Beach family photos at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park.

Richmond Beach Saltwater Park is located in Shoreline, Washington. This location has so much variety! Giant evergreen trees, a pedestrian bridge over train tracks and a beach full of driftwood to balance on and rocks to use for skipping. If you want a location that's in the city, with different backdrops, and plenty of space to run around and explore, this location is for you!

If it's a cloudy day, we can start our session anytime. The clouds act like a giant soft-box, providing flattering light in any and every direction. If it's a sunny day, sessions start one hour before sunset. Sessions would begin in the shade by the evergreen trees and end on the rocky shores, just as the sun is about to set. At the beach, the lower the sun is, the more flattering the light will be. Here are my tips to prepare for beach family photos!

Family sitting on driftwood, smiling for the camera, with a backdrop of grass, water and mountains

Dress for the weather!

When you are doing beach family photos, you can always expect the shoreline to be a few degrees cooler than inland. Carrying a backpack with a light cardigan (and snacks) can be the difference between a happy, warm and fed kid vs. a grumpy, cold, hungry kid. Also, packing spare clothes are helpful! Kids can be unpredictable. One moment, they're playing in the sand and the next, you blink and they're splashing in the water. Having a change of clothes ensures your child will be dry, warm and happy for our session. Also, wearing comfortable shoes is a must. You'll be walking on so many different surfaces at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park (grass, dirt, concrete, rocks and sand) that flat shoes will be the easiest to get around in.

Seattle family photographer capturing posed smiling family portrait.
Mother cuddling her daughter at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park.
Close up of father holding daughter's hand.

Build in buffers to arrive on time.

I'll admit, I used to rush to a lot of things with my kiddos. If it took 30 minutes to get somewhere, we would leave right at the 30 minute mark. This not only made me stressed out and frustrated about why my kids couldn't tie their shoes faster or get on their coats quicker, but also made my children irritable or feel bad. This was a lose-lose for everyone right?! What I've implemented in my own life now is to create buffer times. If it usually takes 10 minutes to get ready before heading out, I set an alarm so that we have 20 minutes to do it. That way, if we have any last minute issues (that require the bathroom, band-aides or outfit changes), we have the time to do it. Or if it takes 30 minutes to get somewhere, we leave 40 minutes beforehand to account for construction or traffic. These 10 extra glorious minutes, whether it is to get ready or to be on our way, have made our lives so much calmer! Do the same for your session. You'll arrive in a calmer, happier state of mind, ready to love on your family at your beach family photos.

Photographer captures family cuddling daughter on a windy day at the beach in Shoreline.
Daughter plays while parents cuddle at the beach.
Parents hold daughter's hand while she walks on driftwood in Shoreline.

Don't be afraid to play!

Our session will be child led. If they want to play with pinecones, walk on driftwood or need a few extra cuddles, we will do these things! Playing is what gives us genuine smiles. If your memory of our session is standing around stiff and smiling at the camera all day long, you might not want to do photos again...your child certainly won't! But if we play games, blow raspberries and speak words of affirmation, the memory of your beach family photos will be a positive, joy-filled one.

Family cuddles at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park.
Parents throw daughter into the air on the bridge in Shoreline.
Parents cuddle daughter at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park.

A few things about Richmond Beach Saltwater Park:

This location can get quite busy with beach combers and parties on summer week-ends. If you can, scheduling your beach family photos on a week-day means you'll have less crowds and more space to run and explore in. Richmond Beach Saltwater Park has a playground, a mix of paved and unpaved walkways, stairs to get to/from the beach and restrooms. It takes about 5 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the forested area and another 10 minutes to walk to the beach.

If it's a sunny day, the best time for beach family photos is roughly:

  • May: 7:15pm-8:15pm
  • June: 8pm-9pm
  • July: 8pm-9pm
  • August: 7:30pm-8:30pm
  • September: 6:45pm-7:45pm

It is my greatest honor and biggest compliment when you choose me to document your family's growth over time. To see this sweet girl's first birthday party or doljanchi, click here. If you liked these tips and would like to learn 10 amazing tips to photographing your children, please click here. Thanks so much for reading!

Seattle family photographer captures mother kissing daughter tenderly.
Candid moment of girl holding a pinecone and smiling at sunset.
Mother lovingly looks at daughter at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park.
Black and white posed family portrait captured by Seattle family photographer.