Clothing Tips for Your Next Beach Photo Session

After honing my craft with nature photography, I’ve decided to branch out and start offering photo sessions to families. I have my first session booked for next week! It’s all very exciting, but I must confess it makes me a little bit nervous. Over the years, I’ve learned some tricks to help me keep my nerves in check. One of the most important tricks (for me) is planning and research. Like anything else I’ve undertaken – planning and research allows me to go into my latest adventure excited and prepared! My first photo session is going to be a beach photo shoot. My client recently asked me, “What colors should we wear for our session?” Well, after hours of research and numerous articles read – I have some answers. Here is a short list of tips for your next beach photo session.

First and foremost – be sure you dress comfortably and in a style that is “you”. The photo session should be fun – now is not the time to put on a brand new outfit, find it is tight and still wear it anyway, just because. If you want to get something new – awesome – you most certainly can. Just wear it once or twice (even just while at home) to be sure you are comfortable. Comfort is key!

White is your go to color – you can’t do much better than wearing white. With the ocean, sand and sky as your backdrop, the colors will pop. Your final images will look extraordinary.

Alright, so what if you are like me and white clothing is an instant stain magnet? If you have a child as part of the photo shoot… chances are they’ll be a lot like me too. Mix it up:  wear Khaki and white.Or blue and white or green and white… you get the idea. Almost any colored shirt and white shorts, will do the trick. If you do go Khaki, a lighter shade is much better than darker shades.

Pastels and light colors are your friend – if white is not really your thing, then you can wear light pastels, like blue, green, pink or pale yellow. Pink is a super color to wear, for both men and women.

Complementing colors for the whole family – You can opt to all wear the same color(s), but you can have some extra fun by wearing complementing colored outfits. Example: Mom wears white, husband wears teal shirt and jeans and son wears white shirt and teal pants or shorts.

Patterns are NOT your friend – if nothing else, do not wear patterned clothing – including stripes, plaid or anything else that may be considered a pattern (including Hawaiian shirts…yes, yes, I know the idea is cute.. but just don’t.) Remember, the beach is your backdrop and you are the stars. Patterns will take away from the overall natural colors and beauty.

Need some additional clothing inspiration? Check out Pinterest for some beach clothing ideas. 

Some other tips:

Remember the wind – yes, it will be windy, so plan on it! Sand in your face and messy hair, will happen.  Wear your hair exactly as you would like it to look when it’s windy. If that means pulling it back into a cute up do or by wearing a headband, go for it. For guys – hats are discouraged, but some hairspray or gel should help you keep your locks in place.

Less is more when it comes to makeup and moisturizer – the beach is pure natural beauty and guess what - - so are you! More importantly, if it’s mid-summer, the beach is hot. Makeup and sweat do not make for a winning combination. Same goes for moisturizer. Now I know the importance of sun block…if you HAVE to use it, then please do so. But note that moisturizer on your face may cause sand and hair to stick to it, while trying to wrestle with the wind and smile for the camera - a fun time might not be had.

Glasses and sunglasses – If you have to wear prescription glasses during your session, anti-glare lenses are best. Eyeglass lenses can catch sun glare, rendering the final photo useless. And, sunglasses? Well, we all want to see your pretty face… leave them for after the shoot. Your photographer should be able to pose you in such a way where the sun is not hitting you in the face.

MOST IMPORTANTLY – relax and have  fun. The best photos come when you let your guard down. Think of your session as a fun afternoon at the beach with your family. Relax, laugh and have the time of your life. If you do this one simple thing – no matter what you wear – you’ll end up loving the final photos for many years to come!

Am I missing anything? Share your tips and feedback about your latest photo session at the beach in the comments below.

For more about my photography and services – visit my website or connect with me on Facebook.