Just after sunset

6 Do we just show up? Should we bring something?
With some families, just being yourselves at the beach is enough. You find the fun, play and explore. Other families need to bring some activities for the kids to do, that could be as simple as a bucket and spade or a toy digger through to a full picnic of fish and chips. The goal is to be yourselves, again if you have no idea but love the idea of having photos at the beach through a planning chat we will work out a plan. It’s always better to have some things with you even if you don’t use them.

I highly recommend  bringing a towel and change of clothes, even if you don’t think you will need them… sometimes the little splashes end up in big splashes. If you are really a water loving family, bringing bathers, the stand up paddle board, the kayak, boat or cruise ship to use during the session as it always works amazingly. 

Overcast late afternoon
Cloudy morning

7 What about the dog?
Certain beaches are great for dogs and some aren’t. When choosing the time of dat and location make sure you are up on the rules of when your furry child is allowed to be with you. Plus some times of the day the beach can be dog highways with everyone out walking. Again, I’ve got all the knowledge to make the most of the situation so I’ll let you know if a plan will work or if we need a rethink.

Overcast late early evening

That is about it for beach session. Remember, there is much more to Bayside than the beach. We have great parks, bushland, urban areas and even your own home that are really great portrait locations. Stay tuned to my Instagram for future posts about those types of locations.