How to capture fun childhood memories at the Jersey Shore … or any beach.

Going to the Jersey Shore and Delaware beaches are a childhood rite of passage in the Delaware Valley.  As soon as the temperatures start to warm, towns all along the coastline start to be inundated by happy families.  Year after year, the beaches are covered in families just looking to make wonderful memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.  Days are spent making sandcastles on the beach, swimming in the ocean, hanging out in beach chairs tanning, and searching the shoreline for the perfect seashell.  Evenings are spent on the boardwalk licking ice cream cones bundled in hooded sweatshirts and whipping around on the amusement park rides.

With all of these happy memories being created, how can you push the pause button and really do justice to how the moment feels?  Good question…here are a few tips.


1.) Get in close and capture the expression.

There is something to be said for the standard family portrait on the beach. All of your family posed in a beautiful outfits, smiling at the camera.  Those images are definitely needed.  However, those pictures do not illustrate the personality of those being photographed.  Instead, get down on their level and make them laugh or smile.

Jersey Shore

2.)  Sometimes not having everyone looking directly at the camera helps capture the memories.  

Getting the little details like playing in the sand or holding hands while walking down the beach are wonderful memories.

This picture of my kids in the photo booth always cracks me up.

And this image of my daughter at the boardwalk arcade makes me giggle.  She obviously doesn’t have a debit card but that wasn’t stopping her.  She looks so small next to the machine.  I can take her back over the years to see how big she is getting.

3.)  Go wide and capture the whole view.

Step back a bit and include not only your subject but also their surroundings.  This helps give a lot more interest to the image and helps pull so many more memories.

Here is my son as a toddler observing all of the activity by the shoreline.  He was mesmerized.

I have always loved this picture of my husband holding my son while he was fishing as the sun was starting to set.  This is my favorite time of day at the shore.  The weather is so pleasant and the lighting is just beautiful as it sets over the dunes.

Speaking of sunsets, including well known landmarks, like the pink hotel in the background of this image.  Ocean City, New Jersey’s Port-O-Call Hotel is famous because of the stunning pink color of the hotel.  The color is perfect again the sand, sea, and setting sun.

4.) Get off the beach and onto the boardwalk.

Evenings at the beach is my absolute favorite time of day.  The color, light, and temperature at that time of day makes it such a joy.  However, the boardwalk is equally amazing…esp because of the light.  The rides are my favorite place to photograph the kids and get emotion.  Heck, the actual ride does the majority of the work, I just need to have my camera settings ready.  This series of pictures show my children with their cousins having fun together at the boardwalk. There is so much opportunity for playfulness with a backdrop of color.  By documenting more than just posed groupings, you feel like you are there with them having fun.

5.) Don’t forget to include pictures without people too.

As we were leaving the boardwalk, there was the most amazing sunset.  It was stopping people in their tracks and was just breathtaking.  The perfect ending to a perfect evening.

I hope these tips help you create family photos that capture how your vacation feels.

Happy clicking!!!

Want to have your family memories photographed at the beach? Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was included in your photos? It won’t be long until the littles ones riding the baby rides are tall enough to ride the big kid rides all on their own.  You don’t want to miss out on documenting all of the precious memories.  Just use the Book Session link below to secure a session with me.

book session




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Hello Friends

My name is Claire and I am a maternity, newborn, and family photographer servicing the Philadelphia Metro Area/Delaware Valley and beyond.

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