The Carney Family | The Gulf, Orange Beach Family Photographer

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Living in a popular beach vacation destination, I get a TON of inquiries each year from families visiting the area and wanting to take home family beach photos as a souvenir. Often these are military service member who lived in the area and are coming back for a visit.

The Carney family used to be stationed in Pensacola and were back this past fall to visit Orange Beach, AL. I’m not all that familiar with the beaches over in there. BUT, what I do know and LOVE in Orange Beach is The Gulf Seafood Restaurant. We eat there every chance we get and I’ve always wanted to use it for a photo session. I love the brilliant blue exterior, shiplap, palms, sea wall, cafe lights…even the sand covered astroturf. And it gets the most lovely evening light.


I recommended this spot to Karen over driving to Perdido Key for the dunes and beach that everyone always wants. I was THRILLED when she came back to say they loved the idea of the restaurant and happily trucked my way over the bridge to check this spot off my photo bucket list.

When the family arrived, the boys weren’t thrilled about the whole family photo thing. No surprise….this is pretty typical of boys over 5. But I promised them, as I promise all my families, that fun was at the top of my priority list and I wasn’t interested in making them pose for a bunch of boring, look at the camera, type shots. They were skeptical at first, but quickly realized that I meant it and got completely into the whole lifestyle experience.


After a few snuggly family shots for mom, we spent the rest of the session running, rough housing, tickle fighting, cartwheeling and backflipping. And when we got back to the car, they all asked mom if they could have another session with me next year. Now that’s what I call a successful afternoon!

There was just so much great stuff from this session. The kids were FULL of energy and personality and mom and dad weren’t shy about jumping in on the play. It’s hard not to go over board and share EVERYTHING. But here is a random sampling of my favorite moments.