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30A photographer:
family portraits, senior portraits, couples & maternity

Welcome to Click 30A Photography, where we capture your beach portrait memories in stunning detail. I'm a professional 30A photographer with a passion for preserving the beauty of the coast. With my expert eye and state-of-the-art equipment, your memories are in good hands.


Sunrise vs sunset photography sessions in 30A Florida

Why choose a sunrise photo session vs a sunset session, and vice versa.

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sunrise vs sunset photo session

As a photographer on 30A, I love both the sunrises and the sunsets over Florida's beautiful Emerald Coast. Here on 30A, the sun is bright and very hot starting at 1 hour after the sunrise until about 45 minutes before the sunset. At Melonie Marie Photography, we work our sessions into the times where I know the gorgeous Florida sunshine will be working with you, not against you! I want you to not only look your best, but also love how we capture the atmosphere and beauty of this amazing place.

This is why, at Melonie Marie Photography, we only schedule PORTRAIT photo sessions to take place twice per day - at sunrise and sunset. While we do offer LIFESTYLE sessions at mid-morning, we know that the best light for portraits is at sunrise or sunset. Sunrise and sunset session times offer the best light as it is soft and flattering.

As I stated before, I love BOTH the sunrise and the sunset! Both will provide jaw dropping images. So instead I will focus on the pros vs cons of sunrise vs sunset portrait session on 30A.

Sunrise Photography Sessions on 30A


  • NO CROWDS! Expect a fairly empty beach! The beaches of 30A are usually busy at sunset, sunrise provides empty beaches so there are less distractions.

  • At sunrise you can expect calmer waters and softer pastel colours and if the clouds are right even some cotton candy skies. Towards the end of your session, as the sun rises you can also get the warmer colours, similar to sunset.

  • Beautiful, soft light. Sunrise light is often very flattering for the first 20-30 minutes before the sun starts getting too bright.

  • Your portrait session will be done first thing in the morning so you can enjoy the rest of your day! This is the perfect day to plan an excursion for a dolphin trip or a visit to crab island!

  • If you have young children you may very well be up before dawn anyways. Plus, young kids are generally way more happy and cooperative in the early morning hours rather than sunset, especially if their bed times falls around that time.


  • Set your alarm! During peak season, summer months, sunrise sessions will typically start around 5:30am. In the winter months, it’s a bit more reasonable at 6.30am. Be sure to be up early so that you are on time as we have a limited amount of time before the sun will become to hot and harsh for portraits.

  • If you’re having professional hair and makeup done you may have trouble scheduling a stylist early enough (although 30A. Destin and PCB all offer early morning stylist, you just need to find one available).


  • Know what time sunrise will be when you are planning your portrait session: One of the MOST important things about a sunrise session is knowing when sunrise actually is at your location (For 30A you can check it here).

  • Don’t be late: Because the sun over Florida's Emerald Coast gets harsh very quickly, it means that we only have about 35-50 minutes of time to shoot before the light becomes unflattering… which is why it is key that the session starts on time.

  • If you are truly not a morning person, or there is no way you will get your teenage kids out of bed that early and put a smile on, rather consider a sunset session!

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Sunset Photography Sessions


  • Gorgeous light EVERYWHERE! The sunsets on 30A over Florida's Emerald Coast are world-famous. Every direction you look, the sky is colorful because of the amazing reflections and deep colors.

  • The skies are at their most dramatic at sunset. Where sunrises are usually a little more softer, at sunset if the clouds are just right you may just get some cotton candy skies full of color.

  • Sunset sessions book quickly, these usually need to be scheduled 4-6 weeks in advance.


  • In the summer months, sunset is late in the evening. If your shoot involves little ones, whose bedtime is before sunset, you may need to consider a sunrise session. Alternatively, I recommend a nice long nap in the afternoon and back-up snacks to avoid melt-downs. Be sure to check out our #toddlertips for more information on preparing for your portrait session with children.

  • VERY CROWDED! 30A Beaches are very popular and much busier at the end of the day. I’m used to navigating the crowds or finding some secret spots that are quieter, but be prepared that a there will be more people around, especially during peak season and holidays.


  • Particularly during peak season, my schedule fills up really quickly, so if you are booking last minute I often do not have any sunset sessions available, but will happily offer a sunrise or even a LIFESTYLE session instead.

  • Try a Garden Session. While everyone is here for the amazing beaches, one of the most beautiful missed opportunities is the gorgeous gardens of 30A. Eden Gardens is one of my many favorite garden locations for portrait sessions as these allow for a bit cooler temps because of the shade from the trees and plantation. This is a great option for those that also may have family members with a mobility issue and can't be on the sand/beach.

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We would love to chat with you about scheduling a sunrise or a sunset portrait session with Melonie Marie Photography, No matter what you decide, I'm here to answer all of your questions and to help guide you to have the best photo session possible. Feel free to browse our other SESSION TIPS or contact us at (850) 460-4437 to start planning your 30A Adventure.



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30 A Photographer

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