I returned to Madeira Beach Florida last week for a family beach portrait session at sunset with a three generation family. There has been very unpredictable rain this July here in Florida, but two early day rain showers allowed for a nice clear sky with plenty of clouds for an ideal backdrop. I made use of that great sunset in the above photo of a father holding his baby girl high up in the air. I have made this kind of shot a few times before (see here), but I tried a new strobist lighting position that produced the best results yet.
I like clouds in the sky for a beach portrait session, and all the ones in the above shot in my view add drama to the overall family portrait. I framed this shot very carefully, so that the viewer would have no idea of the line of hotels just outside the left edge nor all the people walking down the beach just outside the right edge.
Toward the end of the session we let the baby loose for some truly candid shots, as she never even looked my way once. That was actually fine with me because I like the results of her looking perhaps at her own reflection in the water or maybe just the sparkle of the setting sun?
This is a new-ish pose I like for a group of five adults (plus baby ok too) with one person anchoring the entire pose and everyone wrapped around. Just lining people up like a picket fence makes for a mundane beach portrait to me, so I am always trying to not take the easy way out and encourage the clients to get in the sand and of course interact with each other to produce more personal beach portraits.
The same for this shot above of two sisters. They were just going to stand next to each other, until I used the trusty Posing App to suggest a more sisterly bonding look for the photo. When this photo is looked at by the sisters twenty years from now, if they were just standing side-by-side, that would evoke no physical feeling, where this photo in contrast will hopefully make them remember what it felt like to hold their sister in their arms.