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Planning Oregon Coast Family Photos: What You Need to Know

Discover expert tips for unforgettable Oregon Coast family photos. From weather prep to timing, make the most of your beach session!

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I'm a newborn and family photographer based in Tacoma, WA. I love working with new and growing laid-back families who are comfortable with the imperfect and love doing life with their people.


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If you are thinking about hiring a photographer for Oregon Coast family photos, I’ve got a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when planning your session.  The Oregon Coast is a gorgeous spot to choose for your next family photo session. I’m especially partial to the north Oregon Coast, where you’ll find the boardwalk of Seaside, coastal views from Ecola State Park, and the iconic rock formations of Cannon Beach.

First, decide if you’ll be staying overnight or just for the day for your Oregon Coast family photos

The Oregon coast is a popular destination, especially in the summer. If you plan on making a mini vacation out of your family photo location, you may want to book a place to stay a few months in advance to guarantee a good beach view, or at minimum a place to sleep! 🙂

Seaside and Cannon Beach are probably the two most popular cities to stay and play on the north Oregon coast. These are where you’ll likely find hotels if that’s your preference. There are a few other nearby locations, including Gearhart and Arch Cape, that offer vacation rentals and aren’t as crowded.

Further south, you’ll likely want to land near Lincoln City or Newport, but keep in mind that you’ll probably be meeting your photographer at one of the smaller, less crowded beaches in between.

Prepare for any kind of weather during your Oregon Coast family photo session

Dress with Layers

With varying temperatures and sometimes rapid changes in weather, it’s best to come with layers! You’ll be happy you are overdressed and can peel away clothes rather than the opposite! 

Sweaters, neutral colored jackets, sweaters, and oversized scarves can easily be incorporated into your outfits and removed or added as needed.

It will be windy on the Oregon Coast!

I’m telling you right now, your hair will get in your face at least 27 times during your photo session! But it’s okay – the wind adds gorgeous movement to your photos that screams ‘beach’ in the best way. 

Keep in mind that dresses, loose sweaters and scarves will also move around in the wind. As long as they aren’t revealing things you don’t want the world to see, it will be just fine.

Choose sand-friendly shoes

Or, opt for no shoes at all. Sand will get in your shoes – it’s just the laws of walking on the beach!

If climbing rocks and driftwood is a high probability, make sure you (and the kids!) are wearing shoes that will keep you as safe and slip-free as possible.

Work with your photographer to decide what time of day you should plan your Oregon coast family photo session

Sunset or ‘golden hour’ photos are the quintessential look for beach family photos, but it’s not the only option! 

You may want an earlier session for the ease of bedtimes for little ones, or you just may want to get out on the beach in the earlier hours of the morning when it’s less crowded

(the photos featured here were taken around 4pm!)

Embrace the natural environment of the Oregon Coast in your family photos

The Oregon Coast offers breathtaking views – rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, dramatic rock formations, and driftwood for days.

All of this will be woven into the details of your family photos and you’ll be encouraged to explore! Let the kids climb on the rocks and logs, chase the seagulls, and run around together in the sand.

It’s pretty hard to get bad photos with the stunning coastline when you relax and have fun together!

By following these simple tips, your family can make the most of your photoshoot experience on the Oregon Coast and create cherished memories at the same time.

PS – Every summer I’ve been hosting photo sessions for families on the Oregon Coast. Head over to the adventure session info page to get on the waitlist or get yourself signed up with a special rate!

Beach Family Photos at Seaside / Cannon Beach, OR

PPS — the Oregon Coast is a great spot for more than just family photos! Maternity, high school seniors, and engagement sessions (or even elopements!) are perfect with the stunning coastal backdrop, too.

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Ashley Morrisey

Tacoma-based lifestyle newborn and family photographer serving South Puget Sound + greater PNW


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