A good beach photo is easy to love. But, when is a good time to do a beach photo? And by time, I mean the age of your child. The first bit of advice I have is that in order to take a good photo, you have to love the beach. I know it sounds redundant, but if you don’t love spending time at the beach, you won’t love hanging out there for pictures. Your hair will get wind-blown and you might walk away with the soggy jeans.
If you do love the beach, YAY! I do too. A successful beach shoot involves a walking child. Yes, it’s possibly to take a baby to the beach and get good photos. But, if we’re talking best case scenario, it’s a child that can walk. Why? Because sitting and crawling babies are so tiny that even if you set them on a blanket, I have to zoom so far out to capture the landscape that the baby is super tiny in the photo. If I zoom in to crop appropriately, you lose the essence of where you are.
And there’s the sand. Sand that gets everywhere. Sand that’s shoveled by the handful into the mouths of babes. Crawling babies are just curious. They want to crawl right off that blanket and into the sand to taste it.
So, of course you can always book a beach session with a baby of any age, but my best advice is to wait just a little until they are walking to get the most out of your session!
I love having unique locations for my photo sessions. There are so many photographers in Southern California, that it’s nice to be set apart and have locations that not everyone is going to. Although, once I find a great location, I use it until I don’t feel inspired by it and then move along! So, what goes into finding a great location? Here’s a few tips that I’ve learned along the way.
1. Drive around. This may sound basic, but it’s important to keep your eyes open as you’re driving around the city. Sometimes I’m able to set apart a chunk of time for the sole purpose of location scouting, but other times I find spots as I’m doing my daily routine or maybe on the way to a client’s home.
2. See all the parts and the whole. There are times when I’m looking for a location with a sweeping landscape. I also use spots that are tiny little nooks of gorgeousness. I’ll often have clients tell me, “I never would have SEEN what you saw in this location.” So, determine what you’re needs are (big views or a little areas when you don’t need to move around and are mainly doing close-ups.)
3. Which leads me to my next tip- Ask your clients to trust you. It helps when you have a few years under your belt. But, you want your clients to feel comfortable at the location. So, if you’re leading them to an area they are unsure about and they don’t know you enough to trust your vision, it will come across in their expressions.
4. Go to the location at the time of day you are planning to photograph there. Lighting is key, so you want to make sure you’ll know what to expect. There are certain locations that I know I can only use the morning or afternoon. Some locations will work any time of day.
5. Be prepared for anything. One time I went to a location and they were renovating it (unexpectedly). I had to quickly come up with a plan B because I had back to back clients planning to arrive. I try to have a back-up location and client’s numbers programmed into my phone, so I can think quickly and be ready for changes.
I hope that helps! And if you’re wondering where this fabulous location is…these abandoned railroad tracks run throughout the city of Cerritos, CA. Another one of those times where I was driving around and noticed this out my window.
Orange County Family Photographer // How I Scout for Locations
One of my favorite spots to explore with kids is in Laguna Beach. With tide pools and a castle, there’s so much to see! It takes a little bit of effort to get there (walking over coral), but so worth it. I’m starting off with February 21 in the afternoon while the tide is low.
The sessions are $100 for a 30 minute session (an extra 10 minutes from the normal 20). Then, you purchase a package to receive all your digital images. Click here for the package options.
Laguna Beach // February 21 // 3:30, 4:00, 4:30 and 5:00
Click on the contact buttons on the left to book your spot!
**If these spots are gone immediately (which sometimes happens) I will try to open up another date.
Laguna Beach Photographer, Kristin Eldridge does beach mini-sessions.
Before you were married, did you ever think about how many kids you wanted? I came from a family of four, so I’ve always felt right at home with big families. All the chaos, laughter and fun! My own 3 kids are really close together. The first two are 19 months apart and the second two are 21 months apart. I remember having Jake and thinking, this is SO easy. All he does is look at us and smile. Let’s have another! So, we did. And our middle guy Cooper was slightly more active, but also pretty mellow. Before we knew it, we had three kids. Three years and younger. When Brent had to go back to work after Jillian was born, I kinda wanted to beg him to stay. This three to one ratio was kinda scary! But, I somehow survived and now the boys share a lot of the same best friends and Jillian is keeping up doing exactly everything the boys are doing. I love my big family. And I love being around other people’s families. I’m comfortable around the dynamics and can steer around sibling situations as they come up. Who knew all those days being overwhelmed at home with babies and toddlers would be on-the-job training!?
(PS-mine are now 13, 12 and 10)
// photographs by Orange County family photographer, Kristin Eldridge.
I’ve had blogging on my to-do list for what felt like a week. When I sat down to write this I realized it had been a month since I posted anything new. Oops. Man, how time flies! We just finished Spring Break and with all the 80 degree days we’ve been spending time at the beach, at the pool, barbequing. I feel like we’re getting a jump-start on summer. Not that I’m complaining!
This photo session was out in Trabuco Canyon. It’s one of my new favorite spots. I’ve mentioned my childhood in Montana, so it’s no surprise that I’m drawn to rustic. But, then mix in some mustard flowers. LOVE.
Also love this sweet little family and the new addition they’ll be welcoming in a few short months…
“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”
― Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
Such a poignant reminder that when life is less than ideal, not only do we need to cope, but we need to grow. After a particularly rough week, I was happy to have a weekend with good photo sessions. People that love each other and let me in to capture it all.
**If you are interested in a couch photo session, I have a few spots left on March 30. Email or call to sign up. (Contact buttons on the left.)
I love when all the starts align. Carmen, the owner of Hip at Heart, emailed me about booking a last minute session in December. We coordinated our schedules and I was able to fit her in before one of my previously booked sessions at a rural park. We were texting as she was driving and I was telling her the grass was still a little wet. At the last minute we ditched the park plan and met in the parking lot of a Jewish synagogue.
The result was nothing short of perfection…the casually chic get-up was able to shine with the simple background. Not only was everything aesthetically pleasing, the kids were as sweet as can be. We hugged it out in the parking lot with hopes to do it again soon!
January is the hardest month. We’re coming off sugar cookies and a constant string of parties. January just seems so dull. The most exciting thing happening is the drawers I’m re-organizing. And let’s not even talk about weight-loss goals. But, it’s behind us now. February is a short month, with the highlight of Valentine’s Day right in the middle and even a day off school! I hope your February is off to a good start. Are you planning your Valentine’s yet? I did a round up of free printable Valentine’s over on Modern Parents Messy Kids if you want to check it out. And in the meantime, here’s a little flash back from a super cute family’s holiday photo session.