A Guide to Having the Best Beach Photoshoot

Tali      May 6th, 2022

The beach is a perfect backdrop for stunning photos. Whether you are exchanging vows with the love of your life or just there for a good time, this guide will prepare you for your beach photoshoot with a few simple tips.

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT BEACH PHOTOS

A groom helps his bride down from a palm tree during their tropical elopement so that she doesn't wreck her elopement dress

CLOTHES

When going to the beach, it is best to dress for the beach! Beaded ballgowns, high-heeled shoes, and heavy coats not only look out of place at the beach, but they will feel out of place at the beach. We always tell our couples that if they are comfortable and having fun, their photos will be fun too! The opposite is also true though, if you are hot, having trouble moving, and all-around uncomfortable, it will likely show in your photos. So leave the high heels that are going to sink heel-deep into the sand back at the hotel and throw on something comfortable that you can move in. Light and flowy fabrics, bare feet, and shorts or cuffed pants all bring the beachy vibes to life.

TIME OF DAY

The unfortunate truth of photography is that there are just some times of the day that are better for photos than others. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get gorgeous photos at any time of day, but if you are hoping for those rich golden hues or the sun hovering just above the water, early morning or evening is your best bet. Be sure to think about where you want the sun. Remember that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west… so unless you are on an island or shooting on either side of a lake, the time of day is going to determine when you can capture the sun over the ocean and when you can capture the sun shining towards the ocean. I think both have a lovely effect (this blog includes both photos with the sun over the water and behind the water), but if you have a preference, be sure to keep that in mind when planning your shoot. 

DON’T BE AFRAID TO HAVE FUN

This is really true for just about any photoshoot, but even more so for beach photos. Don’t be afraid to splash in the water, wiggle your toes in the sand, get a little wet, and just have fun! Unique, fun photos that you are going to look back on fondly happen when you were having a good time in the moment.

WHAT TO LEAVE AT HOME

While we want to capture you and your true personality… there are a few things that just don’t work well for photos. Clothing with large logos or text and busy patterns typically don’t photograph very well. So unless it is your all-time favorite outfit and you can’t imagine your photos without it, maybe leave it at home in your closet. While you are at it, it’s always a good idea to check in with your partner or anyone else you are getting your photo taken with to make sure that your colors and patterns don’t clash. When in doubt, neutral tones with a splash of color are always a safe bet.

WHAT TO BRING

Any time you are going to the beach (or anywhere… where are my Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy fans at?!) you should bring a towel. Whether you are planning to get wet or hoping to stay dry, having a towel or two just in case is always a good plan. An extra change of clothes is smart too! You might be planning on going full send and getting wet or you could just be the victim of a rogue wave, either way, dry clothes are nice to have. Beachy accessories such as sun hats, wraps, and beach blankets are also a fun way to mix up your photos.

DON’T LEAVE WITH THE SUN

While golden hour might get all the rave reviews, blue hour can be a magical time for photos too. Blue hour is the time just before sunrise or right after sunset when the sun is just below the horizon. This is typically when the sky has the most intense colors, often rich pinks and blues. There are a lot of cool photos that you can get during this time (hello fun silhouettes, cool lantern photos, beach bonfires, and all the romantic vibes) and it adds a completely different mood to the shoot. Plus, because the water reflects some extra light and there aren’t as many objects around to cast shadows, the beach is a perfect place for blue hour photos. Your photographer will need to use a slower shutter speed to take advantage of the limited light, so you won’t be able to dance and run around, but you can still capture some stunning photos. If you want to take advantage of blue hour during your photoshoot, plan some extra time into your shoot before sunrise or after sunset.

A bride in a lovely wedding dress smiles at her groom during their tropical elopement

YOU DON’T HAVE TO STICK TO THE SAND

Just because you are at the beach, doesn’t mean you have to spend the whole time in the sand. Take a quick look around for any other places that would provide a nice backdrop for photos. Maybe there are some cute wooden stairs that lead down to the beach, a little tropical forest at the edge of the sand, a rocky area, or a pier or dock that you could walk on (or under!).

PLAN FOR YOUR BASIC NEEDS

If you usually wear sunscreen to the beach, you should wear it for your photoshoot. Sometimes simple things that you would normally think of get forgotten in the excitement of planning and packing for your beach photoshoot. Another good idea is to bring something to drink. It’s easy to get dehydrated dancing in the sun on the beach and, in the unfortunate event that someone gets a mouthful of sand or saltwater, having something to rinse your mouth with is going to be a lifesaver.

ARRIVE EARLY

The best lighting is often fleeting and quickly changing during the beginning and end of the day. To avoid missing out on the perfect conditions, it is always a good idea to arrive early. Especially at the beach, it is hard to know what traffic and parking will be like and how far you will have to walk to get to a good spot on the beach.

MAKE A DAY OF IT

If you are going to the beach, especially if you are going to the beach for sunrise, consider making a day out of the adventure! Then, when you look back on the photos from your shoot, you will not only remember the fun times during your photoshoot, but also the great time you had before or after your shoot too! (Just make sure not to get wet before your photoshoot!)

I’ve said it already, but it never hurts to say it one more time. The biggest tip for great photos at the beach (or anywhere) is having fun! Follow these simple times and you will rock that beach photoshoot!

If you are dreaming up the perfect beach photoshoot, elopement, or wedding and are looking for the perfect photographer to photograph those precious memories, we would love to tag along and capture your story. Get in touch and let’s get rolling!

9 thoughts on “Tips to Having the Best Beach Photoshoot”

  1. This is wonderful info. Love the emphasis on just having a good time (so true!). And yes to blue hour! Lots of valuable info on getting the best photos possible on the beach.

  2. Kathrine Scott

    Having fun is important to any photoshoot. This is a great guide to having a fun photoshoot at the beach! I love it

  3. These photos are so beautiful, especially that you got to capture them in different sky settings! The one with pink sky is my absolute fave. 🙂

  4. Meaghan D’Abrosca

    Such beautiful photos – the beach is always so dreamy and warm! Great tips for having an awesome beach photo shoot experience!

  5. Love this! Such a great blog post all about planning the best day at the beach! The images are so beautiful and just makes me want to take a trip out there!

  6. A great guide full of important info! Time of day can definitely effect decisions on how to plan. Blue hour is definitely overlooked and always beautiful – love the photos!

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