15 Minute Family Beach Photo Session

One of my focuses for the year is to embrace my role as our Family Storyteller. I have informally occupied this role for a while now, but making it my official title (given to me by myself!) reminds me of the importance and value this job holds.

One of the ways I love telling the story of our family is through photos. It’s something Woody and I have valued spending time and money on since we were engaged. We’ve done big shoots, small shoots, planned-out shoots, and spur-the-moment shoots. We’ve worked with photographers we’ve hired and photographers who are friends (let’s be real, they all end up being our friends!). No matter how we’ve done it, I’m always glad we did.

Despite what you might think (and what I often think), you don’t have to plan perfectly to get photos you love.

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite family shoots we’ve had. It happened this summer at the beach. We were there with two other couples, including one of my best friends, Rachel, who is a very talented photographer. Obviously already being with a photographer was super helpful, but even so, all the rest came together with little to no planning. So, hire yourself a photographer and don’t overthink the rest!

We decided that day we’d all do photos. I didn’t know what we’d all wear until that day, and I did my own hair and makeup (as I usually do any time we get photos taken). Fox was 18 months old, cute as can be, but not 100% cooperative. I was 30 weeks pregnant with Mae and easily winded walking in the sand. We didn’t plan poses, pin inspiration, or find the perfect location. We simply got cleaned up, walked down to the beach access closest to our rental house, and spent 15 minutes laughing with our toes in the sand.

But what a precious story these photos tell. They remind us of the changing season as we were preparing to add another little life to our crew. They celebrate chubby baby legs, summer heat, and sun-kissed skin. They tell our story as young parents, a couple in love, and Fox’s first beach vacation. This little moment in time is one worth preserving. And I know I’m biased, but the result is pretty near perfect to me.

Woodcock Beach-0001.jpg
He did  not  want to let go of my hand…

He did not want to let go of my hand…

…as you can see.

…as you can see.

Photos by Rachel Coffey Photography

How do you preserve your family’s story? What matters most to you? Do you have any favorite photo shoot experiences? I’d love to hear!