8 Tips for your Family Photo Session at the Beach - Cape Cod Family Photographer

Summer is almost here, and I am so excited to welcome so many families to Cape Cod for their family portrait session on the beach!

I have been spending my summers on the Cape for more than 20 years, and I have so many favorite beaches, bike paths, ice cream shops, and more that I love sharing with my clients when they schedule their Cape Cod photo shoot. I love that I know this area inside and out and can give them an inside scoop on where to go, what to do, and what to pack!

So with that in mind, today’s blog post is filled with tips for your family photo session at the beach. Read on for lots of great ideas, plus plenty of beautiful outfit inspiration for your family!


Plan accordingly for traffic.

If you’re coming to the Cape, Saturday and Sunday are typically the heaviest traffic days coming over both bridges. Plan to come early in the morning and make a day of it!

Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration

Baby’s first trip to the beach?

The beach can be a sensory overload for some babies.  Get them used to the sand by letting them play with and sit in sand a few times before your session.  Make sure they have bare legs and feet so that they get used to the feeling of the sand on their skin.  Bring a blanket (neutral colors look best!) if they might need a layer to sit on.

Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration

What to wear

Colors that you would find at the beach look incredible in portraits — shades of blue, khaki, linen, white, cream, blush pink, lavender, teal, mint, aqua, and gray are my favorites.  We have many helpful blog posts with outfit ideas — check them out here! 

Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration

Keep these in the car…

Sunglasses, hair elastics, cell phone, wallet (bulky things that show in your pockets), stroller, diaper bag, baseball caps or visors.

Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration

Always have a rain date.

I will let you know 4 hours in advance if we’ll have to reschedule due to the weather, but even on cloudy days we can get some great portraits!  This session actually wrapped up minutes before the sky opened up in a thunderstorm!

Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration

Protect your skin.

Try to avoid a sunburn the week of your session.  Especially on your face and nose!

Barefoot is best! 

We’ll leave our sandals at the entrance to the beach so we can walk in the sand easily.

Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration

Embrace the sand & the water, and don’t be afraid to get wet!

I love finishing the session in the water.  Let’s be adventurous and walk in the waves or let the kids splash around a bit.  Bring a towel or a change of clothes for the kids just in case they get a little too excited at the opportunity to splash!  

Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration

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Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration

About Nicole Starr Photography 

Nicole Starr specializes in newborn, baby & family photography and has been serving families in New York and Massachusetts since 2012.  She has a portrait studio in Saratoga Springs, NY for families in the Capital Region, and she also works with families at her Attleboro, MA studio and on location in Boston and on Cape Cod. 

Our Cape Cod sessions occur from June through September at beaches all over the Cape. Be sure to reach out early to plan your family’s portrait session as these always fill up early in the season!