Outer Banks Family Portraits


Family Portraits + Engagements + Anniversaries + Weddings

How Your Portrait Session Works

Bates Family PortraitsPlanning What to Wear And Bring For Your Session:

We often recommend white or blue shirts with khaki pants or blue jeans. Feel free to bring props to make your images even more fun! Consider props such as signs, hats, sunglasses, and toys for kids such as buckets and shovels, etc…)

Always consider bringing the following items to your session:

  • Water for everyone.
  • Towels to dry off your skin if people are sweating.
  • Hair clips, scrunchies and or hairspray if it’s windy.
  • Props such as toys, blankets, framed photographs, chalk boards and anything else that would be fun!

Securing Your Date:

  • To reserve your date you will need to contact us first, to check for availability.
  • In all cases we will need to know what state you live in so we know if we need to add NC state sales tax. We only are required to charge NC state sales tax if you are an NC resident.
  • If we are available, you will need to choose either our Silver or Gold package. In order to charge you the correct rate, we will need to know the number of people in your group (Kids count as people)
  • We will also need to know what town you are staying in, along with your email address and billing address.
  • Please also make sure to tell us if you are staying in a beachfront home or not. If you would like us to choose a location near you, make sure to let us know that also.
  • To pay your retainer, we can either send you an online invoice via PayPal or take your credit card information over the phone. Anyone can pay the retainer via PayPal even if you don’t have a PayPal account. You simply need to check out as a guest.
  • We will then process your retainer payment and send you our online contract via email within approximately 1 to 2 days.
  • Please make sure to fill out the online contract within 24 hours or as soon as possible. If your session is within a few days, please email us your location, so we know where to show up. When you fill out the online contract, you will need your OBX house address.
  • The online contract takes about 2 minutes to complete and should be filled out on a desktop computer and not a mobile device, if possible. Make sure every line has something filled in or it may not submit.
  • When you are finished filling out the contract, you will need to press the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page. You must get a message stating that we have successfully received the contract. If not, press the back button, correct any errors and make sure every line is filled in. If you are not sure about something on the contract form, just type something such as, “Not sure” so the contract form will submit. We can then contact you later to fill in the missing information.
  • If you are not able to fill out the online contract, we can bring one for you to fill out before we start.
  • That’s it. Your date is now secured. The only thing you need to do at this point is to text us when you arrive at the Outer Banks to let us know you arrived safely and confirm the following:
  1. Your name.
  2. Your OBX address and or the location of your session.
  3. Your session date.
  4. Your session time.
  5. The number of people in your party.
  6. Check-in will now be complete.


The day of your session:

On the day of your session, we will call you if there are any weather issues between 12:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. that day unless there is a major weather event that needs to be addressed earlier in the week. 99% of all sessions each season usually work out. Sometimes we may call and ask to shoot the session a little earlier if possible in order to beat the rain.

Outer Banks Productions will arrive in your location a few minutes early and set up our gear in the parking area. We will then come to your door and go to the beach to check out your location. Sometimes we will also meet you on the beach if we have disused that previously. This is usually when we shoot your session at a public beach access such as Coquina Beach in Nags Head.

All sessions are either 1 hour or 1 & 1/2 hours. The number of people in the group and our package times work very well and have been adjusted over the years so don’t worry about time.

Your session will the typically start off with photos of your group along the dune line so the sun is behind you. Throughout the session we will take the following photos:

  • Photos of the whole group.
  • Photos of the smaller groups or families.
  • Photos of individuals and mixed groups such as grandparents with children, just the grandparents, just the parents, just the children etc.
  • Photos with the ocean in the background. As time allows, we will shoot as much of this again with the ocean in the background including the large group shot.
  • Candid photos and any requests for the remaining time.
  • Please note that we may choose to shoot everything in a different order depending on the weather, the lighting, and the location.
  • Your final payment will be due after your session. We will generally have an emailed invoice automatically sent to you the morning of your session. If your date has been reschedules, just hold on to the email and pay your final balance after the session. Let us know, after the session, if you would like to make your final payment online, by cash or check.
  • Tips are allowed and appreciated. Our final invoice has a place to add a tip if needed. Also, as of 2023, our online invoicing has severally different payment methods and may offer pay half or pay later options. This is not guaranteed.


After the session:

  • After your session, we will then go back to our office and backup your images.
  • We will then start working on any previous clients images either later that evening or the next business day.
  • Please note that we edit everyone’s images in the order they are shot. Also, realize that we shoot over 100 sessions per year so we are always editing either family portraits or weddings up until the 2nd or third week of January.
  • When it’s time to edit your session, your images will be edited with great care and uploaded to our viewing and downloading site.
  • We will then email or text you a link to the online viewing within minutes of your images being put online. You can then download the highest resolution images and also share the site link to whoever you wish. They can also download the images by default. So please let us know if you need to set up a special password or have any special security issues. Just so you know, you will only need to enter your email address to view and download your images. This will allow us to see that you’ve seen your images and have downloaded them.
  • We will contact you the moment your images are edited and on-line. Please only contact us to check your images if it’s been a long time such as a couple of months. We are very popular and are constantly shooting weddings and portraits along with editing all of the time.
  • That’s it! Your session with us will now be complete. We offer competitive rates on professional prints, enlargements, albums and holiday cards. If you have any special needs for images by a certain date, please contact us through our contact form, email or text message.
  • Don’t forget we give our returning customers 10% off for life since our rates tend to go up each season. We also offer our annual  winter sale for next season, so keep an eye out for our email anywhere from December to April of next year.
  • We look forward to working with you and digitally “Capturing your moments forever!”


Next check out what to wear.


Check pricing, availability and secure your session with us today!

Contact us

Outer Banks Family Portraits


Family Portraits + Engagements + Weddings