On the beach… beach family portraits.

beach family portraits

I count my lucky stars every day that I have a job that I love.

My work puts me in contact with some of the most amazing people a person could ever meet.  I get to do stuff like fly to gorgeous locations, wake up at 4 am and chase a family of gorgeous kids around on the beach as we watch the sunrise together; how many people get to do that and get paid for it too?!

beach family portrait

It’s so funny how the Universe works.  I used to proudly exclaim how I was so “NOT maternal” (said she who went on to become a Mum of five!) and how I disliked “everyone’s” kids except for my own.  I use to shoot weddings full time and loathed family portrait sessions.  Apparently, it was “impossible” to be creative when shooting “groups”.  How laughably wrong I was!

beach family portrait

Something changed a few years ago.  I don’t know what it was, or how it happened, but I noticed that I started connecting with “other people’s” kids.  When I returned to photography, after running our shop for 2 years, I decided that I was no longer going to be a “Wedding Photographer” and that I wanted to be a “Kids Commercial Photographer”.  I started meeting lots and lots of babies, and kids.  I started smiling a lot more at my shoots.

Beautiful Ella

I’d find myself getting all goosebumpy and teary as I looked down the lens at those beautiful faces peering back at me.  Oh, man, I think I’ve mellowed in my old age! 😉  BUT, it is much more than that.  You know the old adage “every bride is beautiful”?  Well, I’ve realised now that it is the same with kids.  The more time I spend shooting a child, the more beautiful they are to me.  I can feel myself connecting to their spirit, and their eyes just draw me in to their beautiful little souls.

Bye Bye Balloons

There is nothing pretentious about kids.  There is no ego.  All that there is is trust and honesty.  No matter who the child is, once you really connect with them, once they truly trust that you are genuine and sincere and that you care about them, you can see it in their eyes, and they just radiate beauty from within.

beach family portrait

I don’t feel as though I have done a child justice in my sessions, until I feel this genuine honesty and understanding between us.  Until I look down my lens at them, and see them looking, and seeing, I mean, *really* seeing, me too.

beachfamily portrait


When I photographed the amazing family you see here, I was so swept up in their beauty.  I mean, obviously they are GORGEOUS kids to look at, but once I “got” them, and they “got” me, well, wow!  I didn’t have to direct them at all, but for a handful of times, I just followed them up and down the beach and we all played together.  I let them lead the morning, just injecting an idea here and there to encourage them to enjoy our time together.  We shot their beach family portraits from 5am for the good light, and they just went with the flow!






Jake with sunflare

Jake smiling

Twins pensive

Twins Giggle

Twins cuddle

Sisters cuddle

Girls cuddle

Heke family



…and then, as we wrapped up our session, and headed back up the beach to their house, we chatted about trying one last thing at their home.  The shots we had captured on the beach were beautiful and natural, but this family has another side too, and their mum, being a photographer herself, was happy to trust me to try something fun with them!  And what FUN it was!  You might remember the Award shots that I posted last week?  Well, these guys were the stars of one of them.  And just so you can see what I mean about their “other side”, here it is again in all its hilarious glory…

This is officially one of my most memorable and favourite shoots EVER, and I am so very thankful to this beautiful family for allowing me a window into their lives for that one very special morning.


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  • Kath Heke - Stop it, I’m crying! You’re amazing xxReplyCancel

  • Carolyn Hunt - Wow. With a write up like that & amazingly gorgeous photos to boot – think I’d love it if you took my kids pictures too please!!!! Beautiful family & you can see the “connection” made shine through in the pictures. Art! Well done. Loved every one 🙂ReplyCancel

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