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The beach, with its vast expanse of sun-kissed sand and the soothing rhythm of the waves, serves as a picturesque backdrop for family photos. But how do you ensure that your beach photos stand out and become cherished memories for years to come? Here are some tips to help you capture the essence of your family in the most beautiful way possible.

  1. Choose the Right Beach:

Not all beaches are created equal when it comes to creating the perfect family photo. Opt for a beach that is not only beautiful but also provides enough space for your family to move around comfortably. A less crowded beach offers a tranquil setting, allowing your family to relax and be themselves without the distractions of a bustling crowd. A way around a busy location is to select a morning/sunrise photo session vs. sunset which is usually when everyone is out and about capturing the golden hour light. If you’re on vacation you can use your jet lag to an advantage and schedule morning photos when your family is already up at the crack of dawn ready to go!

  1. Timing is Everything:

The key to achieving that soft, dreamy light in your family photos is choosing the right time of day. The golden hours—shortly after sunrise or before sunset—bathe the beach in warm, soft light, casting a flattering glow on your family. This magical light adds depth and dimension to your photos, enhancing the beauty of the surroundings and creating a timeless quality.

On Oahu, we have a mountain range that filters the light on the west side up until about 45-60 minutes after the sun rises. On the east side, the light will be filtered around 1-2 hours before sunset since the sun sets in the west.

  1. Selecting the Right Photographer:

Your choice of photographer can make or break the outcome of your family photos – depending on how high your expectations are for these photos. Typically photos are going to hover around $600+ for an experienced full time photographer on Oahu. Since you are already investing a lot into your photos, you may as well find the RIGHT photographer for YOU; someone whose style you LOVE, has lots of experience, knows lighting, knows how to direct people of ALL ages, and can capture everything you’re looking for in a set amount of time. Someone who fulfills all of the above is probably the right photographer for you. Take the time to review their portfolio, paying attention to their use of poses, colors, and overall aesthetic. This person will be responsible for freezing moments in time, so it’s essential that their work aligns with your vision.

Creating beautiful family photos at the beach is a thoughtful process that involves careful consideration of location, timing, and the right photographer. By choosing a spacious, uncrowded beach, scheduling your session during the golden hours, and investing in a photographer whose style resonates with you, you’ll be well on your way to capturing timeless moments that will be treasured by your family for years to come. Remember, the artistry behind these photos is an investment worth making, ensuring that the memories you create will be as beautiful as the images themselves.


To inquire about a family or couples photo session please CLICK HERE or email marissa.hbphoto@gmail.com. If you’d like to stay in the loop about photo sessions either on Oahu or in the San Francisco Bay Area (where I travel to 3 weekends out of the month in October each year), then please click this link to subscribe to my email list: SUBSCRIBE NOW

Have a look at some of these photos below to get an idea of what a successful beach photo session looks like! These photos were taken at the North Shore of Oahu down the road from the Turtle Bay Resort where they were staying.

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