Anniversary Photo Shoot at the Beach: What to Wear + How to Have Fun

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For our 12 year anniversary, we decided to do something a little different to celebrate. We typically try to take a child-free trip for our anniversary (highly recommend if you can pull it off!), which we did. Our trip started with an overnight stay in Asheville before we headed to Folly Beach for three nights. Folly Beach is right outside Charleston, SC. We went there for the first time on our 5 year anniversary, and have returned many times since then. You know that we take a lot of photos around here–it’s always Chauncey behind the camera taking pics of me and the kids, or all 4 of us taking family pics. This time, though, we decided to schedule a COUPLES SHOOT for our anniversary. on the recommendation of a friend, we booked with Leigh Hayward Photography.


Y’all, after 12 years of marriage and 2 kids, it’s easy to forget about being a couple. I always hear people say that their kids come before everything. While I love my kids and would give my life for them, my marriage is just as important. If I’m going to be in a relationship, I want my kids to see what a healthy relationship looks like. I’m a firm believer that in focusing on your kids, it’s important not to lose focus on yourself and your partner. Our marriage is always a work in progress.

If you have gotten to know Chauncey over the years, you might guess that he definitely was not the one to recommend an anniversary photo shoot.haha But it’s rare that we get pics with just the two of us that aren’t a side thought during family photo sessions. When we’re old and gray, I want us to have pics to look back on that showcase us as a couple. And over the past year and a half, it’s emphasized the need to live in the moment and document the memories.

Finally, I wanted us to have professional photos done in our favorite place. Folly Beach is our place we go to get away from the world, whether it’s just or or with our family. If you book an anniversary shoot try to book it for a place that’s special to you as a couple.


My main piece of advice of what to wear for an anniversary photo shoot (or any couples shoot) is two-fold. One, wear something comfortable! You don’t want clothing that you’re having to fuss and fidget with, and I can guarantee you there’s going to be something awkward in your photos that you will hate if you do. Two, skip the matchy-matchy outfits–the key to awesome couples photos is to coordinate. Here, I’m wearing a printed dress while Chauncey is wearing a polo shirt in that matches an accent color in the dress. If one person is going for a bold color, put the other person in a more neutral color (navy is always a good option and not as harsh as black). If one person is in a pattern, but the other person in a solid that pulls a color from the pattern. It will give a beautiful depth to your photos and make them pop!


I’m not even going to lie–couples photo shoots can be awkward, and you don’t want stiff, unnatural poses for your photos. So skip the Pinterest session of looking for couples photo poses. Yep, skip it. Don’t plan or go all American Gothic. Embrace the photo shoot and just be natural. Walk down a path, tickle each other, or even turn on the music and do a slow dance. You’ll capture the essence of your relationship that way, in those unposed moments. If you tense up at the thought of being in front of a camera, then do something to relax right beforehand. It’s also important to chat with photographers before you book and find someone who you hit it off with. Ask what their shooting style is. Look through their Instagram to see if it’s all the same pose. It also helps if you find someone who specializes in couples/wedding photography. Leigh, our photographer, is a couples and wedding photographer. She was so fun to work with and made pictures a breeze! Chauncey didn’t hate it, which is high praise coming from him!hahaha Finally, book lunch or dinner after your session (depending on timing) so you have something to look forward to afterwards. After all, if you’re all dressed up, you shouldn’t waste that look.

Nice to meet you!

Hi there! I’m Tif Fannin, the blogger behind Bright on a Budget, based in Lexington, Kentucky. Bright on a Budget is a Southern fashion and lifestyle blog where I share everyday looks, beauty, and travel, along with a behind-the-scenes look at my life as a working mom of two. I have a penchant for bright colors + good deals. Follow along for posts that are relatable to the everyday woman.

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