Family Photos at the Beach | A Typical Session

In the summer I spend most of my evenings photographing families on the beach in Charleston.  I wanted to give you an idea of what a typical family beach session is like.

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If a client is staying at a beach house on Folly or Isle of Palms I will typically meet them at the house and we go out onto the beach from there. If they are staying elsewhere we will choose a good meeting spot.  Beach sessions are done the hour before sunset unless the client requests a sunrise session.

We almost always start off with a nice posed family portrait near the house or out on the beach.

From there I generally photograph some smaller groups such as: individual families, grandparents, couples, dad with kids, mom with kids, grandparents with all the grand kids, siblings, family dogs, etc.  There is no limit to the number of groupings, so please don’t hesitate to ask!

Then I usually do some more photos with the entire group with a different background.  We usually make our way closer and closer to the water. Sometimes it will be a walking one.

If the client wants them, I will photograph kids individually.  By this point they are usually pretty warmed up and their personality shows through!

The best light is towards the end of the session – if we’re lucky we’ll be treated to a pretty pink or orange sky and then my favorite time of day – blue hour!

Once we are sure we have gotten all the groupings the family wants we’ll take some more casual, playful shots – sometimes sitting in the sand or even getting in the water!  This is always a fun reward for kids who are getting tired of posing and smiling on cue.

Here are my tips for a successful beach session:

  1. Leave your worries behind.  Don’t fret too much about that one family member who won’t wear what you want them to or a cranky kid who missed their nap.  This is going to be fun – I promise!
  2. Wear clothes you are comfortable in and are OK getting sandy… and possibly wet.
  3. Don’t punish kids during a session.  This is the time to let your parenting rules fly out the window – we only have a limited amount of time together and if a child starts crying sometimes they can’t come back from it.  This is the time to bribe bribe bribe!  I suggest ice cream or getting to play in the water afterwards.  I usually have little toys in my bag as a reward/bribe. 🙂
  4. Have perspective.  This is more than a photo session.  This is precious time with your family.  When you look at the photos years down the road you will remember that this was a special time with those you hold dear.

Once I get home and backup your photos I dig in to editing.  If you want a sneak peek I will post something to Instagram and Facebook while I’m editing.  Then within a week I deliver your edited photos via a private online gallery.  Typically there are 50-70 photos delivered. Clients can download the digital files from the gallery and also order archival-quality prints (4 x 6 to 11 x 14) too.

photoshopped shark beach photo

Want to see more photos of Folly Beach?  Click HERE.  Isle of Palms more your jam? Click HERE.  I’m also available for sessions on Kiawah and Seabrook Island. Sullivans Island does not allow commercial photography, but there are plenty of other options!  I generally book up 2 weeks in advance, so CONTACT ME to schedule your family beach session soon.

Please feel free to reach out if you have questions about family photos on the beach.  I hope to see you on the beach this summer!

 

Sarah Goldman is a family photographer in Charleston, SC.

 

 

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Dog Portraits | Linus + Olive

A long time friend wanted to surprise his wife with professional portraits of their Boston terriers, Linus + Olive.  I love dogs, and was more than happy to photograph their puppy children in my backyard on James Island.  Fortunately their dad was there, armed with treats, to help me wrangle the pups and get them to look at the camera!

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Sarah Goldman is a photographer in Charleston, SC.

James Island Town Hall Opening | The Marshlands House

The Town of James Island has moved into their new town hall building on Dills Bluff.  Earlier in the year they were accepting photo submissions to decorate their new space.  Although I’ve lived on James Island for 14 years, I don’t have that many photos on the island.  After scouring my hard drives I found some of Pinckney Park and some of the Marshlands House on the SC-DNR (South Carolina Department of Natural Resources) property at the end of Fort Johnson Rd where I used to work. You could only submit one image so I entered the one of the Marshlands House, and it was accepted.

The Marshlands House serves as the educational headquarters at SC-DNR.  It is a beautiful Federal-era mansion built around 1810 by planter Edward Ball.  It was originally built near rice impoundments on what is now the old Charleston Naval Base and Shipyard where it used as officer’s quarters.  In 1961 the Navy planned to tear it down, but in the end it was floated down the Cooper River to its new home at Fort Johnson.

Marshlands House at Fort Johnson in Charleston, SC.

I’m so glad this photo of the Marshlands House will be displayed at James Island Town Hall for years to come!

Here are some photos from the Grand Opening:

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It was great to see my friend (and wildlife photographer!) Keith McCullough and his bluegrass band playing some tunes and to see yummy cupcakes by my favorite bakeshop, The Cake Stand!  It was a great event – congrats to the town!

Sarah Goldman is a photographer in Charleston, SC.

Family Beach Session Contest!

Summer is coming to a close, and we’re all thinking about school supplies and cooler weather. To mark the end of the season, I’m giving away a beach session to one lucky Charleston family!
dad with his 2 sons at the beach
The session can take place at Folly Beach or Isle of Palms.  The winner will be chosen at random on August 18th and contacted via email. To enter the contest, fill out the form here:
feet on the beach
and Good Luck!

Folly Beach Maternity Session | Dennise and Mitchell

As I write this blog post, Dennise and Mitchell are snuggling their new arrival, baby Ryker!  I’m so excited to meet him tomorrow for his Fresh 48 session.

You may remember this family from their cotton field session a couple years ago: https://sarahgoldmanphotography.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/sunset-cotton-field-photo-session-southcarolina

For their maternity session, they came to see me in Charleston for a session on the beach.  We met at the east end of Folly Beach to capture some photos of this special time in their lives.  Stay tuned for baby photos soon!

couple sitting on a dock folly beach sc

Sarah Goldman is a photographer in Charleston, SC.

Beach Sessions | Folly Beach & Isle of Palms

Family beach sessions are booking quickly this summer!  I’m excited to see some returning clients who rent beach houses at Folly or Isle of Palms every year and some new folks too. 🙂  Info: Beach sessions take place the hour before sunset (around 7ish depending on the date).  I can meet you at your beach house or another location.  I keep a couple dates open each week in case of rain.

Here are some photos of past year’s beach sessions:

Contact me to check my availability during your Charleston vacation!

 

Sarah Goldman is a family photographer in Charelston, SC.

A Folly Beach Engagement | Anna-Morgan + Greg

High-school sweethearts, Anna-Morgan + Greg, wanted to have their engagement photos taken at the far east end of Folly Beach, near the Morris Island Lighthouse.  They fought sand gnats and the threat of rain, but were blessed with a dreamy sky and perfect lighting.

Folly Beach Lighthouse Point

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Sarah Goldman is an engagement photographer in Charleston, SC.

Folly Beach Maternity Session | Pati + Paul

One of my favorite sessions of 2016!

couple during their maternity session at the beach

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Sarah Goldman is a maternity photographer in Charleston, SC.

Extended Family Session at Folly | Kinney Family

Fall is my favorite time of year for family beach sessions.  The weather is cooler, the crowds have left Folly Beach, and the mosquitoes are few.  🙂

Kinney Family – it was so nice meeting you!  I hope to see you at Folly Beach again next year.

large family photo at folly beach

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Sarah Goldman photographers family beach portraits at Folly Beach, SC.

Family beach sessions | Leach Family

Cooler weather has arrived, but I’m still doing lots of family beach sessions at Folly Beach. Here are a few of my favorites from the Leach Family’s session:

family underneath folly fishing pier

family at folly beach fishing pier

Sarah Goldman is a family beach photographer at Folly Beach in Charleston, SC.