Everything You Need to Know About our Beach Sessions! 2019 Holden Beach Photographer

I can’t believe that our first beach session of the year is next Monday!  and we are already booked solid for several weeks of the summer!  I always feel it’s a good idea to write a post to put out all the information and answer questions!  There’s a lot of information, but if you have questions, they should all be answered in this post!


  • What time of year do you offer beach sessions?  We will shoot from March-November with our busiest times being June-August
  • What time of day do you shoot?  We only shoot 30 minutes before sunrise (which is super early at the beach) or 45 minutes before sunset.  Why? Because if you look around on our site, and love our pictures, it’s probably because of the soft light (you won’t see squinty eyes, harsh light or shadows) this is because we shoot at the absolute best time at the beach.   We understand that this can be a very hard time for our littlest clients, and in your welcome box, we send some ideas for helping with this, but with our years of experience, it’s even harder to photograph children and babies, when the sun is directly in their eyes.
  • What time is 30 min before sunrise?  During peak months, it can be as early as 5:30 am
  • What time is 30 min before sunset?  During peak months, we begin around 7:00-7:30


  • Sara-Anne, Owner and Lead Photographer
  • Chantel, Studio Manager
  • Gable, Associate Photographer


  • We have photographed over 250 families (from 2 people to 35 people) at the North Carolina and South Carolina beaches
  • We travel just about anywhere to capture our clients while vacationing at the beach.
  • Sara-Anne is one of Coastal Carolina’s leading photographers and we have photographed families from all over the nation and the world!
  • We are a full-service studio, meaning that we value the entire experience from the moment you contact us to the moment that you receive your beautiful products.  We help you along at every turn.  Whether its trying to figure out the perfect outfits or putting together a wall gallery of beautiful images from your session.  Our team is ready to help you!


  • Let’s Chat!  We love to begin the experience with a phone call!  We know, sometimes it’s just easier to send an email, but with our 10 minute chat, we can learn all your dreams and desires for your custom portrait session.  We can discuss your style, your goals, and how our studio can best serve you.  You can reach the studio at 919-597-0344 OR info@sara-annephotography.com
  • Booking: Is a simple process.  We just need to settle on a date that best fits your family’s needs.  We are available for sessions in the early evening, about 1 hour before sunset when the light is best.   The session fee is $150 for senior sessions and $200 for beach sessions that are local to our Holden Beach location or the coast.  Here is our booking form to get the ball rolling
  • Preparing for Your Session:  We send a welcome box to you once your session is booked.  This is filled with lots of information from what to wear guides, to our products to how to help prepare your kiddos for our session.
  • Reveal Session:  We will have you come back to the office to view your images and even some in print!  This is a great time, especially if you are a large family so you can all see your proofs together.  It’s also a great time to see all the products we offer as even in video or photographs, you can’t really see how gorgeous they are!  We know you want to spend as much time on the beach as possible, so this 1 hour can be scheduled at a time that’s best for your family (typically families want to do this first thing in the morning at the end of the week…come and grab coffee and enjoy seeing all your proofs)    The turn around time for this is so quick…imagine seeing your images the same week you had your session.  This makes us very unique among photographers at the coast!
  • Ordering:  If you are not local, and we can not make a reveal session work, then we will schedule a time to view the images online and do your ordering session virtually!


  • Session fee:  Is paid at the time of booking to hold your session date.  It’s $200 for families up to 10 people and increases as you ad family members.
  • Products: (Fine art prints, canvases, albums, and digital images) are all offered.  We are a product based studio, meaning our focus is on beautiful, luxury products for our clients to cherish for generations.  Because we offer custom work, there is no set fee or minimum purchase, you simply order what you wish.  All of our products are the best the industry offers and come with custom pricing depending on what you choose for your family, the size, the finish, the framing etc.  Everything is custom and curated to your family’s needs.  NO minimum purchase requirements, you simply order what you wish.  We’d love to chat with you more about our products and what we offer!


  • Where do you photograph?  :  We can shoot at your beach house or access if that is easiest, but sometimes we have some location suggestions that photograph better.  We like locations with dunes and wide beaches, and unfortunately, some of the erosion has caused the beaches to be short and that makes it difficult, especially at high tide.
  • What beaches do you shoot at? We are based out of Brunswick County (Oak Island, Holden, Ocean Isle, and Sunset)  however, we travel all up and down the coast from the Outer banks down to Isle of Palms


  • What if it rains?  A very popular and very good question.  We only book one session a day, so typically, if the weather calls for rain, we are able to dodge the storm by moving the session up a few hours.  If it’s a complete washout that day, we have built in rain days in our week (typically at the end of the week) NOTE:  Last year was the rainiest summer yet, but even in then, we only had to move 2 sessions to a different day altogether, and we got them all in (all 42)  Rain means a lot of communication between you and us, and it also may take some flexibility!
  • What do we wear? We have a guide that we send you with your welcome box, but if you need some inspiration, please hop on our Pinterest board for lots of ideas!  We do recommend that you coordinate some, but not matchy-matchy.  Long flowy dresses for women and girls are always pretty and photograph well and button-down shirts for men (polos cling and when it’s windy…unless men are VERY comfortable with their physique, they don’t love the way polo shirts look.  But we do send you all our tips and ideas so that you can be prepared
  • How long are the sessions?  We don’t have a set time limit, we only book one a day so we can give that client the full attention and flexability that we need.  The standard time is about 1 hour, but it really just depends on the size and age of your family.
  • Do we need to bring anything?  No, no props…we can incorporate anything that you wish, but  most of our clients just come ready
  • Can we do outfit changes? We really don’t suggest it, as the window of time shooting on the beach is so small, that it takes valuable time to switch clothes.
  • I’m worried about how my kiddos will act?  First, you are not alone…all moms of young kids worry and stress, but the one thing we can say is don’t!  You are at the beach, make it fun for them and they will be just fine!  We are pros at this and have never NOT gotten the shot…and your family won’t be the first!  So have a glass of wine, make sure they are fed and rested and all will be good!  PROMISE!!
  • Do you do different groupings?  Yes, if you are with your extended family, you will see many different groupings in your proof gallery!  Our goal is to make sure all the shots that you want are captured.  We are really good at moving through a session and getting what you want.
  • I’m ready to book, what’s the next step?  Hop over to our booking page and fill out the form, once we approve your time that you have chosen (please choose the last slot in the evening)

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