4 Tips to make your Sunset session at the beach a total success

A Maternity beach session in Long Island to be remembered for its beauty and lightness. And for sure, a personal favorite too.

After photographing this family a few years ago while expecting their first child (now a sweet toddler boy), it felt special when they asked to document them again as they grow into a family of four.

When we planned our session, we decided on the beach as our location. We knew we wanted natural elements as a background like the ocean, the sand, beach grass, the golden hour light, and the sunset.

A session guide and a list of items to help them prepare were crucial for a successful stress-free experience. As a photographer, I found some key aspects to take into consideration too before taking up the challenge of shooting at the beach. Allow me to share the four most important with you: Choose the right time, pack the right gear, bring a towel and make sure mom's dress fits well. Read more below.

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All rights reserved. Copyright Paula Ortiz New York City Family Photographer 2022.

1. Choose the Right Time

Shooting at the beach means shooting at an open space. There's no shade or trees to help you diffuse the sunlight. Selecting the right time to shoot is the single most important aspect to take into consideration for making your session a total success.

The right time: A couple of hours before sunset renders the best softest light.

In terms of density, a weekday guarantees fewer people around.

2. Pack the right gear (sand is your enemy)

When thinking about gear, less is more. A rolling case filled with all your stuff is a total failure. You will be exposing all your expensive equipment to water and sand.

The right gear: two bodies, two lenses (you attach those lenses, and don't ever change them during the session - sand in the sensor is a nightmare). Lens wipes, UV filter, extra memory cards, extra battery. And most importantly, a traveling waterproof backpack (I use Lowepro 400II).

I also take my gear out before entering the sand-beach area. And pack everything back after exiting the sand area. That way there's no sand in my bag.

3. Bring a towel

No matter how obvious it is, do not forget to bring a towel. Moms forget sometimes and you will definitely need a towel because you will get wet too.

So in addition to your backpack, bring a small messenger bag with a quick dry towel and your personal items (I use the Lowepro messenger and remove all dividers).

It's extra helpful since you don't want sand in your gear bag.

I would also recommend wearing pants you can roll up high to get in the water or bring extra pants.

4. Make sure mom's dress fits well

A dress is in my opinion, the most flattering clothing to wear for sessions. The right dress should fit properly, especially if your subject is pregnant. You want her to be comfortable but also to highlight her curves. Take into consideration the wind, you don't want a dress with flaps that can blow over her face.

Make sure the dress sits comfortably tight in the middle area, otherwise you will have to photoshop a waistline. Bring some clamps and if possible, run a virtual fitting with your client.

Expert Tips from a Professional Photographer

I hope these tips help you prepare for your newborn session.

Feel free to reach out as I love to support clients and emerging photographers during their session experience.

And if you find this information helpful, please share! With love, Pau.

Book a 2023 Beach Session

Beach sessions are perfect for Maternity, Family, Birthday, Milestones, and Children portraits.

Reserve your session early as there will only be a handful of slots available next year during the Spring, and Summer.

All beach sessions will take place at a very private, clean, safe, and easy-to-reach location with parking and restrooms available.

new york, NY