So you’re all booked for your sunrise or sunset beach portrait session and now faced with the daunting task of picking the. perfect. look. The good news? You can do it! I’m here to help!
KEE IN MIND: This is not an exact formula nor is it a prescription of what you HAVE to wear. This post is meant to guide and inspire you, and hopefully take some of the stress off deciding what look (or looks!) to go with!
The most important thing to remember is to be comfortable and dress like yourself. If you are pulling at your dress or squeezing into something you wouldn’t normally wear – that discomfort will show in your images and photoshop can’t help us. Let the words clean, simple, relaxed and comfortable be your guide. We want to focus all of our time on your relationship and the connection you have with each other.
Choose clothing to match the mood of the location and wear something you might actually wear to that spot.
Solid colors and subtle patterns photograph best. There’s no risk of distracting from faces, joyful interactions or even the beautiful Hawaii scenery.
Ladies: look for soft, natural fabrics that drape and flow. Flow flow flow! This is key. Fabrics that move breathe life into moments and take images from good to stunning.
Choose colors that will pick up the beautiful colors of the ocean and sunset. Neutrals like soft pinks, cream, muted blues, soft greens and white all photograph extremely well, blending effortlessly with the natural elements rather than competing with them.
When in doubt select one patterned outfit for a single person and then pull colors from that pattern to dress your partner in solid colors that coordinate.
Forget shoes! Plan on being barefoot as shoes in the sand aren’t really practical and look a little odd. In fact, please don’t bring nice sandals to the beach! Sand is pretty good at getting everywhere.
Want to hop in the ocean at the end of your session? YES PLEASE! You can hop in wearing whatever you’d like or bring a suit to change into and take a real dip. I’ll be photographing the whole time. In the water images are magical and you won’t regret it.
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Need more inspiration?
I have dedicated an entire Pinterest Board with what to wear examples and tips.
Take a look at my previous couples sessions for ideas.
These looks feature soft, easy colors and fabrics that move. The coral nature tones are perfect for any beach photo spot. Both dresses have a fuller skirt which will move with the ocean breeze to help breathe life into photos. For guys, a natural and comfortable shirt in a light and neutral color will allow you to compliment your girl perfectly without competing with her vibes. And nice slacks or shorts in a color matching her dress is the right choice.
Soft colors are classic but don’t be afraid to go a little bolder and brighter if that feels more right for you! Try a deep red sexy red midi dress with some nice off the shoulder action or a coral wrap dress that swings and moves. Add a tropical touch to either look with a classic straw beach hat to accessorize!
When deciding what you and your partner should wear, ,make sure only one outfit is bold in color. This helps avoid any competing or clashing colors. On the left, the bright and tropical yellow really pops and the tropical earrings are the perfect accessory. The darker, gray tones for gentlemen perfectly matches the look without overpowering.
Don’t be afraid of florals and subtle patterns! Especially on a fabrics that flow. The outfit combo on the left is perfect for a bright, golden sunrise portrait session. The outfit on the right is a little bit darker and more dramatic, but just as beautiful! This is meant to show you that your color choices don’t always have to be bright. As long as you and your partner match in color balance, it will be a fantastic look!
Ladies, you can’t go wrong with classic white! Whether it’s a sweet wrap dress or a a longer dress draped in lace, you will look stunning on any beach or greenery location. Guys, remember to stay muted but use your outfit as a way to bring a little bit of color to the entire look.
Shades of soft blues are an easy choice for your Hawaii portrait session. These colors work beautifully with the colors of the ocean and sand. This is a more casual outfit collection for the gentlemen. On the left, he is wearing a classic and simple white shirt and some crisp navy blue shorts. On the right, gray colored denim with a patterned shirt matches perfectly with a short, fun summer dress keeps her look in step with the relaxed look of the rest of the family.
More white! Because it is just that perfect of a choice. If you want to be a bit more flirty and fun, a romper should be your go-to! (On the right) Add a floral crown in for epic level tropical goddess status. Or, go with a classic maxi style (again, make sure it flows!) and moves.
I’m not saying you need to look exactly like this.
Just like fingerprints, each couple is unique and have their own personality. This is meant to be used for inspiration and to help guide you. At the end of the day, it’s really not about the clothing. I’m going to be capturing your LOVE and that’s the most important thing. So don’t stress, just have fun with it!
Will you be vacationing on the Big Island of Hawaii soon? What better way to capture your time in Hawaii than with a sunset photo session on one of the beautiful beaches in the Waikoloa / Puako area. I’d love to capture memories you’ll cherish forever.