Who doesn’t love a photoshoot on the beach? I mean… I swoon over every Pinterest-worthy family photo I see, but especially the ones by water, waves and sand. Right? It is my happy place and so when we had the chance to go to California and back to the place where Casey and I got married 5 years ago, I had to schedule a shoot. I emailed our wedding photographer and she was available! Score! I booked her and started the photoshoot prep of selecting outfits and accessories for the fam.
A little history for you, we are both Colorado natives so it sometimes confuses people when we tell them we got married in Cali. We just love Cali and I had strong ties out there being that my sister lived in the LA area for about a decade. Casey and I took our very first vacation together to Santa Monica. Awwww…the memories. And so when we planned our wedding, we decided Cali was the spot. We got married 5 years ago in the tiny town of Avalon, California located on Catalina Island. It has become a special place for us, hence naming our firstborn Avalon! We love the vibes on the island and couldn’t wait to make the trek back, and take our little Avalon to her namesake.
Now for photoshoot prep, I am a planner (aka Type A personality) so I don’t really leave much up to impromptu decisions or chance. I like to have all our outfits planned well in advance, along with accessory options. I scour Pinterest for inspiration for poses, outfit ideas and an overall look & theme to the shoot. I often stay up WAYYYY too late doing this! It’s a problem. haha
This shoot took some extra logistical planning because we were actually in LA first for a couple of days because I was there doing some work too. So we needed to time it just right to fight LA traffic down to Long Beach on a Friday afternoon, catch the ferry to the island, get to our hotel to get photoshoot ready and then meet our photographer down on the beach….all with a toddler who has never really traveled. A bit unpredictable, but it surprisingly went very well. Thankfully!
The best time of day is late afternoon/early evening for photoshoots because you get that gorgeous sunset lighting. It’s a risky choice with kids since that’s also known as “witching” hour, but we chanced it. And our photographer was gracious enough to say that if we weren’t getting any good shots of Avalon, we could wake up (at the butt crack of dawn) and try again the next morning…because sunrise is the second best time of day to shoot. But Avalon was a trooper and we got some really amazing family photos which I will be forever grateful for.
This post is becoming quite long, so I won’t say too much more, but to just share my reason behind my desire to capture these moments of my family. I LOVE family photos! And actually grew up loving them. My dad always had a camera on him (like a really big pro one with what I thought was a “geeky” camera holder strap) and was taking photos of us during trips and special occasions. And as a family – we often gathered around the ol’ slide projector (waaaayyy old school) and flip through photo after photo with popcorn bowls in hand and reminiscing about all the memories, laughing and all the while making us appreciate our time together as a family. I’m very aware that we grow up too fast and want to hold on to these moments in time somehow, and photos are the best way to do that. ❤
Some of my faves from the hundreds our photographer captured
A special thank you to our Cali photographer, Shana Cassidy is great! Like I said, she captured our wedding day and now a special first trip to the beach for Avalon. She was so good with Avalon during the shoot, I was so impressed with her skills with our little one. If you are in the Cali area, she’s amazing! Link to her site HERE.
And finally, links to all our outfits selections (or similar) below.
- Dress – Genuine Kids White Shift Dress
- Bow – Little Poppy Co. (Bow Subscription that I LOVE, this one was part of the March bow collection)
- Shoes – Old Navy Sueded Lace-up Ballet Flats
- Dress – Lulu’s Forest Green Backless Maxi Dress
- Shoes – Rebecca Minkoff ‘Christy’ Ankle Cuff Sandal in Nude Leather
- Hat – Found mine on clearance at Target for $12, similar styles here and here
- Top – Old Navy Slim Fit Chambray
- Pants – Nordstrom Rack Dockers Slim Tapered Khaki
- Shoes – His are old, but similar shoe here (on sale right now)
Now start planning your next family photo shoot!
xo, Kisses from Sarah K