The beach offers a picturesque background for portrait photography, whether family portraits, children’s portraits, wedding portraits, or simply individual portraits. The vast and endless ocean and sand provide the photographer with equally endless options to explore and create something new and magical. Here are a few tips that could help you as you start out with beach portrait photography.
Choosing a spot:
Choose the beach keeping in mind the look you want for your beach portrait photograph. A beautiful beach could be easy enough to find. However, do take into account practical aspects like parking distance and approach to the beach, especially when working with young children or elderly subjects. Personally check out the location prior to the shoot. It will help you plan your shoot in terms of time of day, angles, backdrops, props if you need any, etc.
Best timing for a portrait on the beach would be around sunrise or around sunset. This way you get enough natural light, it is not too hot or bright, plus the rising/setting sun could be a great addition to your portrait. Also avoid timings when the beach is very crowded as you would have a hard time getting portraits of your subject(s) alone.
You could get your subject to face the sun so it lights up their face. If you want the sun in the background, it would be wise to use a flash. Another interesting angle would be placing your subject with the sun to their side, lighting up half their face. Play around and see what lighting works best.
For action shots, use burst shooting mode and hold the shutter button down as long as you need. It increases your chance to capture that perfect moment. Use a shutter speed of at least 1/500 and an aperture of f/8 or f/16 to give you greater depth of field. However, if you are capturing portraits where your subject is posing, you will need a more shallow depth of field to keep the focus on your subject.
Protect your camera:
At the beach your camera is at risk of getting sand or water in. Make sure you have a clear UV filter to protect the lens and use electrical tape around the point where lens fits onto the camera. Also make sure you carry your camera bag and plastic casing for your equipment to protect it from water and sand. A clean cloth always comes handy on the beach to wipe the camera or equipment.
Quick Tip to Keep your Photos Safe
Making backups of your photos & videos is a chore you probably skip, but it really doesn't have to be hard. Here's an effortless way to backup photos - PicBackMan. PicBackMan is the easiest and simplest way to keep your photos safely backed up in one or more online accounts. Simply download PicBackMan (it's free!), register your account, connect to your online store and tell PicBackMan where your photos are - PicBackMan does the rest, automatically. It bulk uploads all photos and keeps looking for new ones and uploads those too. You don't have to ever touch it.