Where can we take our portraits?
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 the 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 may 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) has had some of our favorite family beach portraits done here. Fine, soft sand, dune tops (in some places), wide flat beaches, even a chance at seeing the wild horses! Our favorite sections are from around MP 15 to 19. For folks already staying in Carova there's no need to go anywhere else!
The Northern Beaches of Corolla (Pine Island through Ocean Hill) have the family pictures revolve around the water's edge, great sand, fairly wide beaches with little dune access. Some areas have more people but it's usually not too bad during our normal shoot time.
The Whalehead Club is a great change from the bright light, hot sand, and east winds on the beach itself. The beautiful historic Whalehead Club has a great lawn of soft green grass that makes access easy for everyone with lots of beautiful places to play and shoot. From the Currituck Lighthouse in the background, the docks 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. To see more examples about The Whalehead Club, check out our page about this great location.
Duck and Southern Shores are 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!
Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head have had recent renourishments to make the beaches wider, but they can be crowded and don't offer access to the dunes for additional scenery. The towns all have a pier or two which can be nice, but everyone else also thinks so. That means that in the peak of summer we may be waiting for other groups to walk or play through. While the piers are all nice, 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 minutes 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. For small groups we also have a few spots we know of if you're looking for something a bit different.
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." There's no private beaches in North Carolina, so everyone has to play nice with everyone else.