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5 Tips for Photographing People at the Beach

Author: Libby - Printique by Adorama

Say it isn’t so! The summer is already winding down and we haven’t even hit the beach yet. Now is the time to grab your camera and hit the sand and surf. Before you get frustrated with the harsh light that often occurs at the beach, we have a few tips for you to make your pictures a little more lovely.

1. Don’t Shy Away from the Sun

Obviously, going to the beach when the sun is not mid-day is preferable. However, it shouldn’t stop you from getting great pictures of people. There are a few ways to cheat the sun and get great shots. Have your subjects wear sunglasses and get that beautiful sunlight on their skin. It will come out nice and bright with tones that can give great contrast. You can also have them face sideways so they are not staring directly into the sun.
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2. Silhouette

Now try the opposite of our first tip. This is a little more structured though on getting the right image. Go low so you can get a lot of the sky in – after all this should fill most of your frame to make the most of the image. Next, expose for the sky, not your subject. Then check your histogram to make sure that it is not overexposed. Also, also when photographing silhouettes, make sure there is a separation between your subjects. Otherwise, it will look like a black blob and you won’t be able to change that in post.
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3. Sunflare

I like to think of sun flare as the best of both worlds – bright sun and silhouette. Obviously, the best time for this type of photograph is when the sun is lower in the sky. You want that warm, glowing light that happens right before sunset. You’ll be shooting into the sun so start at a lower ISO like 100. Cameras have a hard time focusing when you are shooting into the sun, so find something to focus on such as your subject’s hair, etc. Your camera needs something to grab on to focus. Then experiment, this really is about what works best. Typically, start with a shutter speed of 1/125 and work your way up to see how much light you want in or don’t want in the photo.
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4. Reflection

You have the perfect mirror in front of you, the water. Try photographing your subject where you include the reflection in the water. Obviously, calm waters are best suited for this type of photograph. It doesn’t have to be a perfect reflection, sometimes abstract makes it more interesting. Try different angles to get the best reflection. Also, reflection on wet sand is marvelous for a softer look.
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5. Summer Props

From sunglasses to surfboards to everything in between, summer props are bold and bright. You can add a lot of color to your images by including some of these bright props into your photos. A pop of color to offset the blue sky and blue water is the perfect way to add interest to your image.beachphotography3
If you have any suggestions on photographing people at the beach, please share them with us and leave a comment below!
-written by Libby for Adoramapix
-imagery by Shutterstock for editorial purposes