You might already have your outfits set, and even if you do I wanted to share THREE helpful tips to help you style your family for your beach photo session on Oahu.

TIP #1

Coordinate vs. match

First you’ll start by adding one patterned outfit and then you will use the different colors in that pattern to find the other family members their outfits. Here is what this looks like:
family member 1: mauve, sage, cream floral midi dress (TIP: SELECT THE PATTERNED OUTFIT FIRST)
family member 2: solid mauve knee length dress
family member 3: solid light gray henley, linen cotton shorts
family member 4: sage linen button down, khaki shorts
family member 5: solid off white muslin onesie
The idea is to mix and match colors within the same family/color palette, while also mixing in neutrals. If you are doing an extended family session adding in one pattern per nuclear family would work as well.

Remember neutrals like grey and shades of brown like tan and cream tend to complement most colors, so you can incorporate them as needed for the guys (or for anyone).

If you are set on matching, that is completely understandable as well! I’ve had clients that decide to wear all white, all cream, or even everyone in matching aloha attire. There is a cute brand called Sweet Honey Hawaii and they make fashionable aloha attire for the whole family.

TIP #2

Find outfits that are water friendly! 


Dresses tend to look fantastic in beach photos! Midi dresses are great because if you get close to the water the bottom of the dress won’t get too wet. If you have the option, choose a lighter fabric for to minimize any color changes when it gets wet. For example, and this is an extreme example, but if you wore a denim dress to the beach and if it were to get wet, it would look dark blue in comparison to the rest of the dress that was not wet.


Have you heard of water-resistant pants? A client wore these pants and to his family photo session at the beach and it was so awesome I asked my client where he purchased it and totally forgot the name! However, it looks like Bonobos makes pants with this fabric along with other designers but if you search “water-resistant chinos” it will come up.


Always have a backup outfit on hand! You never know if they are going to run into the ocean, fall and get wet, etc. Though I usually start the session with parents holding their little ones so we get that perfect family portrait right away before the kids get wet, sandy, etc. sometimes kids will accidentally fall while walking or get splashed and if it is a lot then you must be ok with it. Otherwise, having an outfit on hand is a great idea. Especially for locations that allow your child to dip their toes in the water.

Also, ruffles on the sleeves do not do well at the beach because if they are turned to the side it will fly up with the wind and cover their face.


TIP #3

Add a beautiful lei po’o!

A lei is a symbol of aloha in Native Hawaiian culture, so why not add a beautiful lei po’o to honor the tradition while you’re in Hawaii? There are many different florists on O’ahu that create beautiful leis. A lei po’o is not only beautiful but it will also hold your hair in place on windy days. One tip that I share with clients is to find a lei that does not have leaves that are too long in front of the face so that it does not cover up your eyes if you are looking down or to the side.


Interested in booking a family, maternity, or couples photo session?

CLICK HERE to inquire! I am pretty quick to respond! You can also email or text 415-343-2377.


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