Everything You Need to Know


One of the most popular location requests I get for enagagement sessions, is the beach! I mean: there's the romantic scene of being spun around on the sand, the sound of the waves crashing down, and those cute footprints left in the sand as you run out the water. What's there not to like, right?

Well, little do you know there are actually so many things that could go wrong rather than right during your beach session. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when booking your beach couples session to make sure you get all the romantic, dreamy photos you've dreamed of!

Sunset Vibes?

Here's the thing - everybody wants the dreamy sunset look: that "golden hour" look people are striving to get, although so romantic, is not always achieved. Why? Because you can't control the weather! For example: in Kaitlyn & Dallas' engagement session, we arrived at 7:30 am, just after sunset, and it was gloomy, cloudy, and overcast. That being said, even arriving at 6:30 am for sunrise wouldn't have made a difference: the clouds were covering all the sun.

Here's my best advice: If you want a beach engagement session, set realistic expectations! Know ahead of time that the weather cannot be controlled by your photographer & plan for the unexpected. Something like the photo to the left, with more cooler tones, opposed to the warmer sunset tones, may be what you get: and ultimately, when booking a beach session, you have to open to that idea as well.

PRO TIP: Sunset has a better chance of giving you the warmer tones (usually cloudy days are gone by then), BUT there are some cons with an afternoon session too (Keep reading to find out)!

Laguna Beach Engagement Photo

Overcast Weather can still be Dreamy!

Crowds or No Crowds?

You LOVE the beach, right? Well guess what - so does EVERYONE else! And that means, the beach is popular! So how does that affect your photo session?

Depending on the time & day of the week, you may get some major crowds during your session. Afternoon sessions may offer some of the warmer sunset tones you're looking for, but there is also a high chance for more people and larger crowds. Weekends are by far the busiest, so no matter what time you arrive, there will be adults, kids, and dogs running around everywhere.

Here's my advice: try to book your beach session during the week if possible! And if there's no way to book on a weekday, set your expectations: know that there will be lots of other people around you. Even if your photographer can edit out people at the beach, know that people will be looking at you as you pose for those romantic and PDA-filled poses. If you're uncomfortable with showing affection or posing in intimate positions with your significant other, than maybe a weekday morning session with less people might be ideal for you!

PRO TIP: There are many secluded coves and beach areas in Southern California! They are harder to get to, since they're usually surrounded by residential areas, but if you're up for an adventure, so is your photographer!

Laguna Beach Engagement Photos

Weekday Sessions offer less Crowds and more Privacy

What to Wear?

Here's the BIGGEST piece of advice I can give to you: WEAR NEUTRAL COLORS!

Although you may be tempted to wear that cute bright floral dress or that really cool-patterned button-up: please don't.

What most people don't realize is that the water at the beach reflects sunlight: so, the color you may think you're wearing, may not exactly photograph that way.

The best way to get all the natural beauty the beach has to offer is by wearing plain & neutral-colored outfits: anything white, tan, beige, or even black at times. Also wear something that you're comfortable in! Longer flows dresses or washed out jeans photograph so beautifully!!

Want to wear that orange dress? Or that bright purple shirt with little pineapples on it: Just don't. (Your photographer will thank you AND me for it.

Laguna Beach Engagement Photos

Neutral Colors help bring out the Natural Colors of the Beach

Earth, Wind & Fire?

Although many beach sessions look very posed, poised, and elegant, I think about 90% of people planning on a beach session forget that this is the beach, and it is indeed OUTDOORS.

The sand will get on your clothes, shoes, hair, and crevices you may not want it to. On the other hand, there may be lots of wind that day, so your hair may not stay where you want it to: it might be in your face, over your head, and in general have a mind of its own. Lastly, anything else going on in the city, county, or state may affect your photos: smoke from local fires, closed roads due to public events, or last minute closed beaches due to hazardous beach conditions may all change your plans for your session.

What's my best advice: Be flexible! Don't assume everything will go exactly as planned. Be open to a new beach area if your photographer suggests it due to environmental factors, know that your hair will be flying around everywhere, and accept it, and that walking on the beach isn't as easy as we think it is if you're bringing 3 different outfits, several props, and everything else you want to include in your session. If you are a Type A person and need everything to go exactly as planned, a beach session. may not be for you. Beach sessions are for the adventurous couples ready to capture "in-the-moment" memories who are open to going with the flow.

Laguna Beach Engagement Photos

Just Ride it Out!

Hopefully by now you realize that beach sessions come with many expectations: so it's important to set the right ones.

Be flexible. Be open to last-minute changes. Be Adventurous!

Cooperate with your Photographer! (They are the expert in fact)

TRUST your photographer! They know the in's and out's of beach sessions: so take their word for it!

I truly hope this helps you prepare for your upcoming beach session! And if you haven't booked it quite yet, and are still looking for your DREAM beach session, what are you waiting for?

Let's connect! I PROMISE I will not let you down.

With Care,

-Erika V.