My son has a great friend from school, the boys enjoy spending time together, which means sitting near each other while playing minecraft against one another…(that’s another post, the life of 11 year old boys!) A while back Nick’s mom contacted me about doing some family portraits for them, she wanted portraits that were very casual, much like their family. Between her children’s sports, my children’s sports and our busy husbands finding the right time proved to be more difficult that we thought, until we realized that we were heading to the exact same spot for our spring break vacations. It was completely by chance we found out we would all be heading to Gulf Shores, Alabama for spring break, an area none of us had ever been before. It was then we knew we’d be able to capture the casual portraits she had been longing for and with little on our schedules time was on our side for once. Nancy inquired what they should wear, as many of my family portrait clients do. I pointed her in the direction of my Pinterest boards and took a few minutes to scour websites of stores we have near by to pull a few outfit ideas together for her. I often tell my moms to find one fun outfit for either herself or a daughter with a print to it, then pull the colors from that for the other members of the family. Nancy listened well and came up with great outfits for their portraits. We met on a Tuesday evening just as the sun was getting low in the horizon, perfect time for portraits. I had researched the area earlier in the day by walking to the far end of the beach and found the perfect location that offered some dunes, large driftwood and a lot of peace. Our session couldn’t have gone better, the kids played and interacted, mom and dad snuggled up to watch and the entire family came together for some stories and laughs. These are the types of sessions I love, completely casual. Mom and dad let me do my thing while they did theirs allowing the capture of many natural facial expressions. I know what you’re thinking, great beach pictures from a 1000 miles away… true, this beach is over a 1000 miles away, but lucky for us Lake Michigan and it’s beautiful beaches are only an hour or so away. I’ve often traveled to the beaches of Lake Michigan to capture portraits, if this is they type of session you envision for you family let me know and we can discuss the options and best beach locations. In the mean time here are some of my favorites from our session in Gulf Shores.