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Bethany Beach Photographer | Tips For Your Beach Photo Session

Hello, I'm AnneMarie
I'm a lifestyle family photographer serving Greater Philadelphia, Delaware, and Maryland. A mother to three children, two goldendoodles, and married for 2 decades.
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Tips from a Bethany Beach Photographer for your family photo session at the Delaware shore.

If you’re taking a family vacation to the Delaware shore and you’re having family photos taken on the beach, I want to share with you my best tips for a successful family portrait session from your Bethany Beach Family Photographer.


Large extended family walks along the shore in Bethany Beach


How soon should I schedule a Bethany Beach family photo session?

Most beach photographers fill up very quickly for the summer months. If you are headed to the Delaware shore during peak beach season, plan to book your beach family photo session as soon as you book your rental or have your dates! My beach schedule gets booked solid months in advance. Sometimes there are last-minute openings, but I sadly have to turn many families away because I just can’t fit another beach session into the schedule. 


Young couple poses with baby by the sand dunes at the Bethany Beach Delaware.

What time should my Bethany Beach family photography session start?

I recommend that we start in the early morning, or late in the day as close to sunrise and sunset as possible. If the weather forecast is cloudy, which happens quite a bit down at the shore, we often can move your session time to earlier in the day to allow for extra ambient light.

I know sunrise is tough (for me too), and sunset is late during the summer. But I promise that the softer, golden light is worth it to capture the most flattering images of your family! The excitement of being at the beach in the evening will almost always quell any bedtime crankiness from the little ones. I suggest giving young children a later nap than usual if we will be shooting your family session closer to sunset. Pack pajamas for the ride home after the beach so you can change them in the car before driving home!

Family of four poses for a photo session with Bethany Beach Photographer AnneMarie Hamant


What should we wear during our Bethany Beach family portrait session?

I recommend starting outfit styling with the mothers in the family first! Find an outfit that makes you feel beautiful to start out. Then style the rest of the family around you. At the beach, I love a long, flowy dress for mothers and daughters. Short dresses don’t work as well because you will be moving around a lot, and with the wind, shorter dresses can be difficult to work with and uncomfortable.

Some of my favorite dresses for women at the beach come from Nothing Fits But, Doen, Free People, Anthropologie, and Daughters of India. You or your daughters might just want to wear jeans or shorts, or even a romper. However I promise you that the movement captured by a flowy dress adds to the whimsical feeling of my photos, and even increases your feeling of playfulness with the kids on the beach. If it will be chilly at the Bethany Beach the week you will be there, consider adding a chunky knit cardigan for added texture and warmth.

For the men, shades of khaki, cream, blue, and grey work really well. Textures like linen and chambray can add so much depth to our images when you are using neutral color tones! I love neutral colors for my soft and airy style of photography. Plus, neutrals fit in with most home decor and stand the test of time. Since you are investing in family photos, it’s my goal to create images that you will love for years to come. Avoid dress-length button down shirts that look too long when untucked at the beach, and instead look for a shirt length that is meant to be left untucked. I love the brands Untuckit, Banana Republic, and JCrew for menswear at the shore.

Please know that if you hire me as your Bethany beach family photographer, I provide personalized styling assistance so you feel confident with your choices!

Family of four plays on the beach near Bethany Beach DE

What kind of footwear should we wear for our Bethany Beach family photo session?

Plan on being barefoot! Because my sessions involve a lot of movement and play, don’t bother stressing over cute sandals or heels. Those shoes are coming off in the sand. This would be a good time to get a pedicure or not even worry about it, because your toes will be deep in the sand for most of our session!


Grandparents pose with young grandchildren in the sand dunes at bethany beach.


What if the weather doesn’t cooperate for our Bethany beach photo session?

The weather at the shore can be unpredictable, and sometimes even when it says it’s going to rain in the evening, we end up having the most beautiful sunsets. It’s very common to have to be flexible with our start time the day of the session. Often times, if it looks like a storm later in the day, we will move our session time earlier in the afternoon to be sure we can get it in.

Shadow of a family at sunset at the beach


Will the wind ruin our Bethany Beach photos?

You can pretty much plan on wind-blown hair for your beach session. Windy hair is just a part of Bethany Beach life, so don’t stress out about it and know that it’s just part of the experience! I do my best to work with the direction of wind, but sometimes we have to just embrace the wind! 

Older couple hugs on Bethany beach in Delaware.


Should we bring props to our Bethany Beach photo session?

I don’t ask families to bring anything to their session, but bringing a kite or a sand bucket to a Bethany Beach photo session can be a fun idea. The kids will run, move, and giggle, and parents get in on the fun. Anything that builds organic family connection and leads to movement will be a wonderful visual to our session. But truly, no props are needed. The beautiful scenery here at Bethany Beach is enough!

Father holds baby girl up in the air at the beach as a seagull flies by.


What if the kids get wet during our Bethany Beach Photo Shoot?

You should plan on the kids getting messy and possibly wet, and bring a change of clothes for them to change into for the ride home. You could bring baby powder to shake off the sandy feet before getting back in the car after your beach photo session!


Father holds daughter at the beach in Delaware

What if our kids won’t behave for Bethany Beach Family Portraits?

Trust me, I’ve been in business for 16 years and your kids are no exception to the rule. I’ve seen it all, and I don’t let uncooperative children (or adults) fluster me. Just read the 150+ Google reviews about how I manage to bring the happy out of people. 

Personally, I like to avoid threatening kids with behavior expectations before the session. Instead focus on the fun you are going to have as a family. My approach to family photography is light-hearted and playful. The more positive you keep the attitudes leading up to the session, the better the outcome. I get my best work when every family member comes ready to move, play, and connect at the beach. While there will be some posing and guiding on how to interact to get the best possible photos, it shouldn’t feel stressful.


Grandparents hold grandchildren on the beach in delaware during a photo session with AnneMarie Hamant

Large family poses for picture on the beach in delaware

The kids will have so much fun, I promise. They really won’t even know they were having family pictures taken. It will feel like a fun night out with the family and a friend. My goal is to always wrap it up before anyone has a meltdown, so kids always associate picture-day with a great experience! You can learn more about my family photo session experience here!

Family of four sits by the dunes near Bethany Beach Delaware


Where can we go out for ice cream after our Bethany Beach family photos?

My favorite spot for ice cream in the area is actually in Dewey Beach at Vanderwends Dairy



Family of four poses for a family portrait on the beach Grandparents hug their grandchildren on the beach during an extended family session Family walks the beach together during a portrait session

If you’re searching for an experienced family photographer to capture the magic of your family while you’re at Bethany Beach this summer, reach out today!

My own kids are just past the magic years, so it’s my heart-felt mission to create these images for other families while the kids are young.

Large family poses for a picture on the beach

Check out my other beach sessions on the blog:


AnneMarie Hamant has been a Delaware Family Photographer for 16 years. Her expertise is in working with extended families, as well as single families. Her relaxed and approachable personality make for truly frame-worthy, playful family photos while you are at the Delaware shore. She serves families in Bethany Beach, Rehoboth Beach, Lewes, and surrounding areas. You can contact her to learn more about her pricing and process. 

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hey there!

I'm so glad you're here!

I am a mother to three children, and a full-time family and newborn photographer serving the Philadelphia and Delaware regions. I have been in business since 2008. I'm a country girl at heart and love capturing families in beautiful natural spaces. I bring my warm personality and energy to every session, and truly love what I do. 

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They are only little for a short while.