We LOVE big families!

Everybody has a challenge!

All of our customers (and all of us) have challenges. Some physical, some developmental or emotional, all deserving our best efforts to get them involved and enjoying the process of making portraits here at the beach. Some days the weather is a challenge for all of us as well. Years of getting to know what tools to bring to bear, how to relate to our clients, and where we can take them to make it easier for them to get a great background while staying on firm ground, or away from the water, or out of the gale effect how and where we construct a session. Many of our customers become friends and repeat every, or every other year and it gets better each time as the kids know what to expect and look forward to seeing us again. Sometimes we spend an hour or more looking for locations close to a customer where a wheelchair can make a straight transition to the beach, or where a beloved family member can sit comfortably with a beautiful scene behind them as we build a family portrait. Some of our customers will choose to drive for up to an hour to meet us at a special location where they can make their pictures. Frequently we will start a session at the house, using a grand staircase or other feature that allows even the most restricted folks to join in and then proceed to the beach with those that wish to finish their session and end up with fun water shots, silhouettes, or action shots before we run out of light and call it done. Shooters tries to never book another session right after yours, we want to get the kids used to us, comfortable with having us around and relaxed enough to let us capture the natural smile when their hearts show through. If you have special needs in your family, from wheelchair access to attention difficulties or spectrum disorders, let us know and we’ll try to find a way to give you the family portraits you always wanted, to hang on your walls and show with pride for decades. And if all else fails, we have Photoshop, lol.



Mobility is an issue for quite a few of our customers, Sherry needed a place with an ocean view but could not navigate loose sand, In addition, big winds had us pushed for a space with some shelter and we hunted for awhile before meeting them to have a fun session that fit her needs perfectly. They left us a sweet review, and we hope to see them again in a year or two!.
We always try to get the grands with the grandkids, and our clients always treasure these shots.
These ladies wanted to get a few shots together before hitting the sand.
Unable to navigate the soft sand, we found a great place to shoot their portraits.
Before we go to the beach where not everyone can go, we are happy to do some at the rental house.
Her court in attendance, this family owned the beach this day.
On a cool day at the beach, we found the right spot for a family without getting sandy or damp.
In addition to being smart and funny at every turn, this group had developmental and physical challenges so we found a place with no stairs and easy walk out to do the big group.
The queen of the scene was seated and we placed her family all round her chair.
Mom needed a seat so the crew brought one to the beach and we built a family around them.
Every year we shoot these guys and find different light and get to catch up while we make the latest round of family beach photos for them.
High up the dunes on the deck these guys found just what they wanted for their beachy portraits.
Off the beach and out of the wind.
A little family with big hearts.
Sometimes the challenge is to find a new and beautiful spot for returning clients like these friends who visit the beach together and always call us for the event.
Brother and best friend in one, these two were an absolute pleasure to shoot.
This guy was the center of everybody’s attention as we moved quickly before the rains came.
Another every year gang, we have established a link with the kids and get right into the fun stuff before the attention limits show up.
While the chair may not be best for the beach we found other spots to make beautiful family portraits.
John is one of the most expressive little guys we see every year, always a pleasure to work with this family.
Sometimes the family wants beach backgrounds without getting on the beach and we can usually find them a nice spot to start a session.
This whole family was amazing, happy people filled with even more joy when we got to playing in the water.

Little weddings filled with big love

Little weddings, small weddings, intimate ceremonies, no matter what you call them, they are some of our favorites.Surrounded by just a few close friends and family, everybody is part of the event. No one is there by accident, they are all called there by love for the couple they honor with their presence. For these weddings we can concentrate on the emotions, the details, the connections that make each one so unique.

Detail from beach wedding
Fran’s sand ceremony got everyone involved by scooping a small momento from the beach where they married.
Beautiful young flowergirl
Russell and Gioconda used family for their attendants
shorts make the suit for this wedding
Fun mix of traditional and unconventional formal wear for their beach wedding
a driftwood altar on the Outer banks
Aqua and white make for beautiful wedding colors
Oceanfront wedding with driftwood altar
At a small cottage court near Jeanettes pier, John and Frani take the nest step in their journey
uniting the family on a Kitty hawk beach
Since the couple and their family was bilingual they did the ceremony in two languages.
Nags Head wedding closeup
That driftwood made a great frame as John gets ready to say the big words with Jay Bowman
Friends for ever
She wasn’t letting go of her life grip on his hands
Wedding sign
Russell and Gioconda’s son first held the rings, then this sign during his parents ceremony
 firm grip on her love
She’s never letting go!
baby at the wedding
even the baby gets involved in their sand ceremony
Beach wedding happiness
Jamie and Josh were all smiles as the skies smiled on them after the ceremony
happy mature bride
After all those years of waiting, they are official, and on their way to a new life here on the Outer banks
bridesmaids on the beach
This wedding was hopping right after their beach wedding ceremony
Hilton gardens pierhouse
Kitty hawk pier gives shade and cool breezes after a sunny wedding
John and Frani used their kids as attendants for their beach wedding
beach portrait at wedding
Small weddings give us the chance to do some portraits, this one of John and Franis’ family
happy bride
When her sisters gave their toasts, Gioco was thrilled
under the pier
Hiding under the pier, a few private moments for the bride and groom on Kitty Hawk beach
one happy couple
Away from the family they find a moment of peace.
Kitty hawk Pier
Up on the pier is a great place to do some posed shots at your beach wedding

Mornings can be magic!

Some families, especially those with infants and toddlers, know that their best times don’t always occur at sunset. Others just want to have an early session so they can go about the day without worrying about getting back to the house, cleaning up, napping the little ones, or clock watching while they wait for an evening session, so they opt for an early morning session. Here are a few sweet ones from early in the season, early in the day. Is your family ready to play in the sunrise?

Family beach pictures at sunrise
Lauren, Stephen and the new guy in the warm glow of sunrise
girl splashing at the beach
Late in a shoot, we can relax and let the kids fly, and it can make some very sweet shots
Family on the beach
Lauren and her two favorite men sharing a moment in the early morning
Boys n the Outer banks beach.
Nobody has the same bond as brothers, and it starts early
Women at the beach
Backlighting in the morning gives that special look to the water
running on the beach
We like to do some of the guys alone, and later the girls when we can. The action helps everybody get into the process
bright morning pictures at the beach.
The little man gets a lift as the waves tickle his feet on the North Carolina beach
Ladies on the beach in soft light
We like to get any combination in the family while we can, and I’m glad we didn’t miss this one
couple at the beach
We did her seniors a few years ago, now she brings a new love into her life
Little girl beach picture
Getting away from the sun for a minute, Becca’s face lit up by itself.
Toddler at the beach
While we pause for a break, this guy gave me the “uh,huh” look.
Nags Head beach family portrait
Some mornings give a warm glow that looks great on newborns
Corolla lighthouse with girls
At the Whalehead Club in Corolla, the trees are a major attraction to those who want something different.
Toddler portrait at the beach
Happy boys come from happy families
Strolling the Corolla beach in the early morning
Sometimes days without strong sun make for easy smiles for the kids.
Rainbow and family beach portrait
Lucky enough to be here, we got the extra bonus of a rainbow right after a shower at sunrise
Senior girl at the beach
Next year we get to do Cass’s senior portraits, this year it was part of the family beach pictures

What editing does for your portraits!

After a session on the beach we know the job of making your portraits look great has just begun. The fun part, getting to meet your family, playing with the kids, directing traffic,  and helping you look your best out there is behind us and now the second part of our job is starting. We have hours ahead of cropping, correcting color, brightness, and contrast, punching up that reflection, taming highlights, opening shadows on anywhere from 50 or 60 images to sometimes 100 or more if the kids were having a good time and showing themselves off, all before we format the images and post them to your gallery for you to view and enjoy. This is all a part of what you should expect from a professional portrait photographer. We are thankful for the time and investment you made in trusting us for your portraits, and we always hope to repay that by putting our time, effort and skills into editing your family portraits so you look your best. Not every studio does that, some will be happy to grab your images from the camera, burn you a disc and send you on your way. Others will edit and go even further to retouch every image they shoot and of course have to build this into the price you pay for your session. In this entry we will show you the difference between edited and unedited images from some recent sessions. If you like what you see in the “after” portraits, be sure and call us for your next sitting and see what we can do for you!

Local color correction applied,

Naturally beautiful, bringing out her warm skin and hair color along with the water gilds the lily.

After the sun sets, the color cools and desaturates, editing recovers skin tones.

Editing enhanced his color as well as highlighting the rim light that late afternoon sun brings
open shade is very cool and low in contrast and saturation.
On a dreary day, after the little bit of sun has gone, use of fill flash and then editing gave them a warm healthy glow

Some qualities of early, somewhat cloudy light are great, the softness, the open eyes it allows, but not the color so much. Compare this with the unedited version to see how we help the skin tones as well as the sky and background

That late afternoon backlighting is nice, but off color, so in this one the little lady is helped by color and contrast correction.

The light angle gave us soft light to wrap her in, but still a bit cool and blue, so tweaking the color temperature and saturation levels brought her to life