April 22, 2024

beach family portraits


Is there anything more stressful than trying to wrangle your kids into their nice clothes and then get yourself ready, then get into the car with everyone still intact stain free and expect everyone to still be nice to each other and clean and fresh?! Trust me… I get it! And I only have one kid!

But I promise you, family photos do not have to be stressful or suck the life out of you or cause you more anxiety! They can be fun and exciting and something to actually look forward to! They can be AMAZING and they can bring you and your family closer together! I am here to help you and I promise you there exists a place where you can enjoy the process and the results!

Let me be your guide!

First, not every day is going to be perfect so we need to let go of the need for perfection! Both of us: photographer’s too!

Perfection is boring anyway! The memories that we are going to share and the memories that will be made with your family: those will be something that goes beyond the definition of perfect and something you will cherish for the rest of your lives! So as a family photographer who has been capturing and freezing memories for over 12 years now, let me share some of my best tips and advice to make your next family session the biggest success (and more importantly FUN and enjoyable for everyone!)

beach family session by brooke tucker photography
  1. Choose a photographer that feels like a friend!

Or at least one that makes you feel so comfortable that it feels like a friend is there with you! You want your photographer to make you feel comfortable both in front of the camera and behind the camera! You should be able to talk to them and bring up absolutely anything and if that’s not the case… you need to find one that does! When you are planning your family’s photography session the experience is EVERYTHING! It matters just as much as the actual portfolio of the photographer! You may love their images online but if you don’t match up together personality wise… you won’t get those same photos that you love so much! A high quality photographer is worth their weight in gold and you are investing in high quality memories! So make sure you not only do your research but also get on the phone with them and chat! If you have a wild kiddo (like mine) make sure they have experience working with little ones! When your photographer takes the time to truly get to know you and your family, that is when the true magic and art of capturing connections and emotional storytelling happens! You want someone that you could see yourself hanging out with or one that you can feel like your kids will enjoy being around! This is the exact reason I make it a point to get on the phone with my clients! If you don’t feel comfortable after chatting on the phone with your photographer… you won’t feel comfortable in front of their camera!


So many times when I am chatting with my clients, we talk about trends and what they “think” they need to do or wear. But the truth is beautiful images come from when you feel confident! If you don’t feel comfortable in something or somewhere, it will show! If you are NOT a dress person… we need to find other options. Here’s a spoiler alert… I will almost always suggest a dress to my clients (even though I’m not a dress person either). They tend to flatter everyone and they always look amazing in pictures! However… I don’t always wear a dress in mine and that’s perfectly FINE! These are your images and if you are comfortable and confident… your images will be amazing! I work hard to provide you with a personalized styling guide based on every kind of budget. You might also be surprised to find out that the majority of my clients go and get their hair and make-up done professionally. This takes the stress out of the “getting yourself ready” part! There is just something about taking a moment as a mom for yourself to get a bit pampered. To take a step out of the “MOOOMMMM… can I have a snack” or someone took this, or someone did that, or “I can’t find this” chaos and just have someone else take care of you for a few minutes! To take the crumbs of whatever the kids last ate and snuggled you with (although trust me… I miss those days) and actually give you time to show up as you amazing mama because we are always both those people! I have some amazing women that I work with who take great care of my clients when it comes to hair and makeup!

You’ve already picked out everyone’s outfits and gotten everything ready and prepped! But if that’s not your thing… that’s great too! Confidence is key for EVERYONE in the family and we will work together to make sure everyone feels amazing when they show up!

Like I said before… In my own photos I’ve had hair and makeup done and worn the fanciest of dresses! Those images are framed and in gallery walls in my home! I’ve also worn shorts and a hoodie with my hair in a tinkerbell bun (which if you know me, that’s fitting!) and those are also in frames around my home! Confidence shines through when you feel most like you and are comfortable!


If you had asked me about this a few years ago, this would not be on my list but we grow and change and we learn! There is a reason neutral colors show up in a lot of family photos and it’s because it is timeless! What do I mean by timeless: in a few years from now it will still be hanging on your walls. Neutral colors age well, they don’t come and go with trends! They also go with the seasons. It’s a little funny to walk into someone’s home and see red and green holiday colors in August! When someone often thinks of neutral colors they might think of whites, grays and browns but blues, greens, rusts, lilac purples all of those can be included as well! We live in the perfect area for neutrals if you think about it: the beach has a perfect neutral palette! If you aren’t a fan of neutral colors that is OK too! A pop of color is always fun and it goes back to confidence. I send out a questionnaire to my clients along with their styling guide and one of the main questions is what is going to go with their home! What do you want to use these images for? If you want to display them around your home then let’s think about what might look good on those walls and go from there!


I can’t stress this enough! This should be FUN! This is a chance to celebrate and play with your loved ones. It’s should be one giant play date for you so hype it up with your kids! If you are excited then they will be excited (especially if they are little). If they are older and need some incentives, I am not above offering a little extra buy in! In my family, we make a true date out of it! We decide together where we want to eat after (do we go out someplace new or do we want to pick up pizza on the way home and maybe watch a new movie!). Do we get ice cream after?! Is there something special after the session you can do as a family to celebrate?! I have had a few clients that know me well enough now that their biggest treat for beach sessions is knowing that at the end they get to play one of our favorite games “come and get me” which for them means running into the ocean… with their GOOD CLOTHES ON! It’s the biggest deal to them and we all laugh and giggle and I will do it over and over and over again with them even after the sun goes down and we can’t shoot anymore because that’s their favorite part and their treat! Sometimes it’s just the little things that delight our children and if we can talk about it and make realistic goals and promises… that’s all it takes! **My only suggestion or tip is that bribes of candy during the session don’t always pan out the way you hope sometimes! I’ve seen it backfire and while we can recover with play and time… it’s always better to have a plan for fun things after the session!


Welcome to the thunder dome! Actually I’m just kidding it’s nothing like the thunder dome, its just chaotic and that is the way it is supposed to be! It’s the way I LOVE it truthfully! The best advice I can give you from one mom to the other is to leave your expectations of perfect or calm in the car because it’s going to get wild and crazy and like I tell you in on the phone… we shoot until the sun goes down or YOU get tired of my craziness! I’m here to capture your lives as there are, not how picture perfect you would like them to be! Years from now you don’t want to see that anyway! You want to remember how the kids held on to you so tightly, or how they looked at each other with those silly faces! You will want to remember how you ran around with them and played and trust me they will want to see that when they look back and remember the old days when they were young. Your want your photographer to capture the moments of connection between you and that happens when you are actually in the moment, enjoying this season of life because it truly does go by so fast.


Which brings me to this last piece of advice…. trust your photographer! Let go of the control that we so often hold on to because we are moms, we run the ship! But trust yourself here… you’ve done your research, you’ve chatted and made sure that you are completely comfortable with this person you are allowing into your family! So when you show up to this session, know that you have done the work and you can let go for this hour or 30 minutes. This is your time right now to just completely BE IN THIS MOMENT and play! Your photographer has got you! I always tell my parents that from the moment they get out of the car until the session is over… they are off duty! They don’t have to worry about behavior (unless someone is actively trying to harm someone else) they don’t have to worry about bad moods… I’ve got all of that covered! They just get to be with their family and play! If you are relaxed and at east mama, the rest of the family will follow!

Will your family session be perfect and smooth sailing? Probably not! Will you have fun… absolutely! Will you have beautiful and meaningful images that you will cherish for years to come… 100 percent! Will you be a little less stressed if you follow these tips? Gosh I hope so! After years of shooting families and also having my own sessions done…. these are my go to tips and they have helped me and others feel more confident and more relaxed each and every time!

I sure hope they do the same for you! If you are looking for a few more download the guide on top 5 tips for your next family portrait on my website (or at the bottom of the page) under resources!

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ABOUT brooke










FROM THE journal



      top 5 tips for           best family        photos

Everyone wants photos that are timeless, magical, joyful and purely THEM!  Photos that not only stand up to the test of time, but when you look back on them you will say YES!! This was us!  This was our lives: beautiful, silly, chaotic and wonderful!  I can help you get that!  Check out my tips on how to get the best family photos!   And then maybe schedule a session!


The family session guide for moms

the importance of play in your family session