For over 12 years now my family, various friends and loved ones have made our annual trip to the beach. We have always loved this time together and our time on the beaches of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
As our family has grown and kids have gotten older our schedules have become so packed full of stuff that we do not get to go as long as we used to or even with all of our family anymore. But we always try very hard to squeeze in at least a few days of beach fun.
The annual trip to the beach also means the annual photography session for the kids, family members, friends and anyone else I could get in complimentary clothing and on the beach. I love and cherish these family portraits so much. And, one day I truly believe my kids will too.
There have been times when I literally wanted to scream and I am sure my kids and family felt the same. Dragging kids out at sunrise to capture that perfect landscape image or keeping the little ones up until sunset so we can get that sweet light in the evening quite often resulted in melt downs, tantrums and choice language from the parents. However, now from the comfort of my office chair all I can do is smile. Smile at the beauty of these amazing children that Daryl and I have raised and their grace and charm that radiates in each year’s portrait.
So indulge me for a moment and let me brag about my family. Take a walk down this sandy memory lane with me of 12 years of Beach Portraits.
2002 – Sunset Beach
Our beautiful daughter, Alex…
And our handsome son, Jax…
Alex & Jax
Jamie is Jax’s godfather and we wanted to make sure to get something for both of them.
Jamie looks a lot happier than Jax!
My husband has a love/hate with this one because my goodness
we have aged (and expanded!)
These nest two images were sunrise at Sunset Beach and these are still two of my favorite images.
Those precious little silhouettes against that rising sun are truly spectacular.
2003 – Sunset Beach
Back with the family and everyone to Sunset Beach. I adore the portraits of my mom and Edward with all of the grandchildren. The one with baby Mak sitting on Grammie’s lap with her arms crossed is priceless.
2004 – Nags Head
Looks like yellow was the perfect choice for this year. The kids were a lot more interested in getting back to the house and playing with their friends than taking pictures. The one of Alex with that huge grin makes me laugh. You can tell she was so ready to get up those stairs and back to the pool where her friends were playing.
2005 – Hatteras
We really lucked out this year with the amazing moody sky. I love these images and love the solemn expressions in some of them. Then we had some fun by the pier and after a quick clothing change decided to capture a few with the lighthouses. The complimentary green shirts add the perfect amount of color.
2006 – Outer Banks
Most years we had the pleasure of bringing Jessie along with us. I am so glad that we made sure to get one beach portrait of her and the kiddos! I love the preppy pastels they are sporting in this picture. It was a bit too windy but that’s okay, I have the images and that is what matters. The ones at the end of the kids playing in the water are so funny, Jax’s face and Alex’s expressions are the best!
2007 – First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach
We wanted to make sure that we got some new images of all of the grandkids for Grammie and Beau. I love their little toes in the sand and the black and white head shots are a great marker of how much they had changed since we started. Even baby Mak cooperated on this trip!
2008 – Sandbridge
We took a quick little vacation to Sandbridge this year and got to spend time with one of
my very best friends and her family. Terry, Shawn and Katie live in Kentucky but Terry
and I have been friends since our days at Saint Gertrude High School.
Baby Katie is my god-daughter and she is a bundle of awesome.
We love spending time with them and having Katie around. Alex and Jax just
love her so much and every time we have a chance we make sure to get portraits of the kids together.
2009 – Sandbridge, Maui & Virginia Beach
This was a great beach year for us. We spent some time with Terry, Shawn and Katie back in Sandbridge.
And I love the soft pale colors with the Sanctuary buildings in the background.
It adds a really cool color element to the entire image.
Loving the pastel hues!
In 2009 we also took a big family vacation to Maui, Hawaii.
We had so much fun and it was the most glorious vacation.
This family portrait is so special to all of us. We hope to get back
there one day very soon, but thank goodness we have these
gorgeous images to remember it by.
In the fall I wanted to go to Virginia Beach for a sunrise session.
Hoping to catch something cool and dramatic we really lucked out.
That morning the sky, the wind and the ocean were all in sync
and I love the way this illustration turned out.
2010 – Virginia Beach
The kids have grown so much! We wanted to make sure to have a new portrait
with Grammie and Beau that was updated. I am so glad that I have these
and one day the kids will really appreciate these portraits with their grandparents.
One of my biggest regrets as an adult is that I have no pictures of my grandmother.
She was by far one of the most important people in my life and I have no images of her.
I would love to share these with my children and sometimes when I miss her most,
be able to look back at happy times we had together. So it has always been
a priority for my children to have these portraits.
2011 – Myrtle Beach
In typical Taylor family fashion we had to work this beach trip in with
a baseball tournament! Jax was playing in Myrtle Beach so we decided to
make it a mini-vacation as well. Trying to get these portraits between
baseball games was like pulling teeth but we got it done!
2012 – Virginia Beach
Made it to the beach but I am missing a kid! Jax played baseball all summer and we literally could not find any time that we could get him and his sister down there at the same time. I was so bummed to miss a portrait of them together at the beach this year but we did a formal portrait of them at the Jefferson Hotel during the holidays instead.
However, I got to have both of my precious god-daughters and best friends with me during this trip.
Alex, Katie and Lily are having fun and rocking the Vineyard Vines whale hats!!
2013 – Virginia Beach
A few weeks ago we had a couple of days of both kids in town and a few days off. So we headed south and landed at Virginia Beach for a few days. We had so much fun and it was awesome to chill out and unplug.
Alex is a rising senior at Saint Gertrude High School this year so this was also part of her high school senior portrait session. And, Jax is a rising sophomore at Benedictine College Prep. His military buzz cut is a long way from his floppy blond locks from previous years.
I am over the moon proud and honored and overwhelmed to have two such amazing blessings in my life. My kids are the strongest, most graceful, funny people I know and my heart is full because they are with me.
I trust that we will have many more beach adventures. And, I look forward to sharing them with you. So, thank you for walking down memory lane with me, I really appreciate it.