1. Bring the entire gang. When the family vacation includes friends, extended family or even the family pet, I say include them. I never limit the number of pictures I take or the number of poses. If the kids are bringing a friend along this year they may actually enjoy a picture with them too. And of course if the dog got to come along we can't leave that special family member out either!
2. End with a bang. Bring a bottle of champagne to celebrate the sunset, sparklers just after dusk with the kids. Bring an extra change of clothing and let the kids run in the water. I always start off a portrait sitting with some very posed pictures. Everyone is looking great and hair is perfect, that's a great time to get some really nice, traditional and timeless family beach pictures. After capturing several combinations of posed pictures and different combinations of your family group then I get those more relaxed images. Those are the ones where I am looking for natural reactions, candid smiles and really just enjoying your time together on the beach. Since the beach pictures become more candid and relaxed as the shoot goes on it's also a good time to incorporate a little be of fun too. A toast at sunset is always fun and I love sparklers at dusk too. Of course the easiest way to get a little more creative on the beach is to get right in the water. A splash or two in the gulf is always a fun shot and a great way to end your professional beach pictures!
3. Plan a fun night of it. You got dressed up and we got great pictures on the beach, now celebrate the successful photo shoot with a night out on the island. I love the Thistle Lodge at Casa Ybel for a fine dining experience on Sanibel and they take reservations too so it's even a great after shoot place to go during the busiest times of the year. Gramma Dot's is a great option for a more casual setting and it has a great Sanibel Island atmosphere too. Gramma Dot's is located very close to Lighthouse Beach (one of my favorite locations for pictures) so for many Impressions Photography family photo shoots it's the most convenient too. If you're heading back to the mainland a personal favorite is Lynq on Summerlin in Fort Myers. It's modern atmosphere definitely has a night on the town vibe and their huge menu means it's got something for everyone. Also a mainland favorite with a waterside atmostphere is Deep Lagoon Seafood and Oyster House. Both Lynq and Deep Lagoon are a short trip from Sanibel Island so even if you are staying on the island they are still great options to try.
4. Plan ahead for holiday cards. If you are planning a summer trip to Sanibel Island it's not too early to start thinking about the holidays. We are actually making photo holiday cards almost all year long. We have also joined with Minted.com to offer our clients the entire Minted collection of greeting cards with Impressions Photography professional photographs. If you're visiting Sanibel during the summer maybe consider a second outfit for your shoot that is more holiday specific or in colors you would want for your cards. Or if you want to get a little silly with family pictures there is always the Santa hat option and yes, I've seen those goofy hats on the beach pretty much every month of the year!
If you are looking for something fun to do during your Sanibel Island vacation, let's talk! Family beach pictures are actually a really fun thing to add to your vacation and a great way to capture that special trip. I'd love to talk with you about making your pictures extra special too! It's super easy to make an appointment, but my popular times do fill up quickly, so definitely plan ahead. For reservations contact me: