One of the questions I’m often asked when taking picture at the beach is whether it is better to do a sunrise session, or sunset. The answer is more a matter of personal preference, unless you have small children.
1. The beach is less crowded, which means more open space. If you wake up early, you won’t have to struggle to find an empty stretch of beach.
2. The skies are typically clearer and there is less haze (unless it’s a foggy morning).
3. The temperature is cooler. In Corpus Christi, it can get pretty hot. And if the sun is shining all day, the ambient heat off the sand in the evening makes for a toasty session.
4. Your little ones are most likely early birds, which means in the mornings they are already up. If you try getting them to be a part of family pictures in the evening, they may be out of sorts from a long day of play. Even if they are happy at home in the evening, getting them to cooperate for a photographer they don’t know may be somewhat taxing.
5. The sun comes up over the water, so if you want the actual sun over the water in the image, that’s sunrise here in Corpus Christi.
As for you night owls, there are just as many advantages to booking your session an hour before the sun is about to set.
1. Throughout the session, the sky will be changing colors. This means you get a variety of pictures that look totally different from one another because sunsets are a continuous light and color changing event.
2. There is a chance you might get golden hour. If you don’t know what this, it often happens an hour or two before the sun is about to set and it’s just when the sky casts this beautiful golden array which is very flattering for people.
3. Due to cooler morning temperatures, there can be fog in the morning. Evening has a better chance of not having fog.
4. You don’t have to wake up early. Who doesn’t like sleeping in? You can go about your day and have more time to prepare and get ready before you have to be at the beach, which sounds like a convincing reason to want to book in the evening!
Ultimately, it is up to you and your family. There are pros and cons to both hours of the day, but it really comes down to what you want, your family, and what fits best in your schedule!
1. Be sure to schedule session toward the beginning of your vacation or at your earliest availability.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be at the beach frequently during your vacation. You're off of work and on vacation, you should enjoy yourself, relax and do as you please. But if you're interested in doing a portrait beach session you should consider booking your shoot at the beginning of your vacation, or at earliest convenience. This is because tan lines and sun burns are not optimal for pictures. Another reason to book in the beginning is in case of rescheduling, for instance if there is rain and the weather isn't cooperating, you'll want time to make sure you can do it another day.
2. Schedule session in the morning or in the evening.
if you've ever had professional pictures taken, I'm sure you've heard that the best time of day to photograph pictures at the beach is an hour before sunrise, or an hour before sunset. The sun isn't as harsh at these hours of the day and is more flattering for people. And at WetSilver we always cater to the clientele and want to make sure that YOU are happy.
3. Decide what you want to do with your outfits
We recommend planning your outfits ahead of time and picking out a color scheme for all of you to wear and make the colors complimentary to each other. For instance ladies could wear different shades of coral or pink and the guys could wear shades of teal. Ladies, things to keep in mind when deciding your outfit is to not wear thin maxi dresses or puffy blouses or sweaters. The maxi dresses can cling to the body and shape you in an unflattering way. Another thing to put in your brain space is when it is the day of the pictures, you and your family will have to decide if you want to go with or without shoes. Some people with shoes, and some people without does not look good in pictures.
4. What to do with your hair
In corpus Christi its common that it is windy and humid. So ladies, to avoid trying o fix your hair the whole time during photos you should bring hair ties, clips, bobby pins etc.. Keep in mind to put too much hairspray in as well. If you want the perfect wind blown hair and look like you just came out of a magazine, avoid hairspray. It will make your locks look stiff which is not promising for beach photos.
5. Think ahead when it comes to the little's
If you have little kids you'll probably realize that they might be out of sorts when it comes to having their picture taken and being directed by someone they don't even know. Kids may not be willing to cooperate when having their picture taken, but that's why you should consider bringing snacks; like jelly beans. This is so that it gives the little's an incentive to behave appropriately. The next thing to highly considerate is taking your pictures in the morning before sunrise with little kids. You will want to do this because kids naturally wake up early, and in the evenings is their bedtime, so if you were to try and take pictures at that hour, they will be more unlikely to behave and be cranky and tired in all of their pictures. and no one wants a crying baby in their photos, which why we suggest scheduling your session an hour before sunrise.
6. Be prepared to have a great experience
Remember to not be overwhelmed or anxious before hand, just be yourself and have fun. The session at most will last an hour and it's guaranteed that everyone will have a positive experience. We will want to move quickly and strategically and get all of the group pictures, individual families, couple photos, siblings, and and any other groupings you can think of. At the end if there is still time, is when you can jump in to say if there are any other pictures or candids you may want.
Blog Post by Madison Schaney
Booking your portrait session is the first step, and for many, even that feels like a chore. For most of us, it means looking at not only our own calendar, but the calendars of each family member, and finding a date that not only works for the whole family, but also lines up with the photographer’s calendar.
Being a photographer means one less step… I schedule for a date and time that I have available and just put the kids’ calendars on hold. Actually, as a photographer, I’m always concerned that I’m going to forget to schedule yearly professional portraits of my own children! School picture time reminds me… The minute that “School Picture Day” announcement comes home, I choose a date!
Again, though… setting the date is only the first step.
As a mother, I have all of these grand pictures in my head – from expressions to outfits to locations! Then reality steps in… I’ve done this enough to know to let go of ALL of that. And that’s when the fun begins.
What to wear? Oh, it’s fun at my house…
“Hey kids, pick two outfits you would want to wear for pictures! Girls, preferably dresses.”
Seriously… this is how I do it. Then I see what everyone has selected. More often than not, I can make it work with one of the outfits they’ve chosen. Occasionally, I realize we need to go shopping, whether from my own closet, or actual shopping. And every once in a while, I have to ask one of them to find a different shirt… I show them what the others will be wearing and simply ask them to find something that doesn’t clash. My youngest is currently four and my oldest is thirteen. They understand. When they were younger, we would often work around the youngest one’s choices.
Now… as OCD as I tend to be, I’ve learned to let go and let them showcase their OWN personalities. It does several things… it makes them happier to participate, it reminds me of who they are (were, if I’m looking back), and actually ends of making the portraits more dynamic.
Then we play. I’m a fan of collages of images for my wall. Something that has pictures of them smiling AND pictures of them playing. Pictures that make me smile when I see them. Pictures that make my children take pause and enjoy staring at them and remembering, often a slight smile playing at the corners of their mouths.
And this is truly what it’s all about. Making memories. Capturing memories. Because while the days are sometimes long, the years are always so short.
Look at your calendar, then give me a call to book: 361-445-4661 ~Lori
Corpus Christi has a lot of fun things to do – some can be a bit pricey, while others are absolutely FREE! You can look online and see all the city of Corpus has to offer, but I want to share the things that I KNOW to be a lot of fun, and aren’t just hype and fanfare.
The number one (FREE) thing on my list is a huge draw for most – the beach! Padre Island National Seashore is amazing! With miles and miles of beautiful beach and water that gets beautifully warm in the summer, you can’t beat this destination. My own kids LOVE playing in the sand and getting their feet wet in the ocean, even when it’s cold outside. Commonly you will see pelicans fishing and flying in formation and sea gulls trying to snatch your snacks. Less common, you might see sting rays cruising the edge of the water or a sea turtle heading across the sand.
Speaking of the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles… this is another MUST if they happen to be releasing hatchlings while you’re visiting (if you’re a local, keep an eye on the updates – they announce when the sea turtle releases will be happening). Nesting season is typically April to September. I’ve taken my kids to this and they LOVED it! Imaging seeing a WHOLE bunch of tiny baby sea turtles trying to scramble their way to the water. It is phenomenal! You DO have to get everyone up early and out the door – it’s half an hour from the mainland and the release is at sunrise. But amazing, FREE, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
As long as we’re on the subject of aquatic wildlife… the Texas State Aquarium is a must see. It is amazing! From the dolphin show to the shark tanks that you can walk underneath, it is an extraordinary aquarium and well worth the money (it’s spendy – expect that!). If it’s summer, there is also a really cool splash park at the end that even the big kids enjoy! Make sure to have everyone wear their swimsuits under their clothes and have towels waiting at your vehicle.
If you’re looking for another FREE attraction, we really enjoy the Art Center! Beautiful galleries and free to visit, you can spend a quiet afternoon touring. AND… see something you like? It’s probably for sale. This place has the feel of a museum, but the artists are mostly local and the work is outstanding and offered for sale. The Art Center is a non-profit and often has weekday and weekend FREE art activities for families in the summer. It’s DEFINITELY worth checking out!
If the weather is nice and you’re looking to spend the morning or afternoon outside, then I highly recommend the South Texas Botanical Gardens. The entry fee is reasonable and the gardens are beautifully maintained. They have peaceful trails, a playground, an amazing butterfly exhibit, and much more! Bring your camera and take pictures of your kids in this scenic wonderland!
Finally, one of our family favorites is the Oso Wetlands Preserve – with great hiking trails and overlooks, an education center, and a REALLY COOL playground, it’s a staple for our family. There are acres of paths and plenty of wildlife to spot. And the learning center has some fun exhibits – all interactive. In fact, if you head into the learning center before your hike, you can borrow binoculars! It’s a really fantastic place and, incredibly, it’s also FREE!!!
As a mother of four, I’m always on the lookout for things to do to keep my kids well-rounded and entertained. These are definitely some of our favorites!
I’ve included links for the places I’ve mentioned – each one will give you all the information you need to plan your afternoon, or if you’re coming from out of town, your visit.
And here’s a shameless plug… if you fall in love with one of the places and would like your family portraits taken there, get in touch! On-location family sessions are the BEST :D
For more information on the places mentioned in the blog:
For more on Padre Island National Seashore go to https://www.nps.gov/pais/index.htm
For more on the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles go to https://www.nps.gov/pais/learn/nature/kridley.htm
For more on the Texas State Aquarium go to https://www.texasstateaquarium.org/
For more on The Art Center of Corpus Christi go to https://www.artcentercc.org/
For more on the South Texas Botanical Gardens go to http://www.stxbot.org/
We all want beautiful images and we want them to be in focus. Sometimes it’s not a focusing issue so much as not holding your camera steady.
So how do you keep your camera steady? What if you have shaky hands? Well, it truly is all in how you hold it.
Let’s talk about real cameras with lenses.
First things first, you need to keep the camera braced. I’ve seen many people hold a camera on both sides. This does not support the camera. You need to keep your right hand on the side of the camera and your fingers on the buttons. But your left hand needs to support your camera. Place it under the lens to support not only the camera, but the lens.
Secondly, you need to brace yourself. Think of yourself as a human tripod – your job is to support the camera and keep it steady. You can do that if your body isn’t braced. So think about how best to brace your body.
These things methods will help you hold your camera and your body steady, but there are a few additional things you can do to ensure you don’t shake the camera when you press the shutter release (the “picture taking button”).
First, check your breathing. For a steady trigger finger, you snap the shot on your exhale. Really want to get it perfect? Breath in, breath out. Click. Pay attention to your breathing and when you breathe out and stop, right before inhaling… THAT is when you snap the picture.
Story time: When I was in the Army, we had to learn the fine art of weaponry. I’d been shooting guns my whole life, so I thought I knew something. Nope. One of the first things they did was to separate those who grew up with guns from first timers. The first timers were easier to teach, you see. No bad habits to break.
You’ll find this is true with photography, or anything you’ve done before, but are trying now to learn best practices. So be patient with yourself.
Oh, and when do you pull the trigger on a gun? Same as a camera: when you breathe out and your breathing pauses.
Finally, what if the wind is blowing hard, you’re tired, or some other element is making all of this difficult? Brace yourself against a wall, set your camera on a ledge, of find some other immobile object to help steady your situation. Sometimes is helps to kneel down on one knee and brace your camera arm (left arm) on the other knee.
How long has it been since you’ve updated your headshot? More than two years? Then it has been too long! If it has been less than two years, but your appearance has significantly changed, then you still need to update. We want people to recognize us as we are NOW – not what we looked like years ago.
If you’ve changed your hair style or color, changed your facial hair, lost or gained more than ten pounds, or any other thing that dramatically effects your ability to be easily recognized, then it’s time to get a new headshot.
Your headshot is your introduction. It should look like you on your best day, but it still needs to look like who you are NOW, not who you were five years ago.
Want to know more? Take a look!
You’ve been preparing for months! You booked a portrait session, you planned the outfits for your entire family, you had your portrait session and now you are super excited about seeing your images! Now what? What is your plan for those images?
If you’re like many people, you know it’s time for updated pictures of you and your family. You don’t want to miss those milestones and you value portraits – you love having professional images taken that wow you every time you look at them. But in this modern age, what do you do with the images?
Many people hire a photographer and just want digitals. But why? So they can sit in a drawer or a safe on a USB? What’s the point of that? The purpose of an image is to view it – to look at it and remember, to feel, to enjoy.
When I was a child, we had so many picture albums! My siblings and I used to sit together, looking through them, asking our parents about people in the pictures, listening to the stories of those people, or the stories of us. Those pictures opened the door for those stories. How many of you are giving your own children that experience?
In the days of film, there was only one way to see your pictures: you printed them. And once printed, they needed to be stored. Hence, the album. But folks, it’s not too late! And albums have come a long way! Albums are but one of the many ways of seeing your images.
My favorite way to view images is by making them into wall art. I LOVE providing my clients with beautifully matted, framed images of their families. I love knowing that they will see that image every time they walk into the room. As your children grow older, you will see them as they were in that moment. And you’ll have memories. And you’ll share those memories as they occur.
So, I got an email from MCP Actions and it was like a blast from the past! This company has been around a long time and it’s nice to know they’re still thriving. Some of the first actions I used were some of theirs and that was over a decade ago!
Now I’m a full time professional photographer and I make my own actions and sell them. I collect images I take of skies and horizons and I make my own overlays. I’ve learned so much and have come such a long way… and it benefits my business, but it comes with few accolades.
But I got an email that said, “You have a great eye and your photos are gorgeous! We would love to see what you can do with this preset on some of your upcoming shots!”
They gave me a choice of presets or overlays. I chose some really cool overlays – the “MCP Sunshine Overlays.” (If you're interested, you can purchase them HERE) I don’t offer anything like that, so it seemed like a fun choice and a creative thing to play with. I was right! Really cool!
It’s funny… I RARELY use overlays in my work. And the only time I use sky overlays is when our skies look bland, which is rare in South Texas. But playing with these fed my creativity. It reminded me that there are so many options for each image… the outcomes are limitless!
Want to see some before and after images using some of the overlays? I made a cool video, and there is even a bit of a tutorial toward the end.
I spend a lot of time talking to seniors and getting to know them. Most are excited about graduation and wonder what the world has in store for them. For many, graduation will be their release into the world, often the first time they’ve been living on their own.
I love capturing images that will remind them of their journey, but I love hearing about their thoughts concerning the road ahead. I listen. Some things they tell me, and other things become clear without having to be said aloud.
Are you wondering what to give your senior for graduation? Maybe I can help…
Sometimes you know EXACTLY the right thing – it’s something they’ve been needing or wanting and maybe you’ve already purchased it and have it waiting. If you DON’T know what to get your graduate, then you’re in the majority.
The needs of young adults vary, as do their interests. But here is a list of the top five, guaranteed-to-please graduation gifts!
If you found value in this article, please leave me a comment. Thank you so much for reading!
"Lori is an exceptional photographer, and was my first choice for capturing images of my son for his senior pictures!! She made him feel at ease immediately, traveled to the locations he was interested in, and captured who he is perfectly!" ~ Tonia R.
Lori Stead is a fine art portrait photographer in Corpus Christi, TX. She enjoys creating maternity, newborn, seniors, couples, family, children, and boudoir portraits. She is also a wife, mother of four, and adventurer.