We spend a lot of time on the beach during the summer. The girls love being on the beach, and each summer, i’ve tried to capture some special beach pictures of them enjoying the sand and waves. I haven’t quite finished editing this year’s pictures or deciding on which one to choose for our annual “beach canvas” print. While working on some of my favorites, I’ve put together a list of 10 tips for taking beach pictures. If you’re at the beach now or will be heading for Labor Day Weekend, hopefully this will help you get some great summer pictures!
1. Time of day
Either take the pictures early in the morning (about 1-3 hours after sunrise) or in the evening (1-2 hours before sunset).
Make sure the kids are in good moods! We made our beach pictures a fun dress up party. Then we left our “accessories” at home and went to run on the beach. If you make the pictures fun, rather than forced, you’ll get much better smiles.
Picking out outfits can make all the difference in beach pictures. I prefer something neutral (white is beautiful for the beach) and having siblings coordinate, but not match exactly. My favorite for beach photos are the dresses from Tutu Du Monde. They are playful, beautiful and look lovely which the natural beach scene. This year I chose a long, more elegant dress & shawl for Maggie and a coordinating playful tutu for Alex. The girls love Tutu Du Monde dresses and they were thrilled for a chance to run and twirl in them on the beach.
4. Find different “scenes”
Mix up the pictures: Try some close to the waves, some in the sand, some in the dunes, etc. The sun will hit different depending on where you take the pictures, so get as many angles as you can!
5. Different angles: Don’t center all of the pictures on the beach. Besides the kids, you have some great scenery around you, and should include it in the focus of the pictures. Try to offset some pictures (like shown above).
6. Find things with color. With the sand and neutral outfits, it’s fun so find something with a great pop of color to add to the pictures, like these green lifeguard chairs.
7. Take some playful pictures vs. all posed: This will help get a variety of photos and also help the kids have fun. Some ideas: Tell them to run towards you, have a race or twirl.
8. Take some close ups: I love close up pictures on the beach, because you get the pretty blue background of the ocean behind them.
9. Take a lot of pictures! As you can see in the photo above, you’ll certainly have some “outtakes” from your beach photo shoot. I typically take about 100 pictures for every 5 that come out great.
Take time to edit! If you use iPhoto, play with the color a bit in the “effects” section of the editor. You can lighten, make the color warmer etc. I also really like using Snapseed on my iPad or even iPhone. In the pictures above, the 1st one if the original, the 2nd is after “automatic” in Snapseed and the 3rd is after “automatic” and then brightening the photo using the “tune image” feature.
Last, but not least, enjoy the time on the beach and watching your children run around and play. Then, snap away and you’ll get some great photos to cherish for years to come!