Posted by: Michelle Stella Riordan | February 28, 2011

Life is a beach…

Toes is the sand.  What a perfect place to be. 

I have been fortunate to live near the beach since I was 18 years old.  I knew I wanted to be close to the ocean since my very first trip to Sandy Hook, New Jersey in 7th grade.  Crazy isn’t it?  Our Marine Biology class went on a field trip there and I fell in love.  Another science class took us to Bear Mountain State Park.  To this day, I am obsessed with the ocean, hiking and The Galapagos Islands.  That love came from some amazing teachers during an important time growing up.  These mentors, these great inspirational teachers showed me how to appreciate my environment and always  kept me searching for those glorious moments of discovery. 

 Beach photo

Toes in the Sand.  What a perfect place to be.

I had a client ask me to take their family portrait at the beach.  The light bulb literally went off and then exploded above my head.  Back then, not many photographers were out there braving the elements.  It took me a while to find my groove.  And then I made it an art and a science.  I downloaded charts for sunrise and sunset times as well as tide charts from Long Beach Island to Cape May. 

 Family beach photo

Toes in the Sand.   What a perfect place to be. 

 I always arrive early to a family beach session.  I take a moment to myself.  I let the warmth of the sun wrap itself around my face.  The smell of the ocean fulfills my spirit and melts away the dust of the day.  The sound of the tide working its way along the shore is hypnotic.   Once I re-center myself, I walk around the area I will use and I pick up the trash I find.  Nothing irritates me more than finding cigarette butts and empty wrappers in the sand.  Then I go to work.

 Beach session



  1. What a great way to create memories

  2. You know, I like the preparation part. I always like to be (although seldom am) early to a class or customer meeting. Takes the stress off, gives time to think, gain confidence and really soak in the moment – no matter what your job.

    We can’t all work on the beach, but we can take a lesson from this post!

    Thanks Michelle

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