We're getting closer to the time of year where families flock to pristine Gulf Coast vacation hotspots like Destin Beach, Pensacola Beach, and Panama City for the summer. For those who aren't in the know, this particular stretch of the Gulf Coast is one of the best places to enjoy a holiday and get some stunning vacation beach pictures you can take home with you. While I believe in a 'come as you are' approach to beach portrait sessions, this handy guide will help you decide how to best dress for the occasion:
What to wear for family beach photos?
Before we get into the colors to wear for your beach pictures, let's talk about clothing and accessories to bring to your beach portrait session. When planning a beach photo session, there's a couple considerations you'll want to have in mind for your wardrobe:
Cotton and linen materials are lightweight, breathable, and ideal for Florida's humid climate. You'll want to avoid heavy jackets or clothing that can absorb and hold water, especially if you plan on getting your feet wet during the session! Feel free to throw in a cardigan or sweater, however, for photo sessions during the morning or evening.
Of course, when planning an outfit for beach pictures, one of the most important goals is to be comfortable in your own clothes. If you feel self-conscious in your outfit, it's going to show up in your photos. Keep this in mind when styling your fit, and take care not to choose anything that's too tight, restrictive, or just plain uncomfortable. The great advantage of family beach picture sessions is that you don't need to dress up super formally for them, so it's easy to find a comfortable outfit; some flip-flops, shorts, and a nice polo will do marvelously.
Lastly, let's talk about accessorizing your family photo outfit. Little accessories like jewelry or bracelets are a great way to add a personal touch to matching outfits, but I would offer a word of caution: don't bring anything to the beach that you aren't comfortable losing. The last thing you want to happen at the end of your photo session is to discover a sentimental earring or necklace is missing. It's also a good idea to bring a 'beach bag' that everyone can put their phones, wallets or any other things you don't want getting wet or sandy while the photography is happening.
Considerations: before settling on your wardrobe for the photo session, you'll want to decide with your family if you plan on getting in the water (even if just ankle deep). We're more than happy to join you in the water to get some truly unique portraits!
Best colors for Family Beach Photos
Now, the most important aspect of your beach attire: the color scheme you choose. Colors are important for family photography, as they help emphasize family ties and express mood and emotion. Here's a few color schemes that are traditionally used for family photography:
Monochromatic colors are commonly used in family photoshoots. These are easy to create because a monochromatic color pattern only includes one color. This color scheme includes different tones from the same hue. Take this family for example; the husband and wife are following a monochromatic color scheme by wearing different shades of the same hue (blue, in this case). The end result is a color that not only contrasts them from their background, but also expresses their family bonds.
Complementary colors on the other hand, combine colors from opposite ends of the color wheel. This color scheme contrasts well, and can be a great choice for extended families or families with children. In this image, mom and dad have chosen to color contrast with their children using the complementary colors orange and teal. Personally, I think complementary colors are a very interesting and bold way to make your family portraits pop, like this family did.
Analogous Colors fit side by side on the color wheel. This pattern is commonly seen in nature and is also used extensively used in paintings! Conventional usage of analogous color schemes relies on one dominant color, with the other colors used as accents. In this example, the family used the aqua color as the dominant tone, with the teal and blue patterned shirts as accents. I typically advise clients not to wear patterned outfits to portrait sessions because they distract from the subject (which is you and your family!), but in this case these patterned shirts ended up complimenting the image because they fit the color scheme of the family.