Family Beach Photo Session: Our Epic Marco Island Adventure

little girl walking on the beach at sunset
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If you’ve ever dreamt of those perfect, dreamy beach photos with your family but ended up battling harsh sunlight and wild winds, trust me, you’re not alone. As a mom of four and a seasoned family photographer, I’ve been there, done that, and got the T-shirt! So, grab a cup of coffee, cozy up, and let me take you on a journey through my recent family beach photo session adventure on the breathtaking Marco Island, Florida.

Our Family Go To

For over a decade, Marco Island has been our go-to destination for family vacations, and each trip holds a treasure trove of memories. This time, armed with my camera and a vision of capturing the essence of our family against the stunning backdrop of sand and sea, I set out for a magical photo session.

Picture this: the sun high in the sky, casting harsh shadows, and the wind playing havoc with everyone’s hair. Yep, that was my reality on the first day of our beach escapade. I’ll be honest; I wasn’t thrilled.

But here’s the thing – in the world of photography, just like in life, things don’t always go as planned. And that’s okay!

So, what did I do?

Like Ross from Friends… I pivoted.

On day one, my first attempt, we arrived at the beach too early. I knew the sun was still too high in the sky to get the look and lighting I was looking for. So, I still shot photos of my family at the beach because no matter what, I wanted those memories, perfect or not.

And they were definitely NOT perfect. Hair flying all over, shadows, and more!

But they are all mine to keep forever!

Then, I found an alternative location – a nearby hotel with a picturesque courtyard adorned with majestic palm trees. The wind was gentler here, the lighting more forgiving, and voilà! We were back in business.

Below, when you compare the first set of beach shots to the courtyard shots, you will see a significant difference in the lighting and softness of the photos.

On day two, my second attempt at sunset beach photos, you will again see a significant difference. Those photos are some of my all-time favorites.

Timing is everything.

Lesson one: flexibility is key

When the elements conspire against you, don’t be afraid to explore other options. You might just stumble upon a hidden gem.

Now, onto the golden hour – that magical window of time just before sunset when the sky transforms into a canvas of hues, and everything seems to glow with an ethereal light. The next evening, we returned to the beach, armed with the lessons learned from the previous day. And let me tell you, it was worth the wait.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, painting the sky in shades of pink and gold, we captured some truly breathtaking moments. Laughter, love, and joy – frozen in time against the backdrop of nature’s masterpiece.

Lesson two: patience pays off

Sometimes, the most beautiful moments unfold when you least expect them.

Now, let’s talk tips

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a mom with a smartphone, here are some nuggets of wisdom to help you nail that perfect family beach photo:

Timing is everything

Aim for the golden hour – that magical window of time just before sunset or after sunrise when the light is soft and flattering.

Embrace imperfection

Don’t stress over windblown hair or squinting eyes. Sometimes, those candid moments are the ones you’ll cherish the most.

Location, location, location

If the beach isn’t cooperating, don’t be afraid to explore other nearby spots. You might discover a hidden gem just around the corner.

Keep it real

Encourage your family to be themselves. The best photos capture genuine emotions and connections.

Practice makes perfect

Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts don’t turn out as planned. Keep experimenting, keep learning, and keep snapping away.

Want more travel tips on lighting and composition?

So there you have it – a glimpse into our family beach photo session adventure on Marco Island, FL. Remember, it’s not about perfection; it’s about capturing moments, creating memories, and embracing the beauty of the journey.

Before you head off, I’ve got something extra special to share with you!

Introducing our “Settings Simplified” Guide – it’s like your trusty sidekick for mastering those camera settings without the headache. Whether you’re a beginner or just need a little boost, this guide has your back.

Plus, we’ve thrown in a bonus section all about lighting because, let’s be real, good lighting is the secret sauce to amazing photos!

Settings Simplified Freebie Guide

So, if you’re ready to level up your photo game and capture those unforgettable moments with ease, snag your copy of the guide now. Trust me, it’s a game-changer! Thanks for tagging along on our adventure, and keep snapping those memories that make life sparkle!

Enjoy a quick glimpse into our family beach photo session in Marco Island, Florida.

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