DIY Family Beach Portraits…..FAIL!!!

I know this is not a food related issue, but nonetheless, it’s a story that must be told.  I will soon post all about our food trials and tribulations from our beach week, which sounds bleak, but it was actually quite successful.  For now, I have a very different issue to address.

I see you Facebook friends who frolic out onto the beach and casually shoot beautiful family photos and capture images of your children splashing in the surf in their beautiful portrait attire.  I am faced with these images from mid-May through August and I know I should be able to do this too.

Our family of five came in a little early on our last evening at the beach to have dinner and get ready to go out for photos.  I see no reason to do things like this before the last possible evening.  After all, what could go wrong?  Have you seen these portraits?  You stand in the surf or sit behind a dune and snap a photo.  Easy peasy.


Unfortunately, Olivia was pretty tuckered out after a week of sun and waves, so she climbed into her baby brother’s exersaucer while we were making dinner and fell asleep.  Yeah, she’s a weird kid.  Anyhoooooo…no pro-blem-o.  We’ll just get everyone else ready and take her dress out with us.  That way we can carry her out and she will wake up nice and refreshed from her nap, ready to smile for the camera.  Ok, now it’s starting to sound a little dicey, even with all of the positivity I spent all day mustering.


Look at these suckers!  They paid professional photographers to come out here and do what anyone with a dSLR camera should be able to do on their own.  Boy are they going to be kicking themselves later after they see us getting the same shots free of charge.

Our first major sign of trouble was that Olivia did not wake up refreshed.  Not even close.  She was a grumpy two year old with as much determination not to be in the pictures as I had to take them.  We decided to give it a try without changing her into her white dress.  We ended up with these gems…

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Well, that’s just fine.  We’ll just take some with the other kiddos.  Here we go.


Elena is holding Wyatt.  She’s such a big girl.  Let’s see if she can manage both babies.


WooHoo!!!  You’re doing it Elena.  Hold them still.  Don’t let go!!!

Sorry Buddy.

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Ok, with all of these distractions, maybe Olivia will forget about her sour mood and smile for a few quick photos…

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I thought for sure that would work.  I’m not giving up yet though.  Wait…where’s Elena?

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Of course.  She found a “stage”.  Not exactly what I had in mind.  No matter what Justin says, this next sequence is good stuff.  He sure does love his boys!

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Ok, where were we?  So maybe the sitting in the dunes photos didn’t work out, but we still have splashing in the surf.  Those will definitely work.  Olivia will forget all about her mood as soon as she gets to the water.  I’m sure of it.


Ok, girls.  Go splash around a little.  Have fun!!!  Be free!!!


Whoa, come back!!!  Not that free.  I don’t have the big lens.  Stay closer!  Wait, where’s Wyatt?


Oh well.  Girls, just splash at the edge of the water.

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Ooooh, twirling!  Good idea.  That has potential!!!

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Who knows where this is going?


Time to try the family shot at the water’s edge.  For some reason we decided to hunch down into where we imagined the frame of the photo would be.  Also, an unexplainable gust of wind seems to have puffed into Justin’s shirt.  Not quite the money shot we were hoping for.


I guess we’ll just let the girls stomp and splash in the shallow water.  I’m sure we’ll get some cute shots.


Pretty cute…Elena, your turn…

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Ummmmm………too far.

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…and we’re done.

Since this was supposed to be so easy, we didn’t think we would need any back up provisions, such as a change of clothes.  The only thing we had for Elena to wear back was my hooter hider, which ironically looked like this on her…


Well, that was fun.

I’m sure there are a multitude of lessons to be learned from this experience, but I can’t really think of what they are.  All I can say is, if I don’t “like” your perfect family beach photos on Facebook for a while, know that it’s not because of you.  It’s just too soon.  Seeing them is like rubbing salt water in the wound.

9 thoughts on “DIY Family Beach Portraits…..FAIL!!!

  1. “Phahahaha!” is not enough, this calls for a “Bahahahahahahahahahaha!” I’m glad we’re not the only ones who struggle to get a great family picture even though we have amazingly cute kids. We usually do a Christmas card photo outtakes blog but this one takes the cake. Just add water…

    • Sometimes I just have to laugh to keep from crying. In hindsight, I have enjoyed these shots much more than I would a “successful” family photo. I’m really holding on to a shred of hope that we will eventually be able to take a good photo. One can dream.

  2. I think there are just some kids who are naturally photogenic (& like it) and others who don’t. I realized I have a ton of photos of my daughter but a lot less of my son because he starts making funny faces whenever the camera is aimed at him. And there is only so many of those we end up taking.

    • Ha! So true. Elena used to be good with photos, but lately she strikes ridiculous poses every time I try. She loves it and she thinks she’s doing something really great. It almost doesn’t even matter with the other two at such uncooperative ages for photos. Someday we’ll get it together! I’m sure someday you will love looking back at those funny face pictures of your son. Maybe even more than the “normal” ones.

  3. I just spend another night cracking up at this. We have all been here. You put this terrible reality into perfect words. Thanks so, so much for sharing. I wish we lived close to you guys.

  4. The best post ever! Thanks for sharing. We just did photos with our family and the new additional and Brad and I were exhausted by the end. The more children you add, the less likely you will ever have a “great” family photo. But all these photos you posted are more than “great.” They will make you so happy one day when your kids have outgrown all these fun stages.

    • Somehow, I think I cherish photos like these even more than the perfect ones. Not that I know, since we don’t really have those anymore, but it makes me feel better to assume they wouldn’t be as precious. Let’s go with that theory. You’re in deep now, Katie Burton! Congrats on the new addition!!!

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