Are you a "natural light" photographer?
We utilize professional studio-strobe lighting at every beach portrait session. We use a technique called "Bare Bulb Photography", and though it is extremely hard to master, it gives our portraits a significant pop that we feel is crucial in professional beach photography. It is part of the reason why our art stands out from the crowd.
When natural light is available, we use it. When it's not, we make our own. For the most part, we have to make our own. The beach is a hostile lighting environment and natural light yields unprofessional results most of the time.