I have been photographing Kiley and Molly for years now. Sometimes multiple times a year! I always love catching up with this family. They live in Illinois but are always so trusting of my eye and never turn down an adventure. I felt like they were a perfect example of a session at one of my favorite Indiana photo locations, the Indiana Dunes.
The beach is a great place for family photos because kids can just be kids. Sure, I will get some smile at the camera photos but I encourage more playing at these. Kids always have fun at beach sessions. They can explore, collect rocks, climb dunes and my favorite, run into the water. There is no pressure for kids to be something other than just kids at the beach. There are so many distractions that they can just be as I photograph around them. I love photos of toes covered in sand, hands holding up their discoveries and droplets of water on skin.
The Indiana Dunes are only about 45 minutes from the Illinois border. I highly recommend this location if you are looking for a session that feels like summer. There are a bunch of beaches but there are a few quieter ones that I prefer. These sessions are best to do very close to sunset. I understand this can be harder for little kids. Sunset time in the summer is very close to 9pm. If you can swing it though, you won’t regret it.
Another great time for a beach session is very early in the morning right after sunrise. The temperature is a little cooler, the sand isn’t as hot and the light is very airy. I always suggest this time for families with very little kids. They always seem to do the best in the morning.