Skip the staged shots and frame a shot that captures your clan at their best

Schedule the shoot

Avoid harsh midday sun by heading for the dunes the first hour after sunrise. If you can’t rouse 
the kin that early, choose the hour before sunset, when the light is most flattering.

Dress the part

Hold the Mandela shirt. Light, neutral colours – pastels, khakis, tans, 
and whites – are ideal 
for outdoor shots because muted colours complement the natural environment; they also flatter most skin tones and body types. Bright primary colours and complex patterns draw attention from faces. 
Let your family choose whatever they want to wear within these guidelines. Remember, though: matching 
outfits are boring.

Scout the location

Add visual elements – rocks, boats – to lend a sense of place. Then have your family act naturally. Capturing your kids’ joy as they make a sand castle or play on the jetty will always look better than forced smiles. Join in on the 
fun, or stand with your wife as the kids play in the foreground 
for depth.

Forget the timer

Use a wireless remote and set your camera to auto. Frame the shot, draw a line in the sand showing where your crew can move around, and then snap about 100 frames so you have plenty of options.