That depends on where on the Outer Banks you are staying, how many of you there are, how willing you are to travel, and if you want something special in your background of your family portraits, like a lighthouse or pier. If we pick a spot close to your place we'll likely meet at the house, make sure we have the supplies we need (hairbrush, water, etc.) and we'll caravan to the location together. If it's more than a few minutes run we'll give you directions and meet you there.
Why move? Besides the background scenery, some areas have softer sand, green grass, easier access, more (or fewer) people (it is a public beach), cabanas, tents, trucks, or if you're lucky, maybe some horses!
From North to South, here are some ideas and examples of where we can play.
Carova (4 wheel drive) - Some of our favorite family beach portraits are done here. Fine, soft sand, dune tops (in some places), wide flat beaches, even a chance at sighting the wild horses! Our favorite sections are from around MP 15 to 19.
Northern Beaches (Pine Island through Ocean Hill, Corolla) - Family pictures here revolve around the water's edge, great sand, fairly wide beaches with little dune access.
Whalehead Club - A great change from the bright light, hot sand, and east winds is the beautiful historic Whalehead Club. The great lawn of soft green grass makes access easy for everyone. Lots of beautiful places to play and shoot, from the Currituck Lighthouse in the background, the finger piers of the boat basin, great climbing trees for the kids (we take no responsibility, etc., etc.) the wonderful wooden bridge and sunset silhouettes on the sound make it a favorite portrait location.
Duck and Southern Shores - A great place to play volleyball, swim, lay out, fly kites, or sleep under your cabana. You can tell because that is what will be in the background in your pictures! Also a bunch of red sand (mini-pebbles) make it tough on the bottom of the people pile. Good place to come back to after your shoot, somewhere else....like, the park!
Main Beaches (Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head) - The beaches in Kitty Hawk have taken a hit from famous Outer Banks storms over the last few years, so check them out before we start there. Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head both can have some great spots for family pictures. Soft sand, wide beaches, the piers are all nice, but you are only a few minutes away from our favorite place to play, The Park! C'mon, get in the car, let's go play!
The Park - Only about 15 from KDH is our favorite place to do your family beach portraits. Away from all of the houses we've got wide beaches, elevated dunes, long views, greenery, and a lifeguard stand (in season) to play with, plus lots of parking, showers to rinse after the kids hit the water, bathrooms, and a place to change if you want to do a different outfit. Even a lighthouse across the street and a marina (great for wading) just a couple minutes away. No wonder we like it, you will too.
Hatteras Island - If you're staying down there you're already in luck! Depending on the neighborhood you'll find soft sand, w-i-d-e beaches, and a whole lot less crowd. Some areas aren't as sweet as others, but a short drive fixes that!
The cliff notes!
Northern Beaches - soft sand, little/no dune to work with puts us shooting by the water unless we go soundside or to the Whalehead Club.
Duck/Southern Shores - relatively crowded, NO dune shots, moving would be better.
Middle Beaches - lots of neighbors, good sand, slim chance of greenery. Let's go to the park!
The Park - if you want the best pictures, this is it!
Hatteras Island - check your location, could be great right outside your door.
And if anyone in your family has special needs, from mobility to emotional challenges, just give us a call and we'll be happy to find the best spot for your situation.
If your family is just too large, or doesn't want to move (Mom! We're on vacation!) we'll do our best right near where you are, and we'll all have a great time making your family portraits. But forgive us if we laugh just a little when we all walk out to a flat beach crowded with people, and chairs, and cabanas and umbrellas and someone says "We want pictures just like the ones in the park, but from right here."
PO Box 3278 Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948 - 252.480.2395
210 East Gallery Row Nags Head, NC 27959