How to Take Awesome Photos On Your Beach Vacation
Documenting your beach vacation is part of the fun!
Today we are going to give you great tips for capturing your beach vacation through photography. Whether you have a professional SLR or are just using your phone's camera, there are several things you can do to make sure you get awesome shots!
Photography at the beach is a little different than just shooting pics around the house, at the park, or in the backyard. You already know that lighting matters, and our Topsail Island sunshine can be your friend or foe when it comes to getting a great picture! At the beach, you also need to think about the wind, kids in action, and of course, you don't want to get your camera wet! Read on to see all of our best tips for successful beach photography. 📸
1. Take LOTS of pictures
Yay for the digital age! You can take a million pictures and get just the right shot. Then... just delete the ones that don't work. When you are on a beach vacation, there is plenty to photograph. Try different angles, distances, and when working with kids, just keep shooting. You are bound to capture some gems.
2. Avoid the zoom.
And no, we don't mean Zoom meetings... those are here to stay. Avoid the tempting "pinch and zoom" when using your digital smartphone. You will really lose a lot of detail and quality, since it's just performing a digital zoom (not an optical zoom, which you WILL have on a DSLR camera, so zoom away if that's what you are using!). Instead of zooming (or cropping your image later), try to get closer to the action. Your result will be more clear and precise.
3. Check your light.
It's best to photograph humans on the beach when the sun is either first rising or setting! When the sun is blazing right above us, it tends to cast shadows on faces (as well as plenty of squinting). But around sunset? Perfection. It's called the "Golden Hour" for a reason. You will love the hazy glow and soft filter that appears to color your photos, all courtesy of Mother Nature.
If you are shooting pics during the day when the sun is high, no worries! Just try to keep your subject's back to the sun so he doesn't squint too much, and surprisingly, if you turn ON your flash it can help get rid of some unsightly shadows.
Are you inside the vacation rental? You still need to capture the fun! Turn on as many indoor lights as possible and turn OFF your camera's flash. This will avoid the harsh cast a flash photo can sometimes produce.
4. Get detailed.
There is so much beauty to be found at the beach. Get up close to the ridges of a seashell. Zoom in on the ice cream cone with your kid licking it in the background. Go ahead... photograph that delicious shrimp dinner. Each of these photos will evoke certain feelings and memories that you will want to look back on year after year.
5. Mix in some video.
Photos are great for documenting your trip, but don't forget to slide over to the video setting once in a while. Photos can't ever capture your toddler's little voice, your child's epic boogie board wipeout, or the laughter over something ridiculous during your family game night. Yeah, your family might get annoyed that you are always filming, but they will appreciate it later - promise!
6. Experiment with your camera settings.
Whether you are using an actual camera or just your phone, play around with the settings! There is a time and place for portrait mode (and it's not just for faces... try it on a flower or that ice cream cone, as mentioned above). You may have to adjust your shutter speed if you have a kid chasing after a seagull. If you are photographing at night, that requires a different setting as well. You should also check out manual add-on apps for your cameraphone (like this one for iPhone). They can level up your simple smartphone as you take the photo, and other apps, like VSCO, are great for editing your photos once they are safely in your camera roll.
7. Give the camera to the kids.
Maybe not super young kids, but if you have a trustworthy child that knows her way around your camera, set her loose. It's always so fun to see what they come back with! Close up photos of dune grasses, a cute lizard, an awkward selfie, a flock of seagulls, and candids of your group are just some of the treasures we bet you will find. It's great to get another perspective of the beach vacation besides yours - so pass that camera around.
8. Capture the "mundane".
What? We should take photos of the dirty dishes and the messy car? Well – maybe don't photograph anything THAT mundane, but there is value in the simple moments that create vacation memories. Catch the kids sleeping in those cute vacation rental bunk beds with the seashell comforters. Snap a pic of your spouse asleep on the deck after a long day. And for the love... don't forget a photo of your child's sandy feet. There is just nothing cuter.
Create a vacation scrapbook
Now that you have all these great photos, what are you going to do with them? Share them on Facebook? Print them to frame?
Try making a vacation scrapbook. Our previous blog post will show you how.
Another option is to use a photobook service (like Costco or Shutterfly) to create a book of memories without any scissors or glue.
Ready to try out some of these photography tricks for yourself? Book a Topsail Island vacation with Island Real Estate. We provide the vacation rental - you make the memories!