One of the questions that I get asked the most is, “What should we wear for beach family photos?” While it is completely worth it to do family photos on the beach, it can be so hard to decide how to dress everyone. As a photographer in Tampa, Florida, I take a lot of beach family photos and have become something of an expert on what families should and should not wear to a beach photoshoot.
The best way to start planning family outfits is to start with one person’s outfit, usually the mom’s, and work around that. Once you’ve found the perfect outfit, you can use the same colors and patterns to coordinate with everyone else. Lay the clothes around each other on the floor so you have an idea of how the outfits will look when you are all snuggled together during your shoot.
I love when women wear soft, natural fabrics that can flow easily in the ocean breeze because this type of fabric always photographs so beautifully. I always love a long dress or a flowing blouse that will delicately move during the shoot. This always adds texture and life to your photographs, all while making mom look like a dreamy beach goddess!
Button-down shirts with rolled-up pants or shorts are always my favorite go-to for men. It has an effortless, casual look while still looking very put together. Don’t worry about shoes for him (or anyone in the family for that matter) because bare feet during a beach photoshoot always look more natural, and shoes generally look odd and out of place.
When it comes to the kids, you should always prioritize comfort. They are going to want to play and explore the beach, so make sure they have an outfit that lets them do just that. You don’t want awkward outfits that will bunch up as they pick up a seashell or that will look too formal and out of place at the beach. Casual summer dresses are always perfect for little girls, and shorts with a collared shirt are always perfect for your little guys. I do recommend bringing a change of clothes along with towels for little ones. Kids seem to always get wet and sandy during these shoots, which is all part of the fun!
It is always safe to go with solid colors because they photograph well. With bold patterns, you always run the risk of your clothing being distracting, so I recommend soft, muted colors that will complement the beautiful colors of the ocean and sunset. Neutrals such as cream, white, light blues and greens, and soft pinks all photograph beautifully on a beach as they blend effortlessly with the natural elements.
The most important tip to remember for everyone is to just keep it simple, light, and relaxed. You are at the beach, so you want to look natural and comfortable. No one shows up to the beach in a suit (a business suit, that is), so you shouldn’t for your beach family photoshoot. By keeping your outfits easy, breezy, and natural for a beach setting, you are sure to look perfect for your beach photo shoot.