Skip the staged shots and frame a shot that captures your clan at their best
Schedule the shoot
Avoid harsh midday sun by heading for the dunes the first hour after sunrise. If you can’t rouse the kin that early, choose the hour before sunset, when the light is most flattering.
Dress the part
Hold the Mandela shirt. Light, neutral colours – pastels, khakis, tans, and whites – are ideal for outdoor shots because muted colours complement the natural environment; they also flatter most skin tones and body types. Bright primary colours and complex patterns draw attention from faces. Let your family choose whatever they want to wear within these guidelines. Remember, though: matching outfits are boring.
Scout the location
Add visual elements – rocks, boats – to lend a sense of place. Then have your family act naturally. Capturing your kids’ joy as they make a sand castle or play on the jetty will always look better than forced smiles. Join in on the fun, or stand with your wife as the kids play in the foreground for depth.
Forget the timer
Use a wireless remote and set your camera to auto. Frame the shot, draw a line in the sand showing where your crew can move around, and then snap about 100 frames so you have plenty of options.