I recently met Ann Gordon and Chris at her sisters beautiful waterfront home in Newport, NC. When Ann Gordon reached out to me, I was so excited to work on engagement portraits for her and Chris. I have photographed her sisters family for several years and knew they would be just as sweet as them. It was a beautiful evening on the Crystal Coast with this beautiful couple. They are planning to marry in the Fall in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.

Enjoy some of my favorites from their engagement photography session below!

Interested in an engagement session with Susan Yates Photography? Contact me to start planning your story today.

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Brilliant sunshine and clear blue sky. Soft, sparkling sand. Gentle waves. What a visually stunning backdrop for your family photo session on The Crystal Coast! Whether your style is sweet, fun, formal or relaxed, there’s no questioning it: The beach is the place to be.

While the beach is one of the best places to unwind, planning what your family should wear to a beach photo session can be anything but stress-free. Family photos are meant to capture a group as a whole, while at the same time allowing each person to stand out in a unique way. So where do you even begin? When in doubt, you can count on these 10 tips on what to wear for a beach photo session:

1. Think soft… like the sand. Fabrics in soft colors and textures blend best with the beach atmosphere, and look nice with every type of complexion.

2. Keep patterns to a minimum. Don’t overdo patterns. Choose one pattern for someone to wear, and coordinate solid colors on others to match.

3. Go formal. For a formal look, keep things breezy with summer dresses for women and shorts for men. If men wear button-down shirts, they can undo the first two or three buttons for a tropical feel.

4. Be bold! Bright colors can make a totally fun statement. When going bold, avoid having anyone wear lighter colors, as the eye will naturally look to lightest colors first. A good rule of thumb is to wear either all light or all dark clothing.

5. Try some sunset style. Taking photos at sundown? Match the sky by wearing hues of orange, pink and lilac.

6. Avoid these big no-no’s. Don’t wear clothing that is too trendy or that has logos or text on it. This will date your photos. Remember that you will be sitting, kneeling and standing, so don’t wear anything too short or tight.

7. Put your toes in the sand. Bare feet are best for beach photo sessions! However, if someone in your party doesn’t like this idea, they can wear sandals or flat, light-colored shoes.

8. About that wind... The beach can be a windy place, so leave the ruffles and floppy collars at home. Women may want to wear an updo or bring something to pull their hair back to avoid messy hair. Don’t forget to bring a change of clothing for children who may get wet while playing on the beach.

9. Cover up. Wear clothing that hides tan lines, and don’t get sunburned before your session. Better yet, consider booking a session at the start of your vacation (before you get too much sun).

10. White always works. Wearing classic white not only looks timeless, but it serves as a light reflector. If everyone is wearing white, mix up textures so that each person looks unique.

Need more ideas on what to wear in beach family photos? Check out the gallery or contact me today!

Favorite Clothing Brands and Boutiques for Family or Children's Portraits:

AB Surf Boutique

Beaufort Proper


Dee Gee's


Haley and the Hound

J. Crew

Jame's Clothing Boutique

Janie & Jack

Lilly Pulitzer

Old Navy



Susan Yates Photography is located on the coast of eastern North Carolina. Specializing in newborn, maternity, family and children's portraits.


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  • Susan Yates

Spring has finally arrived and mini session dates are here! Available time slots for the sessions will be announced this weekend. If you are on the sign up list from the mini session announcement last month, you will have first choice of available times the day they're posted.

Session Details:

Dates: Saturday April 1st and Saturday April 8th *weather permitting*

Time: 8:00 am until 11:00 am

Location: TBD

Includes 20 minute session time and 5 edited downloadable images

$125 due at booking

What is a mini session?

A mini session is a shorter version of a standard custom portrait session. Mini sessions are usually offered once a year and are 20 minutes long. It's a great opportunity to get a few updated portraits to add to your collections. If you have a child that is shy and takes some time to warm up, a mini session might not be the best choice for you. The standard portrait sessions allow time for your child to become comfortable during a full photo session.

Mini sessions take place outdoors along the Crystal Coast in Morehead City, Beaufort or Atlantic Beach.

Have questions on whether or not a mini session is for you? Ready to book a session? Call or email me anytime!

I look forward to seeing you at your next portrait session!


Crystal Coast Photographer, Atlantic Beach Photographer, Emerald Isle Photographer, Beaufort Photographer, Beach Portrait Photographer

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©2020 Susan Yates Photography

Morehead City, NC

P. 252.646.3994

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