Session Guide

Casual Beach Family Photos: What to Wear

Make your casual beach family photos look effortless with these tips on picking what to wear for your session on the coast

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Wondering what to wear for casual beach family photos? 

Picture this: you’re at the beach, waves crashing in the background, kids running around in the sand, your family is laughing and playing together looking relaxed in your casual outfits that fit right in with the coastal vibes.

How do you make that happen?

From specific outfit styles to colors that look the best, let’s talk about how to get that casual look and feel with your beach family photo session

North Oregon Coast family photos on the beach at sunset

The first thing to consider for casual beach outfits for family photos is the fabrics.

You’re going to want things that are comfortable to play / run / climb / sit in, but also moves with the ocean breeze and is lightweight. Breathable materials like linen or cotton will keep you comfortable and are easy to find in many different styles.

I do want to emphasize that comfort is very important to prioritize – if you’re uncomfortable in your outfit, it’s going to show in your photos.

Choosing the right styles for the casual beach look

I bet you already know what this looks like! Think loose-fitting linen shirts and shorts (or pants) and cotton or linen sundresses.

BUT – you’ll still want to make sure the outfits fit and aren’t too baggy, falling off, or are just unflattering.

You can use layers to add to the casual look with light sweaters and shawls, anything that adds texture to the outfit is a bonus.

Color Choices for Beach Photos

When thinking about colors, I’m taking into consideration the landscape and backdrop that will be in your photos. 

Neutral colors like whites, creams, light blues, and tans will reflect the coastal hues and always be a safe choice. You can add subtle pops of color with corals, soft greens, or navy in the things you use to layer or the color of small prints/patterns in the clothing.

For families, start by choosing the outfit that mom will wear and use that to decide on colors for the rest of the family. You don’t want everyone to be matching or wearing the exact same outfit or colors, so choose colors that complement each other.

Here are some examples of color groupings that work well together but stand out on their own:

Color palette that would work for beach family photos

Final things to consider when choosing casual outfits for beach photos

Weather on the Pacific Coast

The coast is known for an array of weather conditions, so it’s best to come prepared with things to keep you comfortable during your session. Dressing in layers helps with this since you can add or remove if needed. Know that you might get wet – either from rain or playing in the surf.

Shoes for the Sand

If you’re wearing shoes, they’ll need to be comfortable AND you’ll need to be okay with getting sand in them. Going barefoot on the beach is likely your best option, but if we are climbing on driftwood or walking a trail to the beach, you’ll need to have shoes that will do the job and still work with your outfit should you choose to leave them on!

So, there you have it – the lowdown on nailing that casual beach family photo session!

  • Choose light fabrics that are comfortable
  • Layering will add texture and depth to your outfits and help you be ready for all types of weather
  • Coordinate outfit colors so they blend well together but aren’t the same
  • Keep the terrain in mind when choosing shoes to wear

With these tips in your back pocket, you’re all set to capture those precious family moments against the backdrop of your favorite beach getaway. Get ready to make some memories that’ll last a lifetime 🙂

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

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Ashley Morrisey

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


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