When I was discussing the concept of this shoot with the mother of the family, she was specific they wanted sunset pictures at the beach in formal dress. She mentioned shooting at Gulf Shores. I asked where they were staying and she said the Grand Hotel. The sun doesn't set behind the beaches at the Gulf during the summer so I suggested there was not a better place on the Eastern Shore to get actual sunset portraits taken than where they were staying.
After the family arrived and the mother was able to look at the beach herself, she decided she wanted to shoot at the Grand Hotel. When I met the family on the beach I knew they cared about the portrait session and wanted something a bit different. The ladies wore white dresses and the gentlemen wore bow ties and jackets. We started off with individual shots of the kids about an hour before sunset. I decided on this because the kids were eager to get started. I typically start with the family group shots first but when the kids are getting into the spirit of the shoot, I go with it. Once I got those shots then we concentrated on the family group shots. This turned out to be a good thing as the kids were more comfortable with me and the sun was setting on the horizon.
We got in some good shots and the parents were happy with the shoot so I was wrapping things up when the boys started to wander towards the water. As you can imagine one thing led to another and one of the boys had water splash on him. They looked at their mom, she gave them the approval, and they jumped into the water. I think this was one session I didn't have to worry about the kids having a genuinely good time during the shoot.