Hello and thanks for stopping by my blog. My name is Alex and I am the founder/lead photographer at Alex Gordias Photography. Being the Boston Wedding Photographers,  me and my team travel a lot between Cape Cod, Boston and all over New England to capture family photos. As I am a Cape Cod family photographer, this place is always in my heart.  I love to photograph at the beach with a beautiful backdrop that the whole family can enjoy. Everything is changing so rapidly: children grow up, parents become older. Imagine you still have photographs from that time when you were together on the beach, having fun and laughing. Capturing all of your precious memories is what I do.

It’s one of those wonderful places where everyone looks great in their beach clothes and smiles all day long. That being said, it is important to have a good idea of what you want before going into it – as picking outfits for your photoshoot isn’t as easy as just throwing on some shorts and a t-shirt. So What to Wear for Family Photos at the Beach?


Let’s start with the first important thing – the time. Many of my clients are also asking about the good/perfect time for the photoshoot. Based on my experience, for the beach session, it’s important to do the session at the golden hour/right after the sunset or early in the morning, while the sun is not burning and the light is not harsh.



What to wear for the beach session



Photo Outfit Ideas

First, let’s start with what to avoid: beach outfits that can come off as too beachy. If you want a beach photo shoot, it’s best to keep the beach in mind when picking your clothes rather than all-out trying to look like you’re at the beach. This means avoiding bathing suits and beach towels (unless they double as clothing obviously), straw hats and sandals are good though. Straw hats and sandals are also fine if worn after your photos have been taken. During your photo session try to dress how you would normally dress outside of the beach: unless you’re going full-on beachwear, just don’t go out of your way for this kind of family photoshoot.

One classic outfit is a beachy twist on everyday clothes. For example, if you usually wear shorts and a t-shirt outside of beach activities, bring those as your base and add beach elements such as beach towels as scarves, straw hats, and sunglasses.

A more elevated beach outfit is the beach version of a cute summer dress. A lot of styles can work: short or long dresses with spaghetti straps or wide-set necklines are all good options. If it’s cold, try wearing over-the-knee boots instead to stay warm.

Another option is to wear jeans with a loose top instead of a dress. This gives off somewhat of a laid-back vibe but still has beach elements like beach towels as scarves.

A cute beach outfit that is also useful for beach activities is the beach version of activewear. This means either tying your t-shirt into a knot or going for a surfer look, but keeping it appropriate by bringing swimsuits underneath too. 



Try to be elegant and timeless – it’s important to match the style of colors and pick one main color, for example, the white one.



The colors of the clothes. What to Wear for Family Photos at the Beach.


When taking photos at the beach you should definitely consider colors and what type of clothes you choose to wear. People like harmony and simplicity and nothing ruins this feeling more than having many different colors and patterns mixed together and fighting for attention. Clothes shouldn’t be too bright or dark because those colors can affect a picture as well as fit with other colors. While colors are not the most important factor when taking a picture, they can make it or break it if done wrong.

If you’re not a fan of color-coordinated ensembles, an all-white style will not disappoint you. All White, on the other hand, may appear rather formal for family beach photos. Bright and Crispy white, on the other hand, appears elegant, timeless and sophisticated. To get a distinct appearance, add different textures to your family’s beach clothes.

Here are some main color matches/suggestions before digging into the details:

  • White and Tan
  • Navy and White
  • Naby and Tan
  • Gray and Pink
  • Blue and White
  • Soft Pink and White
  • Pink and Blue

To sum up colors in beach photos:

– Bright colors are nice but slightly dark colors are also okay.

– Many different colors ruin the photo and take away from the focus of the person/people in the picture.

–  Colors could complement each other rather than contrast to avoid confusion/discomfort in viewers because nobody likes loud colors that fight for attention. 


What to wear for the beach session



Not only What to Wear for Family Photos at the Beach is important – due to the weather conditions on the coast, it’s recommended to choose to braid all of the hair together into one braid or a ponytail. The winds are usually might be pretty strong so in order not to fix the hair in between shots, it’d be better to take care of it in advance. Also, it can be a bit complicated to take good shots as the sun is often unbelievably bright, so the photographer may struggle with choosing the best location for a photo considering both the wind and the light. 

Long hair is always good-looking though, especially if the weather is cooperating or the session is scheduled right after the golden hour, when there is no need to choose between the light or the wind direction.

Please check the weather forecast prior to the session or take a quick walk to the beach a day before taking the photos, so you can decide what works best for you.

If you have short hair, you might want to put some effort into making your hairstyle look as good as possible for beach photos. Short hairstyles are usually easier to manage and more suitable for easy-going photoshoots at the seashore or poolside.



Beach photo poses and tips

What will be really helpful is knowing how to pose. As a Cape Cod family photographer, I will always guide you through and help you with posing by creating the friendly atmosphere and choosing the angles. While taking family photos at the beach may be your first time posing in front of a camera, it doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking if you plan ahead.

Consider creating the list of the groups you want to capture, to make sure we have all the important pictures.

The family gallery always consists of Extended family portraits, Immediate Family Portraits, Individual shots, candids etc,


  1. Sit cross-legged (if your child is small enough not to need knee pads).
  2. Crouch down low for an artsy beach shot (camera angle will make their face appear bigger/smaller at different angles).
  3. Stand shoulder-to-shoulder for another classic beach photo.
  4. Try some classical standing – walking poses as tree poses.
  5. Have siblings sit back-to-back, then have them pull their legs forward so you can see part of both at once. Also try beach criss-cross applesauce (cross legs over each other) and beach bucket stance (feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent).
  6. Get down low for a beach candid shot that captures fun family dynamics or natural expressions better than stiffly posed photos do! Or take family selfies with the ocean in the background — it’s always more fun to include yourself too!
  7. If you want to capture some posing photos with your dog/dogs bring some treats for the cool shots and I’ll take care of the rest.


What to wear for the beach session


You should plan out what you’re going to wear before going to the beach, not only because knowing this beforehand will help calm your nerves about dressing appropriately, but also because looking through different options may even inspire you with ideas for amazing photos that could end up highlighting your beachy look!


I hope you’ve found the article useful enough and now you know of What to Wear for Family Photos at the Beach. Your Local Family Photographer – Alex Gordias.