Who doesn’t love a fun vacation and what better way to spend your precious family time than at a beautiful eastern shore? I love when my clients host a beach session because I know just how to grab those beautiful landscapes to create awe-inspiring photographic art.

The 5 Musts for Your Summer Vacation

  1. A family session at the beach, of course!
  2. Toss the shoes and sink your toes in the sand.
  3. Embrace color. As in colorful drinks, colorful hats, colorful life!
  4. Don’t forget your sunscreen and water bottles.
  5. Try something new you’ve never done before!

Choose Your Color Palette

The truth is, white is a great option for the beach and often offers a soft palette for those sandy dunes. The muted colors against seafoams and grays can still make a beautiful portrait, especially with the warmth of sunlight to add contrast. I just love how this father looks down at his son as he takes his first steps into the ocean. Artistically, the faint hint of clouds in the sky remind me of an old oil painting.


Give Me Something to Celebrate

A great artist has many colors to use and these sessions are prefect for pops of blues, greens and pinks too! If you know where to look, you will have fractals of sunlight cascading across your natural backdrop and softly reflecting in the water. You can wear white to contrast this against the vibrant background. How about a mixture of white and color pop for this beautiful maternity portrait. There is something so deep and meaningful about the ocean waves surrounding her that makes me want to celebrate life, birth, families, everything!


Wake Up, Sunshine

What about a big pop of color from the sunrise? I will let you in on a little tip from the experts, and by expert I mean my badge for waking up to meet with the Starbucks barista when they opened at 5am, there is just a short window of time to get colors like this in your portraits. Let’s just say, the early bird gets the cheese. No wait, the mouse ran up the clock. Basically, get up early for a fun adventure and you will not only have a wonderful day but you will find a whole world of pure serenity that happens every morning at sunrise, at a beach nearest you.


Sunsets on the Beach

We all know, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. So, when your evening east coast session calls for a hint of setting sun, you have to face away from the ocean to capture your sunset. What I love are all the catchlights against the sand and the beach house off in the distance. I must also say I’m proud to have captured the quintessential perfect sibling portrait at the same time. I’m pretty sure playing in the sand had everything to do with this one!


Happiness is Perfection


If you are reading this, you have learned by now that this title is not only true, but words to live by. Gone are the days to stress over the “perfect” portrait and in are the days of adventure. Nowadays, parents aren’t afraid to jump in the sand with the kids for tickles! These are moments that truly live on as a testament to your family’s legacy and are an essential part of every one of my portrait sessions.

Do It for the Memories

One of my favorite past times when my oldest were little, was when we visited the beach house in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Since I grew up on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, palm trees and sand in the air are like home to me. I can’t have a beach session post without sharing at least one of my favorite memories!


What to Wear : Summer Beach Sessions

Tuesday, July 2nd

A happy family on the beach sitting in soft sand beside the wooden walkway. The oldest daughter smiles big as she pinches her little brother's cheek who seems happily surprised at the sudden endearing gesture. The mom loves this as she smiles, with a hint of laughter, towards her son for a cute moment of distraction from their typical family portrait. The dad smiles proudly at the camera as he sits relaxed for his family's portrait.


Andrea Halsey is a portrait artist and designer in Greensboro, North Carolina. She has been photographing area families for well over a decade, has achieved multiple photography related awards and was featured on the Dr. Oz show after photographing his family portraits. Raised in the Carolinas, she has a love for beautiful landscapes and family values, with complex inspiration from Mark Twain to Kate Spade.

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©Andrea Halsey

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