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Baby's First Beach Day

As a photographer, my daughter is my No. 1 model. Not only is she the cutest baby ever (obviously) but she's also my best teacher. Every day she shows me more poses and techniques that work ... or don't work.

Our recent family vacation to Florida was no exception. My husband and I both grew up in Florida, so taking baby to the beach for the first time was a big deal.

  • Side note: If you are planning a beach trip and have never considered Pensacola Beach, look it up. It really is the most beautiful beach in Florida -- I'm biased, but my husband is from South Florida (Key Largo, to be exact) and he agrees!

As a photographer, I always try to think ahead about what could go wrong. What outfit will look best in these pictures: a cute bathing suit, a diaper alone, or just naked booty? What type of shade will look best in photos: an umbrella, just a hat, or a little tent? What locations should we try: the edge of the water, a sand dune?

Despite all that, I somehow overlooked the biggest issue with taking a small baby to the beach: sand. It's everywhere! (Go figure...) And what do babies like to do? That's right: put things in their mouths.

I got a few shots of her confused face as she looked around at the mounds of white stuff ... just before grabbing an enormous handful and shoving it directly into her mouth. As fast as I might be, I couldn't get the majority of it out. Later, she washed it down with some Gulf salt water.

We can't all be perfect moms/dads and think of everything - even the really obvious things - in advance. If you're photographing a big "first" for baby, roll with the punches and remember that the most important thing is making the memory.

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