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Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Times for Family Beach Pictures

Ensuring unforgettable family memories on the beach takes more than just a camera - it requires the perfect setting, timing, and of course, the right expertise. Luckily, Austen Hunter, an experienced Pensacola photographer based out of Pensacola, is here to share insider tips for capturing those priceless moments on the Emerald Coast.

Whether planning a professional photography session or simply interested in personal photo-shooting tips, knowing the best timing the key to great images. It can truly transform the quality of those beach photos, turning simple snaps into frame-worthy family treasures. So, what's the secret to capturing the perfect beach shots? Here's Austen's advice:

the best time to take pictures at the beach

Key Takeaways:

  • The best time to take beach photos is during the early morning and late afternoon, known as the "golden hours" of photography.

  • Choosing the right season - summer, spring, or fall - can influence the mood, light, and color palette of your family beach photos in the Florida Panhandle.

  • The location of the photoshoot can greatly impact the quality of the photos.

  • Choosing the right outfits - prioritizing light and solid colors, comfort, a touch of pattern, weather-appropriate clothing, and thoughtful accessories - can significantly enhance family beach photos.

The Best Time of Day for Stunning Family Beach Photos

When capturing treasured family moments on the beach, light is a key ingredient. The sun can play dual roles in photography - being both a friend and a foe, depending on the timing of your photoshoot. For those aspiring to achieve natural and warm tones in their photos, two time slots take precedence - early morning and late afternoon. These periods are fondly referred to as the "golden hours" of photography.

Here are the pros and cons of each time slot:

Early Morning Photoshoots:

  • Pros:

    • Quieter, less crowded beaches: A peaceful setting to focus on your family, without distractions.

    • Cool, comfortable temperatures: Beat the midday heat and enjoy the refreshing morning air.

  • Cons:

    • Requires an early start: To maximize the morning's soft light, you need to be on the beach around dawn.

Late Afternoon Photoshoots:

  • Pros:

    • Warm, radiant light: The late afternoon sun provides vibrant colors, enhancing the beauty of your family beach photos.

    • Energized kids: If they've had a midday nap, the kids will be ready to share their smiles for a fun photo session.

  • Cons:

    • Potential for tiredness: After a day of vacation activities, some family members might be less enthusiastic or energetic.

To maximize the success of your photography session, consider these beach photo tips and choose the time that best suits your family's schedule and energy levels. Whether it's a serene morning shoot or a vibrant late afternoon session, each offers unique opportunities to create beautiful family memories on the beach.

the best time to take pictures at the beach

Choosing the Perfect Season for Your Family Beach Photos:

In the picturesque surroundings of the Florida Panhandle, the changing seasons bring their own unique appeal, setting the stage for memorable family beach photos. Each season offers a distinct mood, light, and color palette, all of which can significantly influence the outcome of your photo session. Let's delve into the unique aspects of summer, spring, and fall, and how they might contribute to your beach photography experience.

Summer: The Vibrant Season for Family Beach Photos

The allure of summer is undeniable for beach photography in the Florida Panhandle. The combination of glorious sunshine and clear, blue skies provides a captivating backdrop for your family beach photos. However, the vibrant colors and radiant light are accompanied by higher temperatures and the possibility of sudden, brief rainstorms, especially in July. Regardless, many families find the summer charm hard to resist and carefully plan their beach sessions around the weather.

Spring: The Fresh Start

Spring brings a breath of fresh air to the Florida Panhandle. It's an ideal time for family beach photography, providing moderate temperatures, fewer crowds, and the opportunity to capture the refreshing ambiance of the beach after winter. The beaches are cleaner, parking is easier, and the overall environment is more tranquil. If your family wants a serene setting with fewer distractions, spring could be the perfect fit for your beach photo session.

Fall: The Tranquil Getaway

Fall in the Florida Panhandle offers a serene, yet equally appealing, atmosphere for your family beach photos. Similar to spring, fall also enjoys moderate temperatures and fewer crowds. This 'shoulder season' offers a unique advantage – the mesmerizing fall colors can add an extra touch of warmth and depth to your beach photos. It's an ideal time if you're looking for a balance between the vibrant summer and the calm spring seasons.

Remember, no matter the season, with a bit of planning and the right advice, you can always ensure your family looks great in beach photos. For more details about each season, including information on monthly average precipitation, temperatures, and tourism activity in the Florida Panhandle, refer to this comprehensive guide.

the best time to take family pictures at the beach

The Best Locations for Beach Photos near Pensacola, Florida

When it comes to stunning family beach photos, not just any stretch of sand and sea will do. The location of your photoshoot can have a significant impact on the quality of your photos. A quiet, scenic beach backdrop not only enhances the beauty of your shots but also ensures a relaxed, enjoyable experience during the photo session.

During the peak tourism months, many of the beaches in the Florida Panhandle can get crowded. Organizing a photoshoot amid throngs of beachgoers might not yield the best results. Therefore, selecting a less crowded spot will help you avoid unnecessary distractions and create a more intimate setting for your family photos.

Among the noteworthy locations around Pensacola, a few stand out as being particularly photogenic and serene, making them some of the best beaches for family photos.

Fort Pickens State Preserve

This historic site offers a unique combination of nature's beauty and intriguing architectural elements. Apart from the white sandy beaches, you can include the backdrop of the old fort and the lush greenery that the preserve has to offer.

Opal Beach

Nestled within the Gulf Islands National Seashore, Opal Beach is famous for its white sand and crystal clear water. With fewer crowds and abundant natural beauty, it's a dream location for a serene family beach photoshoot.

Johnson Beach

Located in the Perdido Key area, Johnson Beach offers another excellent option for your family beach photos. This tranquil spot presents a mix of sun, sea, sand, and striking landscapes, giving you a variety of great backdrops for your photos.

These locales offer something beyond just white sand and clear waters. They include the charm of colorful beach houses, the rhythm of rustling palm trees, and the serenity of the less-frequented corners of the Florida Panhandle. A well-chosen location can significantly enhance your family beach photography experience.

What to Wear for your Family Beach Pictures

Choosing the right outfits for your family beach photos can have a profound impact on your photos. Here's a set of easy-to-follow guidelines to help your family look their best:

  • Light and Solid Colors: Choose light, solid colors like pastels, white, and khaki. These shades reflect the tranquility of the beach and harmonize well with the blues of the sea and the whites of the sand.

  • Comfort is Key: Prioritize comfort when picking out your beach photoshoot outfits. Uncomfortable clothing can reflect in your pictures, making your poses look awkward. Think of flowing dresses, linen shirts, comfortable shorts, and sandals for a relaxed yet chic look.

  • Play with Patterns: Introducing one pattern into the mix can add a touch of excitement to your family beach photos. Ensure the pattern complements the solid colors and doesn't dominate the overall look.

  • Weather Appropriate Clothing: As beaches can get breezy, a light sweater or wrap might be a wise addition, especially for late afternoon or evening photo sessions. Going barefoot is often the best footwear choice for beach shots.

  • Accessorize Thoughtfully: Consider including accessories such as wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, or a vibrant beach blanket. They can add a fun element to your photos, but be sure not to overdo it. The focus should still be on your family's faces and interactions.

Remember, the aim is to look cohesive without everyone being overly matching. Consider these tips when deciding what to wear for family beach pictures. The right planning can help ensure your family looks as stunning as the beautiful beach backdrop.

Book your Family Beach Photography Session

After taking these professional insights into consideration, you're now one step closer to creating unforgettable beach memories with your loved ones. Understanding the significance of timing, location, and attire in family beach photography can elevate your beach photo session from good to extraordinary.

However, to capture the heart of these precious moments, consider hiring a professional who knows how to navigate the complexities of beach photography. Austen Hunter, an experienced Family Beach Photographer based in Pensacola, Florida, is known for his ability to effortlessly capture the authentic interactions of families against the beautiful beach backdrop.

Austen brings his expertise and passion to each photo session, ensuring that every family leaves with images that will be cherished for a lifetime. So, why wait? Capture the beauty of your family's beach vacation and the essence of your love for one another by booking a family beach photography session with Austen Hunter today.

the best time to take pictures at the beach

Austen Hunter Photography is a Pensacola, Florida photographer who specializes in senior picture photography, beach photography, fashion photography, graduation photography, military portrait photography and headshot photography in a bold, graphic style, from Destin and 30A Florida, to Pensacola to Orange Beach and Gulf Shores Alabama. Austen Hunter has been published internationally and is known for his bold, graphic, and clean photographic style. He uses a variety of both natural light and off-camera flash to capture images. People book Austen for outdoor portrait sessions or sessions conducted at his home studio.



Austen Hunter Photography is a photographer based in Pensacola, Florida who specializes in family beach photography, military portrait photography and professional headshot in a bold and clean style. Austen Hunter has been locally recognized and internationally published . He uses a variety of both natural light and off-camera flash to capture images. People usually book Austen for outdoor portrait sessions or sessions conducted at his home studio.

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Chelsea, Headshot Client

"Wonderful experience! Wanted an updated headshot and Austen and Sarah were amazing. The studio was clean and incredibly nice, Sarah even provided blotting pads to help with shininess I had during photo shoot. 10/10 recommend to anyone wanting to get a photo taken! Thank you again!"


Tammy, Headshot Client

"We are so glad that we found Austen. He did a wonderful job providing us with quality headshot photographs. He made us feel comfortable and gave us good suggestions for posing. We look forward to working with him again in the future!"


Daryl, Beach Client

"Austen and his team were amazing! They were able to capture exactly what we wanted for our engagement pictures and also provided us a tent to change clothes. I would highly recommend him and I would definitely use him again."

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