Five Tips for a Great Beach Session – Boston Beach Photographer

Maybe it’s all the snow right now, but I’m already getting inquiries about summer beach sessions! Hey, I’m right there with you — so if you are thinking about a session at the beach this summer, I have a few tips for you! And it’s great timing for me to share this beach session from last Summer. I photographed Yan & Dan’s wedding back in 2013, and now am so lucky to photograph their little family!

1. Timing is important. I recommend shooting at the beach in either the first 60-90 minutes after sunrise or last 60-90 minutes before sunset on a sunny day (something to consider if you have little ones on a strict bedtime schedule!). For one, the light on the beach is too harsh during other times a day, but the other thing to consider is that the beach is likely to be extremely crowded, especially on weekends. I also recommend only shooting on a weekday if at all possible in the summer, due to crowds.

Also related to timing if you are thinking about bringing your dog along — Dogs are not permitted on many (if not most) public beaches from May-September. If you have access to a private beach, or are OK with doing a session in April, then I’m happy to have your dog included.

Boston Beach Photographer _0006.jpgBoston Beach Photographer _0001.jpg2. Everyone might get (a little) wet and sandy, and have to deal with wind (or at least a breeze!) Of course we’ll get some family portraits before letting the kids get too close to the water, but eventually they’re probably going to get a little wet. And you never know when someone’s going to take a tumble! It’s also hard to predict what the wind will be like at the beach, so if you have long hair, either wear it up, or bring a brush. Mother Nature might also send some bugs out once the sun starts to go down, so be prepared and have bugspray on hand. (See my complete of things to bring with you at the end of this post).

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Definitely bring a change of clothes for little ones because you never know when someone is going to take a tumble or really get into splashing.

4. Bring along some sand toys too. Or if your kids are older, a ball or other game you like to play on the beach.
Boston Beach Photographer _0012.jpgBoston Beach Photographer _0013.jpg5. Have fun! We’ll absolutely get those family portraits you want, but even more importantly, we’ll capture your family spending time and having fun together. There’s no place better place than the beach to capture that free-spiritedness that summer brings.

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Things to bring to your beach session:

  • Change of clothes for kids — even older ones sometimes need them.
  • Beach towel to brush off sand (baby powder can be helpful with that too!)
  • Wet wipes
  • A Brush and/or ponytail holder, just in case of wind
  • Beach blanket if want don’t want to sit right in the sand (keep in mind it will show in the photos — I prefer putting clients right on the sand!)
  • Water and a few quick snacks if kids need a break
  • Bug Spray
  • Sand toys, game, or ball
  • Sunscreen up before you arrive if necessary, but try for a sunscreen that’s not too greasy.

Please don’t bring anything you aren’t comfortable leaving on the beach while we make our way around. I’m always happy to carry a small bag for you with cell phones, wallet, etc.

Cristen Farrell is a Boston and Andover area family photographer. She specializes in natural light photography and travels all around the Boston area for newborn, family, and childrens photography, including beach sessions. Please contact her at or the contact button above for more information.

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Based in Andover and available

North and West of Boston.

LONDON - PARISBoston Family Photographer


LONDON - PARISBoston Family Photographer