Following on from last week’s post about taking great photos on your family holiday, I’m sharing some tips specifically about photographing your children at the beach.
On some holidays you can be at the beach every day, and that can mean a lot of photo opportunities. But the beach can also be one of the hardest places to take photographs because of how exposed it is. Read on for three quick tips to avoid the harsh light and take some great portraits.
1. Embrace the Golden Hour
As I mentioned above, the beach is a difficult place to take portraits because during the day it’s likely to be brighter than anywhere else – there’s usually little natural shade, and the white sand and water reflect huge amounts of light. All this bright light is not great news for portraits – bright light like this isn’t flattering and can result in harsh shadows.
Come back to the beach an hour before sunset though, and you’ll have a completely different experience. In photography the golden hour is the hour just after sunrise, or just before sunset – the light is soft, even and some might even say “magical.” Plan a walk on the beach before or after dinner to make the most of it, and you’ll find your photos have a very different feel.
2. Seek Shade
You can’t save all of your photographs for the golden hour though – no doubt you’ll want to capture your children playing on the beach during the day too. Do whatever you can to find shade, as this will immediately eliminate the harsh light I mentioned above. If there’s no natural shade available, you could use the shadow of the back your sun loungers or beach umbrella instead.
3. Pay Attention to where shadows fall
There will be times when you can’t find shade, and at those times I recommend paying attention to where the light and shadows are falling on your children before taking the shot. You may be able to eliminate harsh shadows and bright spots just by changing your position or angle. Walk all the way around your child to see which side has light falling on it more evenly. Encourage them to turn towards you so you can photograph from this position.
Over to you
I hope you find these tips helpful when you’re on the beach this summer. What other questions do you have about photographing your children? Let me know in the comments below.