Kate Gardiner Photography » Kate Gardiner's St. Augustine Family Portrait Beach Photography

Helpful Portrait Tips

St. Augustine is an amazingly beautiful place to have your family photographed. The historic downtown and gorgeous beaches provide excellent backdrops for families visiting the First Coast as well as those lucky enough to live here as we do. Here are few recommendations for a great family photo session.

For visitors to the area, schedule your session for early in your visit. Our weather can be unpredictable so give yourself some wiggle room in case we have to reschedule because of rain. Plus if you plan to spend time on the beach during your visit, you’ll want your session to be before you get crazy tan lines or sunburned. However if you have small kiddos, give them a day to recover from the demands of traveling.

For beach sessions, we have a limited window of time at sunrise and sunset when the light on the beach is the most flattering. I find that families with children under the age of 8 do best first thing in the morning as opposed to late in the day. While parents may cringe at the thought of getting everyone moving that early in the morning, it is worth it to have happy kids in your photos. Plus seeing that big pink sun ball rise above th

e ocean mist and the promise of donuts afterwards works like a charm even on teenagers. If you definitely want to do sunset, scheduling a relaxing day with a nap for everyone is a great plan.

If you would prefer a backdrop other than the beach we have lots of great spots in the historic down town area as well as fields, barns, parks or even your home that I love to shoot in. I am always open to brainstorming great locations to find one that fits best with your family.

What to wear:

I recommend staying away from the all matching white shirts and khakis/jeans especially for beach sessions. The beach has a very neutral palette of colors and can wash everyone out with all white/brown combos. Instead I suggest choosing a few colors and asking everyone to coordinate instead of match. For example, using khaki, dusty rose and black or cream, mustard and maroon are very on-trend. Frequently Instagram and Pintrest are great resources for clothing combos. For big extended families, sometimes assigning shades to each segment of the family can be helpful. Take note of the family above that assigned different pastel shades. If you are still totally stumped on what to wear, let us know and we are happy to help.


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