I spend a lot of time photographing families at the beach, especially during the summer months. It's a no-brainer: we live near the coast and the beach offers an absolutely beautiful backdrop whether it be the ocean, dune grass or sand, not to mention utterly gorgeous light at sunset. People tend to shy away from it during the colder months, however. I get it. It can be much colder and windier right on the water. BUT, if you hit it right, the beach can be an amazing spot for an autumn, spring or even winter session and here's why:
- It's SO MUCH LESS CROWDED. The cold and wind that I mentioned above? That's why hardly anyone will be around during your shoot. This can be a huge relief for some, who don't want to be photographed in front of other people or those who have kids or dogs who will be distracted by other beach-goers. An added bonus is that you won't have to pay to park during these off-peak months!
- The light!! Beaches are so stinking beautiful in that light that fades so early in the colder months. Soft glowing oranges and even pinks and purples just after the sun has set make for gorgeous photos. AND the sun sets far earlier during this time than in the summer months. Families with kids who have early bedtimes find it hard to book sunset sessions during the summer because the sun sets so late. This is arguably the best time for photos at the beach because typically there is little to no shade at the beach, which means you can't escape the harsh midday sun, which isn't super flattering for photos. At golden hour, the light is so soft and glowy that it enhances the emotion and nostalgia of your images. You just cannot get the same light at a different time of day. You can't. You can still get beautiful images, of course, the light will just be different. Booking in the fall, winter or spring will get you that gorgeous golden hour light at a bed-time friendly hour.
- The cold makes it easy to get everyone snuggled together. The closer people are, the more opportunity for connections, which make the absolute best photos. If you've followed along here for any length of time, I hope I've made that clear!
- Your photos will be uniquely different from everyone else's! Hats, boots, scarves and mittens will be how you style a session during the colder months, and most people have beach photos taken in sundresses and shorts, so these will definitely set you apart when you hang these images on your walls.
Take a look below at a chilly beach session I did this past fall. Don't be fooled by the smiles, we were all frozen by the end, but it was SO worth it!