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.

Another wonderful senior session at the Whalehead Club!

Corolla gave us this storm cloud off in the distance for effect.
Soft shade flattered her as we started
Both bright and sweet, they made a perfect set for sibling portraits
The sea oats were at their best, soft tan to work with her golden hair
Her outfit was an excellent choice with the white clouds and soft blue sky
When the wind and waves work together we get sweet reflections.
I really like this brother and sister shot with the mirrors
She wore the breeze well.
The dune ridge was right for the sun setting behind Cassidy and Connor
The navy dress works well with her tan, and the location finger piers gave her a place to show her length
Connor’s height was easy to compose with the poles to stretch back on.
The shade of the trees let his eyes relax before the sun starts to mellow
Over in the shade her face showcases her natural beauty
Again, looking for the soft front light and sharp backlight found us this, Mom’s favorite of Connor.
So many great options at this location, the bridge with repeating framing elements and her beautiful smile.
Her curls and the light wrapped her in gold.
Before it gives up, the direct light over the sound is warm and flattering
From within the wooden bridge, many gorgeous variations on the light are there for the taking
Without the color you can see more of the shape and essence of the subject, and she is beautiful without color.
Connor’s sweet buddy was very patient with us throughout and deserved a little attention
As the sun kissed the water, Cassidy gazed with longing at the sight, a great reminder of what we have all the time.

A favorite spot, with a favorite family.

Shelley, Todd, Cooper, Jamison and sometimes Unkie have been frequent fliers with us on their summer vacations, playing on the beaches in Duck, around their pool and various spots on the Outer Banks, so something different was in order this year. They chose well, and off to the Whalehead Club in Corolla we rolled. It gave them a chance to get away from the bright light on the beach, gave me a chance to use more backlighting as we worked on through the evening. The bridge also lets me use framing elements, and sillhouettes over the water as the sun kisses the Currituck sound. Most of our clients are friends by the time we are through with a session, and those that we see year in and year out are good friends. The Haley family is high on that list, every year the boys show more personality, have more fun, and get some ideas of their own to add to our shoots. If you want to know why we are reluctant to do mini-sessions, 20 minute quickies, or assembly line stuff, Todd and Shelley are the reason why – because our family portrait customers deserve all of our attention along with all our skills, and why we do what we do.

Jamison started us off as he took possession of the little pier.
Whalehead Cub, Corolla North carolina
Cooper with an easy smile.
brothers on the water
Here on the water they are confined a bit as we shoot
wooden bridge, Whalehead club
Once we cleared the spiders we could use the arches as frames.
With a gap toothed grin, Cooper needed a couple with a serious side, which he really doesn’t have.
Todd always smiles, always.
Cooper is growing up.
Sunsets at the Whalehead club are beautiful, and every once in a while a bird graces us.
Currituck beach lighthouse
Cooper was anxious to climb, so we did.
Not to be outdone, he made sure he was further up than his little brother
Shelley, her brother, husband and two boys hit the sweet spot with the light and location
Shelley and “Unkie” popped one for their Mom to have.
Bet you never saw this before! LOL

Just a few sweet ones from the start of the season.

We have had an excellent batch of folks for Outer Banks beach portraits so far, good kids, nice weather (a few exceptions, of course), and really great locations to work with. These guys are just the tip of the iceberg, we have done over 100 awesome families so far – will yours be next?

Early morning works well for little ones, and these two proved that point. It’s been around ten years since we last shot the family, obviously things have changed since then, but they promise not to wait so long for the next time.
Kim and John show up in records from about 18 years ago with us, and several times since. Great to see them and how the kids have grown.
Early in the morning we found a place to shade from the bright light and let her smile light the shot.
With her I just stand back, encourage a bit, and she comes up with stuff like this all on her own.
With her two best men.
Kim’s boys hit Whalehead by the bridge for great opportunities with the sparkles on the water.
Under the bridge
Just walking and talking
For a card.
Amy and her husband were seriously proud of katie, and she had the kind of certainty you feel in her relationships that made her wonderful to work with.
Sometimes you ask someone to hug and they just get lost in each other, so you just grin and shoot.