I recently had the incredible opportunity to fly down to my hometown in San Diego, California this winter. Not only was I able to escape the dull gloomy and constant dreary skies in France for a month, but I was able to photograph some amazingly joyful and loving families while visiting! That’s the best part about running my own destination family portrait studio: wherever I go, as long as I have a camera and a laptop to edit, I can work! My first session in San Diego North County (California) was at Carlsbad beach with this darling two-year-old Avery and her super fun and sweet mom Germaine.
Avery knows instinctively how to work the camera. Whether I was catching moments of her playing and interacting with her mom, or when she looked directly into my lens, she always looked adorable on camera. See below behind-the-scene images:
See what I mean? Such a charmer!
This was my second-ever beach session, and I swear, every time I photograph a family at the beach, I fall more and more in love with beach photography. Here are my 4 top reasons why you may want to consider having your family portrait session at the beach!
It goes without saying that sunset lighting is just pure magic – but the colors that come right after sunset are my absolute favorite. I love photographing families quickly right as the sun dips to get that bright golden rim light and as the golden sun lights up the finer details and pours onto the white sand. Once the sun dips, then it’s time to work fast to get those pastel pinks, oranges and purple swirls in the sky. Blue hour, right after the pastels fade from the sky, is another beautiful look when there is cloud cover! Beaches provide that perfect landscape for gorgeous lighting and clean skies. While I am a sucker for some yummy golden filtered light through the trees at my park sessions, I would have to say that I love beach light even more. Anyone else agree with me on that one?
Children are their most natural, expressive and curious selves when a photographer isn’t right in their face. And with a long lens (like an 85mm or 135mm) and plenty of room to roam about and play, I am able to capture those more candid, real moments of childhood – which are my absolute favorite to photograph! Backing up and allowing my client’s room to be their natural selves with their children without me right in their face allows me to get those moments of true, unposed human connection. While I always do some light posing before pulling out my camera, I always like to leave a lot of space between me and my families to allow them to interact with one another. And beaches give me so much room and little distractions to do that.
I just love a clean, polished background. Simplicity and a soft, minimalist look in what I aim for in my classic style of portraiture and the beach-scape gives me all of those minimalist vibes I’m after! No busy city backgrounds or textured tree branches to avoid, you can just have fun while I shoot! With a wide open sky, long stretches of sand, waves (and possibly sand dunes), the images come out super clean with plenty of negative space – allowing all the focus to go completely on my joyful subjects! Win-win! 🙂
The sand is a magnet for little hands. Kids simply can’t help themselves! And it can make for some beautiful portraiture. Kids love to touch sand and play in it and sometimes throw it…or worst-case scenario, if they are really young, eat it. But that’s where mom and dad come in. And if your son/daughter is a toddler or child like sweet Avery was in this San Diego beach shoot, we can have a lot of fun with the textures and playfulness in sand! Sand seems to relax children, and if they are at all not in the mood for a family photo shoot – which can happen – playing in the sand is a natural stress reliever. Your son is crying? No worries! Let’s put the focus on the building with the sand for a minute before returning back to photographing the standard portrait.
The natural wide-open elements at the beach allow your children to play and be their true, authentic and unique selves. I am so madly in love with photographing children and families at the beach, and I’m so excited to continue offering beach sessions to families around the world! If you’re interested in booking a session with me and the HW Studio, check out my travel schedule to see when I am next in your area. If your area is not on the schedule at your preferred time of year, be sure to get in touch with me and we’ll make some magic happen! See you soon!
January 26, 2019
2016 - 2019 Helena Woods | Helena Woods Portraiture is located outside New York City in Fairfield County Connecticut and travels worldwide for her clients. Helena Woods is Connecticut’s premier family, children, baby and newborn photographer specializing in modern classic custom family photography with a timeless look that's always in style. As a professional photographer, Helena captures maternity, newborn, baby and family portraits in NYC, Westchester, Trumbull, Easton, Weston, and Westport, Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Norfolk and all Fairfield County surrounding areas.