My Own Extended Family Session Fripp Island

Extended family Phographer on the beach, virginia beach vacation family photos, large group photographer virginia

Finding a family photographer sucks. 100%. I’ve done it for both sides of my families three different times in 3 different states. Photographers all have different ways of handling inquiries and response times. I’d send off half a dozen emails in one evening, wait days to get responses from half of them and usually they were already booked. OR I couldn’t remember whose name went with what work I liked.

Add to that the stress of non committal family members – are they going to even BE there for the session?

Then what to wear for over 20 people?!

The hardest part is a single date where everyone will be there. My fam had organized 3 different beach houses on Fripp Island a year out. Date secured!

For what to wear, we went with pinks & blues for several reasons:

  • Pink & blues are complimentary to the beach, which is a nice neutral location
  • Pinks & blues are easy colors for most complexions
  • Just about everyone has something in their closest already in any shade of pink or blue. Point proven: our giant group photo was a last minute add on and everyone already had with them clothes that just went together
  • Adding in any neutral is easy – khaki, white, navy, denim, and gray

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 the week as possible – before anyone gets a sunburn, and several options for weather back ups.

What to wear: Use Style & Select for a custom curated idea list (All my clients get free access!)

  • 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 of these basic requirements:

  • Has experience with familiesa 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!

These images were taken by Alexis Ralston Photography in South Carolina.

Extended family Phographer on the beach, virginia beach vacation family photos, large group photographer virginia

The big kahuna! My Granny, aunts, uncles, cousins, brother, SIL, nieces, nephews, first cousin once removed. ha! Sad part, this isn’t our whole crew! Missing about a third of the clan.

Extended family Phographer on the beach, virginia beach vacation family photos, large group photographer virginia

My family, my brother’s family, our Mama & our Granny.

Extended family Phographer on the beach, virginia beach vacation family photos, large group photographer virginia

My family

Extended family Phographer on the beach, virginia beach vacation family photos, large group photographer virginia

My boys

Extended family Phographer on the beach, virginia beach vacation family photos, large group photographer virginia

My brother’s family

Extended family Phographer on the beach, virginia beach vacation family photos, large group photographer virginia

Their two kids.

Extended family Phographer on the beach, virginia beach vacation family photos, large group photographer virginia

My brother’s fam plus our mom and grandmother (the kid’s grandmother and great grandmother!)

Extended family Phographer on the beach, virginia beach vacation family photos, large group photographer virginia
Extended family Phographer on the beach, virginia beach vacation family photos, large group photographer virginia
Extended family Phographer on the beach, virginia beach vacation family photos, large group photographer virginia

I always get mom & dad alone! This is important, y’all!

Extended family Phographer on the beach, virginia beach vacation family photos, large group photographer virginia
Extended family Phographer on the beach, virginia beach vacation family photos, large group photographer virginia

The candids. Always some of my favorite.

Extended family Phographer on the beach, virginia beach vacation family photos, large group photographer virginia
HEY! I'm Alison, Your Fun And Hilarious Family & Newborn Photographer!

I'm a South Carolina native, USMC spouse, and recovering homeschool mama of a four boy circus. Bring me your crazy!

After 11 years of photographing families all over the world, I've realized my clients aren't printing their images. We go through all this work to get dressed, coordinated and then let those photos die on the hard drive.

No more!

There's nothing easy about family photos but I'm here to help you with every step from what to wear to printed in your hands whether thats an album or wall art. I want you to Make your people the rock star of your house!

You'll be reminded of what really matters every day when you see the giant prints of your crew laughing on your walls every. single. day.

Currently stationed in Virginia Beach, Virginia photographing families all over the Hampton Roads area from Suffolk, Norfolk, Chesapeake and the Eastern Shore all the way to Portsmouth and Elizabeth City!

Follow along on the Gram at @alisonbellphotog or reach out today!

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!

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