I am so excited that you chose me to photograph your family for a sunrise beach mini session! I am humbled and thrilled to capture these precious memories for you. Please know that my approach is very unscripted, sometimes a bit of high energy, and usually a tad goofy. I am not a huge fan of too posed images. Yes, I will try to get a few good smiling at the camera shots, but I love to also capture emotion, laughter, details, snuggling, and playing (depending on the child(ren), of course).
These sunrise sessions take place in Ponce Inlet. There is a $10 parking fee ($20 for a 1 year pass). It's a beautiful place, you could even plan on staying and enjoy the beach after your session! The location is called Lighthouse Point Park, and the address is 5000 South Atlantic Ave. Ponce Inlet, FL (please know exactly where this is - this is NOT the actual lighthouse.)
The light changes quickly, so we might move around a bit to take full advantage of the beach and beautiful sunrise. As mentioned on the booking site, the sunrise usually has 3 phases during the 45 minutes that I will be there (I only photograph 3 families per morning). The first phase is rather dark at first (it won't be in the photos) and then the super pale and soft pastel colors start to show. It usually has even lighting and colorful. The second phase is the golden glow when the sun is about to hit the horizon. Pictures during this phase are exactly how it looks at that time, orange, warm, and majorly sun-kissed. The last phase is right after the sun rises and it's beautiful and bright outside. Nice white and bright photos. Please know that I do pray before sessions, but surely it doesn't always work out so perfectly. Occasionally the sky works completely different, or is a bit more cloudy, or a bit more bright. But that is what makes these sessions so unique and perfect to me. None are alike. The way the clouds are for your session time will never be duplicated. So, if the sky/sun don't follow with our plan, please roll with it. I promise you'll still be thrilled!
Please come a bit early to your session. Please be at the beach ready a couple of minutes before your session starts. This will ensure the time runs smoothly. I will not cut into another family's session if you're late, so it would cut out of your time. The sun can get out of control quick at sunrise, so there's not much wiggle room for the last session. There is a "long" walk from the parking lot to the beach, so please keep that in mind. On your walk, if you walk through the sand, please be cautious of rocks. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE wear bug spray. Put it on before you leave your house/hotel, and then again as soon as you arrive. If the no-see-ums are anything like they were last year, your family will be miserable after the session when you realize that they have eaten you alive. I forgot to wear bug spray once and they started biting me as soon as I got out of my van and I had over 30 bites. If you forget spray, I will have some in my bag. Let's pray those darn things went extinct since last year, but just in case they haven't, be prepared.
There are usually a few photographers there at sunrise. I will be the crazy lady running around and talking loudly. My daughter, Emma, might be with me helping out to watch our stuff. She can't be missed because she's 6' 1" (and still growing)!
As for what to wear, I want you to feel comfortable and beautiful. Please choose a wardrobe that matches your style, as well as the scenery. For beach sessions, neutrals (gray, tan, white, cream) are perfect. Even a hint of color (blush, gold, pale blue, faded denim) look good, too. Don't get too matchy matchy (like Olan Mills style). Keep in mind that what you wear makes a HUGE impact on the look of your photos. Mom, wear something that makes you feel like a million bucks. If you get stuck with wardrobe, please send me an email/message, and I can help. Flowy dresses and skirts are amazing. I love long dresses that have flowers, or that are a pastel ombre, even solid flowy dresses are perfect, too. Barefoot is perfect. You will be getting a bit wet (so prepare your hubster).
If you are vacationing, please know that if you're sunburned, I really can't fix that. Blotchy skin and tan lines won't be edited out, so do all of the sunbathing after your session.
Dads and kids are usually half asleep for these sessions. It's totally okay. Don't fret. Keep in mind that I had a photographer do my family's beach photos and I experienced what all moms go through trying to prepare and get through a beach session. Major props to you (pure insanity for me - haha). That's why I am writing a novel to tell you all of my experiences that I have found work best to keep this smooth for your family. Remember, if mom is happy, everyone is happy. Please choose happiness (at least for 15 minutes)!
Tips on your kid(s): Let kids be kids. I will try my best to get a good, traditional portrait, but there will be playing, laughing, and snuggling. No "cheese" smiles, please! Sometimes kids don't even smile, and it is okay! I am here to document your family on this day, just as they are. Snuggling images are some of my favorite! Sometimes more reserved children don't open up much, but that is perfect, because that is them. Please don't threaten your kids. That usually doesn't end well. I will guide you on how to work with them to create portraits where you can't tell they are upset. A handful of times I have had littles hate the beach and they cried the entire time. I was still able to get a full gallery with thrilled parents. So we'll work with any child (just as long as you stay happy, mom!).
Props: I am not a proppy person for beach sessions. Let's just enjoy nature's props.
Lovey dovey: Yes, I make mom and dad take lovey dovey images, but only if you want to. Please let me know if you don't want to. I can take just the "normal" look at me and smile pose.
Dads: Dad doesn't have to look at me unless I tell him to. There's nothing sweeter than a dad looking at his wife or child in a photo. I leave dads alone for the most part, so tell hubby to relax and go with the flow. Remind him that he can nap later. You might actually have to bribe him!
Moms: please remember to keep good posture and your chin pulled out a bit to help make more flattering images. I will try to remind you, but with quick moving kiddos, it's sometimes hard.
Click here to see some images from sunrise beach sessions that I love! This will help prepare you for the way that I shoot, plus wardrobe ideas. You will receive a good variety of images in your gallery. No two galleries are the same, but some pictures are very similar.
If you need to contact me the morning of the session, my phone number is (352) 455-8015.
If at any time you have questions, please email or message me. I am here to help make this a great photo shoot for you!