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Oregon Coast Family Photos: 5 Tips for a Great Beach Session

June 20, 2022

Filed in: Families

Big news, friends! I’ve started offering Columbia River Gorge and Oregon Coast Family Photos again! With a travel fee, we can meet out at the Oregon Coast and let the stunning scenery of Cannon Beach, Seaside, Tillamook, or Lincoln City be your family photo backdrop. I’m so excited to be offering these sessions again!

oregon coast family photos

As Oregon Coast family photo season starts back up this summer, I wanted to drop in with my top five tips I share with clients planning photos there. While many of the same things you’ll hear me say again and again about Portland sessions still hold true, there are a few extra tricks I’ve learned over the years that really make all the difference in having successful Oregon Coast family photos.


Choose lesser-known beaches

My favorite beaches for Oregon Coast family photo sessions are typically less crowded, so you have more room to roam with your family. It might not be the landmark one you’re used to heading to for bonfire parties or all day beach lounges, but they’ll be quieter and less overwhelming for kids–which means you can focus on each other instead of the crowds. If you’d really like to avoid crowds and traffic, and you have the flexibility, consider a midweek evening session. You’ll have even more space at the beach to yourselves, and parking will usually be a breeze.


Go with your photographer’s recommendations

Just like our locations when we’re inland, locations for beach family photos are handpicked for the way they’ll photograph beautifully. These might not be things you’d typically think of as a tourist! Every photographer is different, but I choose a location based on its gorgeous light and potential for soft color tones in the background. This gets the light, airy look that you see in my portfolio.


oregon coast family photos

Be flexible with the weather

Another recommendation that holds for both inland sessions and beach family photos: Oregon’s weather can be unpredictable, and often soggy, no matter the season. We typically work around this by leaving some flexibility in our schedule to push a session out a few extra hours to hit a dry part of the day. On the day of your session, try to leave some room to adjust your session by a few hours if needed.


When planning your wardrobe, think beach style

It makes sense that in photos taken on the beach, you’d look like you’re at the beach! So do whatever you’d normally do at the beach: kick off your shoes, roll up your pant legs, and walk in the sand. This goes for hair, too: the beach can be breezy, but a slightly windblown style looks right at home! Instead of planning on having every hair perfectly in place (because that just won’t happen with the breeze rolling off the ocean), embrace it. To keep your look photo-worthy, you can always choose slightly elevated casual pieces: a flowy midi dress or a linen button down with rolled sleeves both look a little dressed up, but still right at home with bare feet and beach hair.


Plan a treat for after

This is a tried and true trick for family photos inland too, but at beach family photos, the treat can be extra special. I love a stop at Mo’s each time I’m at the coast, and the promise of a treat from there or one of the local saltwater taffy shops might be just the thing the kids need to look forward to.


Ready to start planning your Oregon Coast family photos? Contact me!
Browse through more family photo sessions here!


In the mood for reading about baby photography? My sweet friend Rachel is blogging some helpful tips today about a baby’s cake smash session here!

comments +

  1. I love those tips for busy families. And i agree always trust the professional. With trust come the best galleries!

  2. Julianna says:

    These tips are SO helpful for beach sessions! Thank you for sharing!!

  3. Jasmyn Coleman says:

    The Oregon Coast is such a gorgeous spot for family photos! I love all of your tips too- so helpful!

  4. Rachel says:

    Oh my goodness what a beautiful misty beach! I love the local treat recommendation as well!

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