Extended Family Photos on Croatan Beach, Virginia | Family Photographer in Virginia Beach
Croatan Beach is just across the Rudee Inlet from the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, nestled in a neighborhood. Its a great, safe area that’s quiet and homey but just a short drive over the bridge from food and nightlife. There aren’t many vacation rentals in the neighborhood but its a fabulous area so snag it if you can!
Most vacation rentals in Virginia Beach are in Sandbridge Beach, a full 45 minute drive from the Ocean Front. North End (streets 42nd and higher) have a large number of rentals too, also close proximity to restaurants and bars.
The difference between Croatan and the North End is simple: Parking and people. Most of Croatan’s beach accesses are private residential areas, and the few public accesses have no parking – not even on the street. There is a large public beach parking lot with beach access that is not quite as frequented.
The North End is littered with street parking, cross walks and the like and are filled with people. But watch your signs! It can get tricky.
This family scored a beach rental in Croatan neighborhood with just a one block walk to public beach access. We had just one other family doing photos and a few beach walkers and that was IT! Almost no one! A far cry from Sandbridge Beach & North End – which are my usual shooting locations.
The light this evening was magical. You can tell there was a pink/orange glow that light up the place.
Can you see it in the water?!
Tips for Extended Family Photos
Nothing is easy about extended family photos, but its always worth it and I’m here to support you every step! But the hardest part is done: Everyone will be in one place at the same time!
Date: I always start as early in your trip as possible – before anyone gets a sunburn, and several options for weather back ups in case it rains.
What to wear: I have a whole long write up on this one!
- When in doubt, pinks and blues are easy and look good on everyone at the beach
Photographer: There’s so many to choose from! Tick off these basic requirements:
- Has experience with families – a wedding photog will not work here bc bridal parties are not the same as a gaggle of kids.
- Is FAST This can make or break your experience! A slow photog will make for a painful session with kids begging to be done. I’ve experienced it myself!
- Is flexible in your travel dates. You have a short window and weather is real. Make sure there’s a back up plan if the first date doesn’t work.
- Will come to you. Make it easy on yourself and make sure you don’t have to transport your crowd further than absolutely necessary. Less stress!
I find joy in chaos. The louder, the better!
I'm a USMC spouse, South Carolina native, recovering homeschool mama of a 4 boy circus. They've taught me the most important facet of family photography: KEEP IT FUN!