What To Wear- Family Beach Session

So in a few weeks we’re packing up and heading to the beach for a week. Last year both of our “vacations” were cut short by issues with our pup and his separation anxiety. (New plan this year to keep Biscuit happy while we are gone) We are really looking forward to getting away as a family for the first time in 3 years! So to commemorate this occasion I booked a photographer for when we were down at the beach (or if you grew up around here you say “the shore”)
It was much harder to find a photographer in the OBX than I had anticipated! It took a bit of searching for a bright clean style that not only showcased formal portraits but also really captured family interaction. When I came across Lundy Photography  or here; I crossed my fingers and toes in hopes that she had time slots during our week we were on vacation! And sure enough she did! I cannot wait to meet her soon and in the mean time have been trying to figure out what we should wear!  (PS I initially found her on IG… keep hashtagging your photos people!!! it works)

I wanted to write up a little blog post on how to pick outfits for a a family session. Obviously I’m not quite an expert on BEACH sessions, but I would assume it follows similar “rules” that I recommend for my standard family session.


I recommend:

1. Selecting three complimentary colors

Now this doesn’t mean you have dad in a navy shirt, daughter in an exact shade of navy dress, a yellow top for mom, and little brother in the same exact shade of yellow that you special ordered because it was the same shade of yellow and geeze we all have the same color khaki shorts on right?! No, pick your 3 colors… colors that go well with your environment you’re being photographed in, and then find SHADES of those colors. Our outfits do not include the exact same shade of blue… it varies throughout our outfits and ties it together.

2. Patterns, Stripes, Layers, and Texture

Now that you’ve decided on the colors you are looking for, be mindful of the patterns and stripes in your clothing. I try to picture us all in our family picture huddled together. Will I have to move my boys away from each other because their patterns clash? I actually usually do a pattern on one boy and stripes on the other…….but that’s fall pictures when I can add in a layer with a vest, jacket or a sweater. So for this beach session I stuck to solids and stripes. I’ll add a few jewelry pieces to add in some additional texture for myself.

3. Find outfits in a particular order….

If you have super picky kids that need clothing that avoid certain things…….. (a kid who refuses to wear jeans, a kid who hates collared shirts, one who only wears dresses) start with them. Or…. if you feel really uncomfortable in front of the camera or self conscience with what you wear…… start with yourself! Find an outfit for YOU and build all else around that! For my family I start with my boys….usually at H&M because their boy clothing rocks. Then… I find my outfit.  I move BACK to the boys after my outfit and see if I need to change anything because of what I am now wearing. And finally… last but not least the husband. My husband is super easy going, so it’s important that I pick something he’s comfortable in and I want him to wear something he would normally wear.



So for my session I first found the “coral” shorts, both the striped pair and the solid pair and grabbed a few pieces based on those. All of my purchased items came from Old Navy, Gap, or Target. I stuck with simple pieces because I wanted the boys and myself to look comfortable on the beach and able to have a bit of fun during this session and not be restricted by our clothing… especially if we end up playing in the water. Below I threw together a few examples of how we mixed and matched the new pieces I had grabbed and a few of our old previous items. (I did forget Andrew’s shorts when I photographed the sets at the studio so I photoshopped them in later. oops!)

Once I found a few mix and match staple pieces for the boys I then found two outfits for myself. I wore the blue dress to dinner with Andrew a few weeks ago… and it was a really windy night and the dress really blew around. So if it’s a super windy night at the beach I’m definitely going with the solid top/maxi. (Which I mean it’s the beach so it’s likely) I need to add some fun necklaces or bracelets for myself yet.

I have a favorite that I think we’re going to end up in 😀 Which outfit choice do you like the best?
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Update! Our session with Lundy was amazing! And I love our family pics! Check out this collage of our outfits in “real life”. I did have a necklace, but we had to move our time around due to one of my boys being pretty sick from an evening session to a 6:30 am session…. so we left in the dark and I forgot to grab it! Would have been a nice layer piece but I still love how we came together outfit wise! Best part is for our family all pieces were practical and we were able to re-wear them as needed throughout the summer!


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