Two families were coming to Florida for a warm winter vacation from their homes in Pennsylvania and contacted me about getting family beach portraits. They were staying at Sunset Vistas on Treasure Island, Florida and wanted to use the beach their as the backdrop for their family portraits. I had never been on that stretch of beach before, but I pretty much knew what to expect as virtually all beaches on Treasure Island look the same. The biggest variable was the weather, but we were pretty lucky. The day before the shoot was all day rain. The day after the shoot was arctic and super windy. Our shoot day was perfectly sunny with only a slight chill in the air. Lucky!
Since there were two families in this hour portrait session, I had to work twice as fast. There were several group shots with everyone, but otherwise I setup a shot with one family and then quickly had to get the next in place for their turn, all of course with the sun providing its own countdown timer!
This was my first time to make this type of shot with so many people. I had to use both speedlights at max power and a relatively large aperture of f/5.6 to light everyone with the sun that low.
Even though each family had four members and were photographed in the same spot and time was ticking away, I still tried to add as much variety between shots as possible, in the case above using a different pose and moving one of the speedlights behind the family. Compare this shot to the second photo from the top to see how the light changes at sunset time in just 3 minutes.