Your questions asked & answered!
How experienced are you?
Shannon Frazier, owner and lead photographer of Orange Beach Family Photography, has been visiting and photographing the beautiful gulf coast ever since she was a teenager. After marrying her high-school sweetheart in 1992, Shannon moved her growing family to the beaches both she and her husband had adored for ages. She has been professionally capturing the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach photography landscape for over 20 years.
Shannon and her team of Orange Beach Photographers are sanctioned by the state of Alabama to legally shoot in the Gulf State Park and proudly display a state-issued photography pass to each session. Orange Beach Family Photography accommodates hundreds of local and visiting families each year and are always adding new skills to their trade to be the best photographers they can be.
Do your photographers live and work in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach?
All of our Gulf Shores & Orange Beach photographers live and work locally. Living at the beach offers an ever changing photography landscape where our photographers thrive meeting new people and greeting returning clients like part of the family. Our photographers may have to walk to work a bit, but we think the beach isn't a bad office alternative (and who can beat that beach view?).
What makes us the best choice for your family?
In addition to years of experience and a combined total of thousands of clients, our professional team of family beach photographers only uses the highest quality professional equipment. Each of our Gulf Shores & Orange Beach photographers are armed with top of the line Nikon cameras complete with a multitude of interchangeable lenses and external fill-lash. We take natural light into careful consideration during each session and prefer to use fill flash when necessary for optimal illumination of subjects. Using fill-flash also allows us to stay later on the beach and have the opportunity to capture your family in front of a gorgeous sunset sky.
We take great care using metering techniques in Manual mode (never any camera automated presets) to achieve the desired effects on each RAW image. Our images are only shot as RAW files to keep as much information in your images as possible. This style allows you to be able to print and enjoy your pictures in a greater variety of sizes without having to worry about grainy noise ruining that perfect shot.
We prefer to use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop to help enhance your photographs. Once your photographs have been uploaded into our professional editing software, we review each one to select the best of the best. This includes poses you may have requested, candid shots, and formal family poses. After the duplicates and unflattering pictures/poses have been discarded, we pour our heart and souls into crafting the perfect edited photographs your family is sure to love.
What kind of editing do you offer?
Our intensive editing process is a labor of love. We take the time to review each and every photo to ensure we deliver the best possible pictures. Because of this, you can typically expect a 2-week turnaround for your completed photos (we will give you a more exact idea while on the beach with you). We believe deleting unwanted background objects and other obviously detracting/distracting aspects are necessary to create the best photos for your group and are willing to take the extra step to make your photos the best they can be.
We enhance each photo by adjusting standard professional elements such as color, contrast, and highlights. Whenever possible, we eliminate unwanted background objects, reduce or remove hair fly-aways, reduce unsightly sandy patches on skin, lessen obvious pimples and blemishes, reduce perspiration and water spots, and more. Finally, we hand-pick certain images and often add special artistic touches to chosen poses such as black and white, sepia, watercolor, and other special effects.
Click below for before & after examples of our artistic editing process with actual beach clients!
How should we prepare for our beach photography session?
This is one of the questions we receive most frequently. To help your family fully prepare for your next beach photography session, our experienced Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Family Photographers have compiled a do's and don'ts checklist:
Reduce your chances of burning at the beach or pool by seeking shade and reapplying sunblock liberally in all exposed areas to avoid unsightly tan lines, painful sunburn redness, hat lines, or "raccoon eye" marks from sunglasses.
-Coordinate your group's outfits
Choose a color scheme that works well for your group. White and khaki are a popular choice, they are easy to coordinate as most people already have clothing like this in their wardrobes. Blue and green hues are very popular, we recommend avoiding reds and oranges that can clash with the sunset colors. Prints are welcome to add dimension and texture to your pictures, however, too many patterns can detract from you photos. The pictures look best if the group looks like they belong together!
-Wear something comfortable
No one wants to be or appear uncomfortable during their photo session. Plan ahead by ensuring you are comfortable in a flattering outfit that eliminates exposed bra straps or panty lines.
-Leave all unnecessary items in the car
We will move around a good bit during our time together on the beach so leave behind any extraneous items such as strollers, purses/diaper bags, cell phones, sunglasses, etc.
-Allow plenty of time for naps
If you have young children, we suggest building in time to let them nap during the day. Having well rested, happy children gives you the best opportunity for their cooperation during your family's session.
-Bring back-up hair accessories
There is always a breeze at the beach, so come prepared with any accessories such as bobby pins, clips, or headbands to tame windblown hair.
-Plan to arrive early
When coordinating children or large parties, we recommend leaving your house/condo five minutes earlier than necessary to give yourselves plenty of time to park and arrive on time for your session. If you arrive considerably early, you are encouraged to stay in the car and soak up the A/C as long as possible until just a few minutes before your session.
-Wear goggles in the pool
Chemicals in the swimming pools or irritants in the Gulf of Mexico can cause dry, watery, bloodshot eyes if you open them underwater. Remain mindful of this by wearing protective swimming goggles if you choose to swim with your eyes open.
-Tide To-Go is your best friend!
If your crew is prone to messes and spills, stain removing sticks can be a life-saver. It never hurts to slip one in your pocket just in case you or your little ones don't have a back-up photo outfit
-Please no any external cameras during your session
External cameras are not allowed during your photography session. This includes cell phone cameras. Given your limited time with the photographer on the beach, we need the full, undivided attention of the subjects who are being photographed. External photography distracts subjects and detracts from your photography service and experience. We politely ask that your professional photographer is the only one behind the lens while on your session.
-Slather on moisturizers/lotion
The fine white sand can be particularly troublesome to brush off if your skin is tacky with baby oil or lotion. Keep your skin moisturized leading up to the day of your session, but please inform all members of your party to refrain from moisturizing before your session.
Please discard your chewing gum before meeting your photographer. No one wants to see colored chewing gum in smiles!