location spotlight: Balboa Beach

When you think of taking portraits by the beach, you probably picture the sand, surf and sunset. But the beach is sooooo much more than that. One of my favorite locations to shoot at is the Balboa Beach area. From the wood paneled buildings to the brick walls and painted murals, there are plenty of places to give you a variety of backdrops for your pictures. Let me show you how...

It starts with a walk on the pier, where we can grab some amazing pictures of the sky and water, and incorporate the wooden texture.

Family Portraits a tBalboa PierFamily Portraits at Balboa PierFamily Portraits at Balboa Pier

Next, we'll wander the area and explore the various walkways and alleyways, which are FULL of awesome textures (which make fabulous backgrounds).

Family Portraits at Balboa PierFamily Portraits at Balboa PierFamily Portraits at Balboa Pier

If you're up for a stroll, I like to then head over to the boardwalk area. We can even stop for a snack at the Candy Shop or Ice Cream Parlor. I just found out that the carousel is no longer there, but the ferris wheel is still available, and makes for some FABULOUS (and colorful) pictures.

Family Portraits at Balboa Pier

If you've got small tykes, this might be a good time for a play-break... 5-10 minutes on the jungle gym keeps the little ones' energy from getting out of control before we move onto the next set of shots.

Family Portraits at Balboa Pier

And finally... we move to the surf & sand. I always save these pictures for last, just in case anyone gets too close to the water.

Family Portraits at Balboa Beach

Finish up with a walk along the beach, and the glow of the sunset upon your face!

Family Portraits at Balboa BeachFamily Portraits at Balboa Beach

Three tips to make the most of this location:

  1. Bring a towel/change of clothes for after your session, in case the waves get too close!  
  2. Be prepared to walk a bit, to utilize all this area has to offer.
  3. For some extra fun, bring some beach toys. Let's build some sandcastles. Let's fly a kite. Or sit on your favorite beach blanket and strum on your guitar. Let's play!

Wardrobe for this location:

  1. COLOR! The beach itself can sometimes seem a bit drab, so let's dress things up a bit with a POP of color when we can.
  2. Lots of layers. This lets you achieve several looks without the hassle of an actual outfit change. You can start by looking dressy and peel off a layer or two for a more casual look by the time you hit the sand.
  3. Make sure to wear clothes you can MOVE in. For the best photos possible, make sure you not only LOOK good, but are comfortable in your clothes. We'll be sitting, standing, jumping, and moving around quite a bit. And what's a trip to the beach without bringing a bit of the sand home with you?

Summer might officially be over, but it certainly doesn't feel like it here in sunny Southern California. Take advantage of the sun (and make distant relatives just a weeeee bit jealous). Book a session with me and show off your beach pictures with some new holiday cards! Check out the 2011 holiday card designs here.