It’s that time, a time when we head to the beach and we long to capture those great photos of our family playing in the surf…however, it’s often hard to becuase the light is so bright and faces end up in shawdow. So here are some tips as you head out with your camera in two.
1. Lighting: If you are wanting to get a true portrait for your wall or christmas card, then pay very close attention to the lighting. The absolute best time to schedule or to take beach portratis is 1 hour before the sun sets. This is when the colors are richer, you have warm tones, and you dont have to worry about dark shawdows casted under eyes and such. Never take them in the middle of the day…you will struggle and find yourself very frustrated.
Also, don’t be afraid of overcast days….you will get amazing shots! The other advantage of taking photos at the end of the day is that your surroundings will be less crowded.
I took this picture at the end of the day just as the sun was setting.
2. Natural is Best: It’s not always possible but trying to get the most natural shots of your subjects always look nice on the relaxed setting of the beach. So capture your kids and family playing….Have the sun coming in at the side of your subject or in the front, but not from behind as you subject will be in shadow.
3. Play with horizons…in other settings, you will see me take a lot of angled shots as I think it ads interest to the photogrpaphs, but in beach shots, I always try to have the horizon straight…becuase it’s so pronounced. You can do this in the editing process, but as you take your images, just keep in mind your horizon line.
3. Space (negative and positive) …the one issue with beach photos is the vast space…which can be used as a positive, but you want to avoid your subjects being so small and getting lost in the openness of the beach. At the same time you want to make sure that you are far enough away to capture the beach. So use the rule of thirds…meaning that your photo is broken up into thirds…in the base of the beach your subject could take up third of the images, the sand and water another third and the sky another third.
4. Create Interest in Your Photo: Unless you have amazing secerny gracing the shores of your beaches…such as in the Pacific or Autralia…a photo of just the beach is kind of boring. So throw in a red bucket or your cute kids or even just a lone beach umbrella..to create some interest. The other thing you can do to look for different angles and things to frame your photos. So you could take a picture from laying down in the dunes or in the case of this photo I used the boardwalk to frame the girls.
Using a Fill Flash: Forcing the flash can take care of shadows caused by clothing, caps, sunglasses, etc., and will help to improve the exposure of the person. You might need to experiment with the level of flash, however, if relevant.
Use Different Vantage Points: One of my favorite views in beach pictures is from behind…I love capturing people looking at the ocean. But also have your subjects in the sand you on a step stool…or you laying down with your subjects…this is another way to create interest in your photos. I’ve actually gotten up on a pier and shot down on a family before.. don’t be afraid to experiment.
So I hope that these images help you as you capture some precious memories at the beach! Please feel free to share or ask questions….and most of all Have fun!