Summer is around the corner. Many of you will be heading down the shore (as we say in New Jersey) in a few months and will be capturing your time in the sun and on the sand in photos. Today Isabella Foreman returns with some tips for taking beach pictures. Although she writes from the perspective of a professional photographer at a commercial shoot, many of her tips can be applied to any amateur photographer wishing for the best possible results during a day down the shore with family or friends.
As a photographer, no matter whether you have a ton of experience, or you just started exploring the world of professional photography, you should be aware of the fact that each setting is different and that it requires special preparations if you want your photo shoot session to be successful.
When it comes to shooting outdoors, I’m sure you’re familiar with the fact that it can be quite unpredictable. Although spontaneity can have a very positive effect on a photographer’s work, it’s not what you’d call a reliable partner. Sure, you should always leave some room for improvisation, but it’s necessary to prepare yourself properly and avoid possible delays.
Therefore, if you’re planning on doing a beach photo shoot session in the future, there’s a list of things you should have in mind. Having all of this covered will enable you to take quality photos and not waste any time whatsoever.
Find the Right Locations
When scheduling this kind of shooting, it’s quite important that you plan in advance and give yourself enough time to get every detail done before you begin the actual photo session. One of the items that should be on top of your priority list is scouting.
For your shooting to go well, it’s important to have an experienced model with you, but that’s not all – you should take a nice long walk on that particular location you’ve chosen and do some sightseeing. If you do determine the precise locations on which you want to take your photos and do a test shooting by yourself, it will be a lot easier for you to be efficient during the actual shot.
Create a Checklist
If you have never done an outdoor shoot, you should know that the biggest problem you could possibly have during one is forgetting a piece of your equipment, and especially so if you’re traveling a long way in order to reach your destination because there’s no turning back.
So – thorough packing is in order. My sincere suggestion is to create a list of items you’ll need and also those that might be handy at some points and start packing. Naturally, you should start with your camera and make sure to bring all the lenses (100mm to 150mm) you plan on using during the shooting. Also, the obvious thing that is often forgotten – extra batteries; so, make sure they are fully charged and ready for your session.
When shooting outdoors, having a tripod or monopod with you can be quite useful – considering the constant changes that you can’t really control, some stability will definitely come in handy.
Mind the Lighting
Speaking of unpredictable conditions – in order to be satisfied with your session, it’s quite necessary that the weather conditions work to your favor. Therefore, make sure to check the forecast and even consult your local weather station directly so that there are no surprises.
As a photographer, you’re probably already aware of this fact, but I’d like to mention it either way. There’s this period of time during sunrises and sunsets when the lighting is magical and when you should invest your effort into taking quality shots.
Create a Comfort Zone
Other than your professional equipment, you should also make sure that you pack your beach items. Every photographer who ever worked with a model in a bikini knows that it’s quite necessary for her to feel maximally comfortable, so having a couple of towels with you is a must.
Other than that, make sure that you and the whole team working on your session are properly hydrated at all times, so make sure to bring enough water and refreshing snacks. Naturally, applying a proper SPF goes without saying – you wouldn’t want to deal with unpleasant sunburns while you’re working.
Each look you have planned out for your model needs to be put together to the very last detail before you start shooting. It’s always smart to bring additional pieces with you and do some improvising, but the main part needs to be planned out properly.
Other than changing bikinis, it’s quite important for your model to accessorize properly, which is something that usually requires some time, so don’t leave it for the last moment. Another thing to have in mind is shoes – whether your model will wear them or not depends on your location and the whole theme of your setting actually, but you should definitely consider this idea.
Wrap It Up with Editing
Your job isn’t finished when the photo session is over – there’s still a lot of sorting out that needs to be done and you already know that it takes time to clean out your shots and get rid of misfires. Other than that, quality photo editing is a completely separate project – fashion photography is a very demanding branch and it’s quite important that you develop a keen eye for detail so that you can emphasize the right accents on your images.
This is a solid base you can work with. As you might have noticed, it’s all a matter of good preparation – if you surround yourself with everything you could possibly need, you can deal with any kind of problem that comes your way.