Summer is upon us and many families will soon be heading to beach locations for vacation. What better way to capture those vacation memories than family photos on the beach. So I thought I’d put together some tips for photographing your family at the beach. I assembled these tips to help improve your photos today while using a typical point and shoot camera or shooting in auto mode. All of these photos were shot last summer on our family vacation with our best friends.
1) Take action shots – you are at the beach having a great time. Photograph those moments and you’re more likely to capture true emotion from your kids.
2) Isolate Your Subject – When I took this photo of my husband and daughter, there were lots of other people on the beach. You wouldn’t know it because I zoomed in and isolated them, so they are seemingly enjoying a quiet moment at the beach. (Just wish he didn’t have that backpack on, but you work with what you have sometimes.)
3) Get down on their level and try different angles – If you shoot photos from a standing position, it will just look like every other snapshot of your kids playing in the sand. But if you sit down and photograph low, you are going to get a better portrait with a more interesting perspective in your photos.
4) Pay Attention to Your Background – there’s nothing worse than capturing a good photo only to realize that there’s something really distracting in your background. This was a funny moment of our kids, not a technically great photo, but a great moment – with a yellow bike in the background! Luckily, this was an easy edit, but you might not be able to remove other distracting elements so easily.
5) Take your photos in the early morning or at dusk. At those times the light will be most flattering, think golden shining light. You won’t get harsh shadows or squinty eyes. Also you get the added bonus of fewer crowds on the beach. If you are shooting at midday or in a harsh lighting situation– there are two ways to deal with the light. Either put the sun to the side of your subject or put the sun behind your subject and use your flash to fill in light on your subject. In this photo you’ll notice that the sun is on camera right. There are still shadows on the sides of their faces, but overall the light is flattering and doesn’t distract from the photo.