A stylish guide to what to wear to your family beach photoshoot

Are you dreaming of capturing timeless memories with your loved ones against the backdrop of sun-kissed shores and rolling waves? A family beach photoshoot is a cherished experience, offering the perfect blend of natural beauty and heartfelt connection- esp as someone that lives so close to Half Moon Bay, I can tell you, it’s my fav setting for a photo session. As a portrait photographer specializing in high-end portrait experiences, I understand the importance of not only creating stunning images but also ensuring that every detail, including wardrobe choices, enhances the overall aesthetic. In this guide, I’ll walk you through expert tips on what to wear for a family beach photoshoot, ensuring that your ensemble complements the scenic beauty while reflecting your unique style and personality.

1. Embrace the Coastal Palette

When selecting outfits for your family beach photoshoot, drawing inspiration from the coastal palette can effortlessly harmonize with the serene ambiance of the beach. Opt for soft, muted tones such as sandy beige, tranquil blues, soft pastels, and gentle greys. These colors blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, creating a cohesive and visually pleasing composition. Additionally, subtle patterns like delicate stripes or minimalistic florals can add a touch of visual interest without overpowering the scenery.

2. Dress for Comfort and Movement

While style is undoubtedly important, comfort should also be a priority, especially during outdoor photoshoots. Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics such as linen, cotton, or lightweight knits that allow for ease of movement and ventilation. Flowy maxi dresses, linen button-up shirts, breezy skirts, and relaxed-fit trousers are excellent options for both adults and children, ensuring that you can move freely and comfortably while exploring the beach with your family. Here are some of my fav images from a session I did at a Pacifica beach to help you understand the vibe I love for these photoshoots!

couple on beach for pregnancy shoot in San Francisco

3. Coordinate Without Matching

As your fav photographer, I’ve said this before and will say it again, coordinate-don’t match! Coordinating outfits among family members can create a cohesive look without resorting to overly matchy-matchy ensembles. Instead of identical outfits, aim for a harmonious color scheme or complementary color palette that ties everyone’s attire together. For example, if one family member wears a soft blue sundress, another can opt for khaki trousers paired with a white linen shirt, while the children sport coordinating pastel-colored outfits. This approach adds visual interest while allowing each individual’s personality to shine through. I will help you narrow down the color pallette so that final images also match your home’s decor- we want to make sure every wall art hanging in your home from the beach photoshoot is complimenting and becoming one with your home decor too!

4. Consider Texture and Layers

Incorporating texture and layers into your outfits can add depth and dimension to your family beach photoshoot. Lightweight layers such as sheer shawls, airy cardigans, or woven straw hats not only provide visual interest but also offer practical benefits such as sun protection and versatility. Additionally, mixing textures like crochet, lace, or lightweight knits can enhance the overall visual appeal of your ensemble, creating a nuanced and sophisticated look that photographs beautifully against the coastal backdrop. My huge client wardrobe- you can see a pic of it here– has all of these elements for you to choose from too!

5. Accessorize Thoughtfully

Accessories can elevate your beach photoshoot attire, adding personality and charm to your ensemble. Opt for minimalistic accessories that complement the relaxed beach aesthetic, such as delicate jewelry, woven straw hats, oversized sunglasses, or leather sandals. Avoid bulky or distracting accessories that may detract from the natural beauty of the surroundings. Remember, less is often more when it comes to accessorizing for a beach photoshoot, so opt for a few carefully chosen pieces that enhance your outfit without overwhelming it.

Family beach photoshoot

6. Utilize the Client Closet

As part of our commitment to providing a seamless and luxurious experience for our clients, I offer complimentary access to my client closet, featuring a curated selection of high-quality wardrobe pieces that are perfect for beach photoshoots. From flowy dresses and linen shirts to beach hats and sandals, my client closet offers a variety of options to suit every style and preference. By taking advantage of my client closet, you can effortlessly elevate your beach photoshoot attire while enjoying the convenience and expertise of my styling services. That’s right- it’s all included and at no cost to you!

bay area maternity photographer

7. Enhance Your Look with Complimentary Hair and Makeup

In addition to wardrobe assistance, I also provide complimentary hair and makeup services for my clients, ensuring that you look and feel your best throughout your family beach photoshoot. My team of professional stylists will work with you to create a natural and radiant look that enhances your features while complementing your chosen attire. Whether you prefer soft beach waves and dewy makeup or a more polished and sophisticated look, my stylists will tailor their services to reflect your personal style and preferences, allowing you to step in front of the camera with confidence and poise.

Half Moon Bay Family portraits

Half Moon Bay Family portraits


A family beach photoshoot is a precious opportunity to capture cherished memories with your loved ones against the backdrop of nature’s beauty. By carefully selecting your attire and accessories, embracing the coastal palette, and incorporating texture and layers, you can create a stylish and cohesive look that perfectly complements the serene ambiance of the beach. With the assistance of my client closet and complimentary hair and makeup services, you can enjoy a seamless and luxurious experience from start to finish, ensuring that your family beach photoshoot is not only visually stunning but also a cherished memory to be treasured for years to come.