The beach can be the perfect spot to say “I do,” especially in the summer. The weather is warm, the skies are blue and everyone is happy to join a celebration. Are you planning pictures at the beach? Follow the seven tips below to capture amazing shots and nail your beach wedding photoshoot.
1. Create a Schedule
A popular beach – especially in the summer – can get crowded. Some of America’s most overpopulated beaches include Venice Beach in California and Miami Beach in Florida. Avoid strangers in your shot by planning a schedule ahead of time. Give yourself plenty of buffer time for unexpected events, like a short bout of rain or a stubborn flock of seagulls.
Arrive an hour before sunset to pose in the so-called “golden hour,” a time when you can capture an ethereal glow in your photos. Afterward, get a perfectly framed silhouette in front of a colorful sunset.
2. Play With Reflections
Take your beach photoshoot to the next level by playing with reflections. Gather near a shallow tide pool to capture a pristine mirror image. Use a wet stretch of sand to capture both reflection and reality, including blue skies, the happy couple, sandy beaches and more. Toss a pebble in the water to create a unique ripple effect. You can also go for the romantic, imperfect reflection created by using waves for distortion.
3. Use Multiple Backdrops
You’ll likely want to pose in front of the waves, but remember to mix up backdrops to create exciting photographs. Some shores might feature lighthouses, stretching piers and other architectural structures. Play with scenery like towering cliffs or natural vegetation like sea lavender, coconut balms and beach grass. Don’t be afraid to try shots in places you’ve never considered.
4. Wear the Right Jewelry
When planning your photoshoot wardrobe, choose accessories to complement your surroundings. You might consider gold hoop earrings to glisten in the sunset or boho-inspired bracelets with nautical-themed charms. Choose jewelry made from gold or platinum, as they can resist tarnishing caused by the high salt content of the air and water. Materials like pewter, copper and sterling silver are more at risk during a trip to the beach.
5. Create Dreamy Silhouettes
A silhouette is a classic wedding shot, with the shadows of the bride and groom stark against the bright backdrop. The perfect time to get this type of photo is during sunset on the beach. By exposing the sun, you can capture all the vibrant colors of the sky, ocean and vegetation, creating a background the bride and groom can pose in front of. Years later, this shot will still be found hanging in the happy couple’s home.
6. Add Some Props
Before you head to the beach, find props you can bring along to enhance your photoshoot. Think fresh-cut flowers to resemble a bouquet, with long-lasting options like peonies, calla lilies, chrysanthemums and dahlias. Lay the blooms in the sand and capture an image with the flowers in focus. The result is a romantic shot with a hazy couple in the background. Other types of props include hats, sunglasses, champagne — plus two flutes — and signs.
7. Make a Border
Use natural scenery like driftwood or palm fronds to create a border or bracket around your shot. This technique brings the eyes directly to the center of the photo, where the bride and groom will be. Bracketing is a great way to play with shadows and create highlights within the frame. Other ideas for natural borders include tall beach grass, sand dunes, stone cliffs and tiki umbrellas.
Perfect Beach Pictures
The key to the perfect shot is to plan your schedule in advance to avoid the crowds. Aim for the golden hour, the time before sunset when your photos can glow. Walk around and play with unique backdrops, like sand dunes, coves and tide pools. You can also bring along fun props like sunglasses and a bottle of champagne. A little work in advance will make a big difference in the quality of your beach wedding photos.