Thanksgiving week is a popular week for extended family photos, even on the beach! Our first year in Virginia I declined several inquiries because we were traveling out of town – so many that I decided we would not be traveling the next year!
November on the beach in Virginia Beach is chilly – there’s no way around it. Even if the temperature is mild, the wind chill never goes away and kids do not fake being warm!
There’s nothing easy about family photos and when it comes to extended families, scheduling the date is the hardest part. But, if you’re traveling you’ve already done it!
Capitalize on that hard work and get photos with everyone. I hate to be morbid, but we’re never guaranteed next year.
Every Extended Family Session includes
- Each Nuclear family shots
- Adult kids
- The whole fam
- Candids as time allows!
Our only limit is time and light. We work together to create a prioritized list of shots and work our way through the whole thing. I’ve never had an extended session not get all the shots in 45-60 minutes!
Photos Should Be Fun
I believe a photo session shouldn’t end in tears. If we can’t get in the groove withint 15 minutes, its just not going to happen. More time will not make it better.
In our minds, we want photo sessions to be perfect: the kids wearing what we picked, acting like angels, smiling daintily into the camera and following every gentle instruction.
But that’s not real life. That daydream wouldn’t give us the all-out laughter like a well timed poop joke. Or the tight squeeze and look of adoration from your youngest in a bear hug.
I run my sessions like a party: we get the “look at me” grandma shot first, and the rest is fun and games. I curate moments and laughter through play. We to turn a blind eye to misbehavior because consequences and corrections never made anyone smile more.
I run my sessions like a party
We get the “look at me” grandma shot first, and the rest is fun and games. I curate moments and laughter through play. We to turn a blind eye to misbehavior because consequences and corrections never made anyone smile more.
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!
When to book your Virginia Beach photographer
As soon as you book your rental! Dates fill quickly and a responsible photographer will reserve a date for weather back ups. That generally means just two or three families per photographer each week.
Hi I’m Alison, your chaos coordinator.
As the ringleader of my own 4 boy circus, I know how hard getting family photos can be.
If I could dress your kids and literally hang your family photos on your walls, I would.
…but I can’t, so I do just about everything else in between.
That’s why I take the time to hold your hand from start to finish.
Because what good are family photos if your kids never see them?
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- Indoor activities if it rains or you get a sunburn
- The best local ice cream
- Restaurants with kids more than a coloring sheet!
- Free things to do at the oceanfront
My Favorite Locations In Virginia Beach
My favorite outdoor place to do family photos in VA Beach is the North End Beach. But I’ve got a list of options and and what makes them work:
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!