How to Choose What to Wear for Your Family Beach Portraits

family photo on the beach

When you’re preparing for a beach family portrait session, picking the right outfit that won’t get drenched and still makes you look fabulous can be tricky. But we’re here to help!

From choosing flattering fabrics to coordinating colors that pop against sand and blue skies, here are some easy tips to ensure everyone looks fantastic during your family portraits at the beach!

Tips on What to Wear for Family Beach Photos

With these helpful tips and outfit ideas for your family beach photos, you’ll be ready for some stunning shots in no time!

1. Avoid Color Clashes

When choosing what to wear for a family beach portrait, it’s important to avoid color clashes.

For example, if you’re wearing a white shirt and your family is all wearing brightly-colored items, the colors will clash and make for a less-than-professional photo.

2. Consider Weather Conditions

When planning your beach portrait session, consider the weather conditions. If it’s cold outside and your family is dressed for winter, they may not feel comfortable in summer clothing. 

3. Wear Comfortable Shoes

Consider footwear when planning a family beach session. If you’re wearing sandals or high-heeled shoes, be sure to bring an extra pair of shoes in case the sand gets in them. 

4. Don’t Overdo It with Accessories

Planning a family beach portrait session can be fun and rewarding, but it’s essential to take the time to choose the proper clothing and accessories. 

A few pieces of jewelry or a colorful scarf will add life and personality to your photo. 

And if you want to stand out, consider wearing something truly unique, like an eye-catching hat (not too big, though) or sunglasses.

5. Pose in Natural Lighting

One of the best ways to capture natural beauty is to find a spot with plenty of sun. If you can’t find a good spot with direct sunlight, try to find an area with a nice breeze. 

When choosing your location, consider the weather conditions and natural elements to create photos that reflect your family’s style and personality.

6. Be Consistent with Your Photographs

Even if you’re not a professional photographer, taking time and being consistent with your poses are essential. 

Changing your mind about what you want to photograph after you’ve started the beach photoshoot can throw off your family and make for a less-than-professional photo. 

So keep your poses in mind from the outset, and you’re sure to produce beautiful family beach portraits that will stand the test of time.

What Colors Look Best in Beach Photos?

When it comes to beach photos, wearing solid colors is usually the way to go. A solid-colored outfit will stand out against the bright sky and ocean background.

Here are some of the most popular color schemes for beach photos:


White is one of the classic bold colors for beach photos, as it stands out the most against the blues and greens of the sea.

A white shirt, shorts, or swimsuit are perfect for keeping the focus on your face and making sure you stand out in the photos.


Like white, blues will also stand out beautifully against a beach background. The best shades of blue to wear are light blues and pastels.

Think of your favorite blue denim shirt or baby blue shorts for the perfect beach look.

Yellows and Oranges

These warm colors will look stunning in a beach photo, contrasting nicely with the blue ocean in the background.

Try wearing a bright yellow dress or an orange tank top to make your photos pop.


Greens are always a great choice if you’re looking for something a bit more subtle.

Think of light green shirts or shorts that will look amazing against the blues and greens of the beach.

Soft Pinks

Soft pinks are another great choice for beach photos. Try a light pink dress or shorts to add a feminine touch and make your photos look stunning.

Don’t forget to accessorize no matter what color you choose with fun jewelry or a hat to complete your beach look.

With the right color scheme, you’ll be sure to have amazing photos that will last forever.

Dress Ideas for a Family Beach Photo Shoot

Whether you’re dressing up with some glamorous accessories or keeping it casual and comfy, we’ll show you how to choose the perfect dress for your family’s beach moment – plus what color palette and fabric choices will help set off all those waves crashing against the shore!

White Sundress

White sundresses are a great choice for a family beach photo session. They provide the right coverage to look stylish and show off your tan lines.

Plus, white looks gorgeous against a backdrop of blue sky and sea!

The only downside is that white easily picks up dirt and sand, so you need to take extra care to keep your dress clean.

Putting a towel over the ground or a beach chair before you sit is helpful in keeping stray debris off your dress.

Peach Sundress

Peach sundresses are another popular option for beach photoshoots. They provide a subtle and elegant look that is perfect for pictures while still allowing you to show a little skin.

The downside is that peach can be difficult to match with accessories, so it’s best to keep the look simple.

Simple White Dress

Finally, white dresses are a timeless and classic option for beach photoshoots. They provide an elegant yet laid-back look that never goes out of style.

The downside is that white can be quite unforgiving regarding creases and wrinkles, so you must ensure your dress is well-ironed before the shoot.

Light Pink Dress

Get ready to feel beautiful and elegant with light pink dresses for your beach photoshoots.

Not only will you look feminine and romantic, but the sunlight will give it an added glow!

The downside is that they can be tricky to mix and match with other colors, so make sure all of your accessories complement each other perfectly.

No matter your choice, make sure you pick something that makes you feel comfortable and confident! That way, your photos will be perfect.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to find the perfect dress for your family beach photoshoot.

What Not to Wear for Beach Photos

When it comes to taking beach photos, sun-kissed skin and windswept hair should definitely be in the picture … but so should your fashion sense! 

If you’re looking to snap a few stunning shots at the beach, here’s what not to wear: 

  • Tacky Hawaiian shirts and neon shorts (they’ll never stand out against the sand!)
  • Large hats that may block everyone’s view
  • Clothing that is too tight — especially if you plan on making any sudden moves while posing! 
  • The best looks are classic and comfortable — let your ocean views take center stage and leave behind all that isn’t necessary.

How to Style Long Hair for Beach Photos (Women)

First, you’ll need to protect your hair from heat and saltwater by using a good quality conditioner as part of your pre-beach routine. 

You can also give yourself some oomph in the right places by creating some height at the crown with a light mousse or a texturizing spray. 

Some strategic waves or curls will instantly create a more beachy feel—try running your flat iron through sections of hair, starting from the center and angling outward toward the ends. 

Finish off by giving it loads of ocean-style texture with a sea salt spray and spritz with shine-enhancing hairspray to add luster and enhance your photos.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How should family pose for portraits?

The best thing to do when planning family portraits is to loosen up and take the focus off of getting the perfect shot. Encourage everyone to be creative with their poses, dress comfortably, and don’t forget to smile!

What is the best time to take family pictures on the beach?

Shortly after sunrise or shortly before sunset. For beach-goers looking for those picture-perfect shots, try for about an hour and a half after sunrise or an hour before sunset. This way, you’ll get the balance of bright skies without too much harsh light.

Wrapping it Up

Now that you know what colors to choose and what type of clothing style will flatter your family, you are well on your way to nailing beach portraits that everyone will cherish for years to come. 

Have fun with your wardrobe choices, and be sure to accessorize! A floppy hat, statement necklace, or even a brightly patterned sarong can add pizzazz to any outfit. 

And when in doubt, always remember that less is more. If you keep these tips in mind, we are confident you will love the end result of your efforts: gorgeous family beach photos that capture the very essence of summertime perfection.

…Or at least close to the very essence. 

Good luck!


  • Cam Russo

    Cam is a blogger, author, and content strategist with a keen love for the written word. His journey with high-functioning autism has kindled a strong advocacy for autism awareness. Today, Cam dedicates his efforts to educating parents. He sees laughter as a game-changer in learning, and strives every day to make education a fun and enjoyable journey for all his readers.

    View all posts