Top 5 photography tips for your beach holiday

A beach vacation is perfect for so many reasons. The open sea, the fresh air, the cool blue waters and the soothing sand transport your body and soul to another dimension – one where time is not counted by the hour but the number of waves reaching the shoreline. It is great to go on a family beach vacation – the kids have fun, the adults get to relax under the sun. Beach vacations are great for honeymooners too. After all, enjoying a quite walk on the beach basking in the moonlight is a perfect setting for romance. And in the midst, catching a quite moment for yourself during the sunset makes you want to stop and think about the journey called life.

What’s also nice about beaches? They are the best setting for beautiful photographs that make wonderful memories. But not everyone gets it right. Sometimes the photos are overexposed because of direct sunlight. Other times they are too dark when you are against the sun. So how can you make your beach vacation picture perfect? Here are some tips

1. Wear the right coloured clothes

Most beach ads have a few things in common – you’ll see people mostly wearing colours that complement the surroundings. In the case of Andaman, turquoise, emerald, jade, sapphire and blue skies along with skin tones like peaches and earthy light browns work quite well.

The one colour you can’t go wrong with, though, is white. Instead of making things look like a uniform, pick one strong colour and have everyone choose their style around it. Practically, you’ll need to carry an extra set of clothes so that once you are done with the shoot, you can feel free to roll down and get wet.

2. Choose the right time of the day

Sunrises and sunsets are the best time of the day for beach photography. The golden light creates a perfect ambience for ‘moment’ photographs – where you capture the mood and moment perfectly. Besides, as the colour of the sky and water changes, you never know what gem you’ll capture. This is the time when you can take frame-worthy photographs.

Sunrises are generally better because many people don’t make it to the beach that early and you get to have an unspoilt background. If you are at the beach during the day when the sun is shining brightly, it’ll be difficult to avoid harsh shadows. There are two general work-arounds – one is to use fill flash which will bounce off the subject’s face. The other is to shoot in black and white which gives a great feel to the photo.

3. Choose your inspiration

There is a reason Instagram exists – it is for your inspiration. From beach jumpies to a family line walking towards the water, there are classic beach photographs where you can look for composition ideas. While candid works great, you can always be inspired by photos that instantly attract you and recreate it. You can save these photos on your phone to keep them handy. You can also pick subjects from the beach like birds, crabs and shells and create photo stories around them.

Some stories are created around the rain, some around sand castles, some made jumping around the waves, some are made around the patterns on the sand dunes. Pick your story lines to find interesting photography ideas.

4. Head to the beach when others avoid it

Though summer and beaches are synonymous, it isn’t the best combination for photography when the teeming millions seem to be in your background. It is best to pick a part of the beach where you won’t have too many people (or better yet, no one) accidentally entering your frame.

Rains and clouds, for example, drive many people away from the beach but there is a certain fun and romance in having bright umbrellas in the gloomy set up. Night is again a great time to capture the beach in all its beauty. It does require both specialized skills and equipment to get this right but patience does pay off when you see the results.

5. Get a professional photographer for the shoot

Sometimes selfies just don’t cut it. And why leave someone out of frame? The best way to capture your candid beach moments is to hire a professional photographer to execute the shoot. Now all you need is to get dressed, keep everyone well fed and hydrated before the shoot and show up with a smile.

Discuss in advance what types of photos you want and how everyone can work together to get the right results. It will cost a bit of money but it’ll get you a treasure trove of photographs that are oh-so-instagramable and frame-able that you’ll be glad you did it.

Rathnam Rathnasamy is the Founder of Andaman Holidays.

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Comments (26)

  1. udit sharma says:

    WOW!!! Great ideas. I thought it’s going to be about photography angles and lighting but it’s something different. It’s about what to shoot when to shoot. More of a creative blog. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jack says:

    WOW!! These pictures are fantastic. The tips are useful.Taking pictures is a must as we travel, but not everyone can do it well.Thanks for sharing.

  3. Laura Haley says:

    I have taken some gorgeous beach sunset photos but never any of people on the beach, as they just don’t look right through my lens. I hadn’t thought about what people should wear-the colour suggestion is really helpful.

    Black and white beach photos can look gorgeous and I’m looking forward to booking another holiday so I can try some for myself!

  4. Christy says:

    Some great tips there. My husband bought me a DSLR several years ago due to my love of taking holiday photos, but I’ll admit, I don’t use it to the best advantage. I never thought of something as simple as making sure we wear the right clothes to really compliment the setting. I think this will make a difference to my photos in future and up the level a little. Whilst I only take family photos, I want them to be as memorable and amazing as possible, especially as I often get large prints framed. And perhaps I need to get on the Instagram bandwagon too and start sharing more.

  5. Vicky Frankland says:

    These are some great tips. I think that it is important to get some great photographs whilst on holiday. You are making memories after all, so getting the right shot is important. Not just the usual legs on a generic beach shot that tells you nothing about the place you were visiting!

  6. James says:

    I’m always on the look out for enhancing my photography skills. There’s nothing better than walking around a new and beautiful area with your camera, I love it! I had never thought about the ‘wear the right clothes’ tip but that’s a really good one actually. I feel like I’m always tempted to wear such bright colours on the beach, and perhaps that’s why my photos always come out undesirably! All of these photos are stunning and I can’t wait to put these tips into practice.

  7. Christine says:

    I’ve been trying to improve my photography recently so thank you for these tips. I’ll have to try and take more photos at sunrise and sunset. I also hadn’t thought about wearing shades that compliment the surroundings, very useful information. Going to beaches when no one else is there is such a great way to get a good shot.

  8. Jenny says:

    I’d say yes, wear something that contrasts with the background/environment where you’re taking the photo in. Also, it is VERY important to have someone who can photograph you. You can show them the angle or how you imagine the shot, and they can take it for you. I’ve tried so many times with my tripod when I travelled solo, but it’s just better when someone else takes it.
    Btw, love the first photo, where is it from? That cave looks stunning!

  9. Kelly Leanne Jones says:

    I have never really thought about the colours that can compliment photos in terms of location that is such a good idea. I also agree about the right time of day sunset is always my favourite time to be on a beach with all the beautiful colours and you usually get more of the beach to yourself as everyone has retried for the day. I will be sure to remember these tips when I next hit the beach!

  10. Zubida says:

    Nice article. Important things to know about beach photography. It’s not easy to capture perfect beach photograph until you know such things like perfect timing, finding an interesting subject, wearing right color clothes that you mentioned were very important. But one thing we need to do whenever we go to shooting at beach is that protecting our camera from sand. It must kill our camera if sand gets stuck inside it. Always need to wear the safety strap around our wrist or neck so we don’t drop it or we can use protective bag for it.

    • John Smith says:

      YES, You are right, Zubida that whenever we go shooting at the beach is we protecting our cameras from the sand. It must kill our camera if the sand gets stuck inside it. Always need to wear the safety strap around our wrists or neck so we don’t drop them or we can use a protective bag for them.

  11. jon loomer says:

    These pictures are fantastic. Here also given some useful tips. It will help me a lot. Thanks for your excellent sharing

  12. Saloni says:

    Choosing your inspiration on the beach is the right thing to get the good & honest shot. Well, good to know the other tips for beach photography.

  13. I liked it when you said that for the beach photography it is best to wear a clothing that has a strong color because the last thing that a person needs to do is to choose one that makes things look like a uniform. Anyway, I will mention this to my sister since she is the one who loves getting her picture taken. I am sure that the same thing will happen for the family’s beach vacation this month. Thank you.

  14. John says:

    Very impressive photography tips. Great to read all this. Thanks for the share!

  15. Julia Morgan says:

    I have actually been trying to improve my digital photography just recently so thanks for these pointers. I’ll need to try and take even more photos at dawn and also sundown. I additionally hadn’t considered wearing shades that match the surroundings, really helpful details. Most likely to coastlines when no person else is there are such a fantastic means to obtain a great shot.

  16. Sunil Barman says:

    Great tutorial and very easy to follow. I really like how you achieved the end result without a lot of effort. Thanks for sharing

  17. Tim Smith says:

    Beach photography is tricky, but your tips help in so many aspects.

    What stood out most for me was your very first tip, because while we may consider what to wear for shoots, we don’t always consider which colours actually work for beach shoots.

    I agree that, if you cannot find a secluded beach, evenings and cloudy days are the best times for taking photos, and even if you have access to a secluded beach, clouds create beautifully dramatic effects.

  18. Megan Adler says:

    I love that you suggest we can get photo ideas and inspiration from Instagram. My family and I are taking a trip and we want to make sure we take memorable photographs. We are renting a villa for a month so we’re going to have plenty of time to get the perfect picture.

  19. Bryson Owens says:

    My son is getting into photography right now and I want to help him as much as I can. I think that it’s a really good idea to try and take him out for pictures when it’s during the golden hour so that the light looks perfect. His birthday is coming up soon and I think a new camera would be perfect for him.

  20. Travis Smith says:

    I liked how you mentioned that you should try taking pictures on the beach during the sunrise since there aren’t as many people compared to the sunset. My wife and I are wanting to take family pictures for our Christmas cards and we were wondering how we could take great photos on the beach. I’ll be sure to tell her that we should take beach photos during sunrise.

  21. Yusuf says:

    Fabulaous images and great tips of Beach Holiday photograpahy. Great work, indeed.

  22. Shumit Roy says:

    Thanks for sharing the creative tips for beach photography. Everybody wants to be a photographer with a camera in hand but there is no professionalism in their picture. They should follow the secret tips described in your article. Well done Rathnam Rathnasamy. Thanks a lot.

  23. Alisa lira says:

    With your article i come to know Sometimes selfies just don’t cut it. And why leave someone out of frame? The best way to capture your candid beach moments is to hire a professional photographer to execute the shoot. Now all you need is to get dressed, keep everyone well fed and hydrated before the shoot and show up with a smile.

  24. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful article. Loved the 1st shot in this one :)

  25. Bob Turnbul says:

    Wow, it was really nice post. The tips are very useful. According to me, the timing of a photo shoot is not only important for the beach, but also applied in every time whenever we take a photo. However, when I will go to beach next time, I will definitely apply these tricks. Thank you again for sharing such amazing post like tis.

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