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Aug 27 2012

Perfect beach Photos-St.Louis wedding and St.Louis Boudoir Photographer

How Do You Get Those Perfect Beach Photos?

There is an art to taking the perfect beach photograph, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a professional photographer.:) Whether your taking pictures of landscape or portraits of your family, there are a few DO’S and DONT’S that will help you get your beach pictures just right!


1.When taking pictures of people, plan your photo session an hour before sunset or an hour after sunrise.   It’s called the “golden hour” and many people love it for their portraits!  If you like a cooler tone to your pictures take pictures 2 hrs after sunrise or 2 hrs before sunset.

2.  Make sure your background is clear of people.  There is nothing like coming home and realizing there is a hairy dude in all your pictures!

3. Pay attention to bright areas around your subject.  Depending on how your camera is metering the light, if you’re taking a picture of a face that is surrounded by bright sand in the viewfinder, the camera will take an average exposure of the bright sand and the darker face.  This will mean your face will be dark.  If you use manual settings use a F16 exposure at Iso 100 if it’s a bright day.  If you are using your cameras automatic settings, like P mode, try to take a meter reading up close of your subjects face where it fills the frame and then lock that exposure in.  Then back up to take your picture.

4. Use the rule of thirds for composition.  No matter what your subject, this rule will work for you.  The sample picture of this blog post uses the rule of thirds.  Basically if you place your subject in the upper right, lower right, upper left or lower left instead of dead center your image looks better.  This link from an expert, Wikipedia, will tell you more about the rule of thirds:). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds

5.  Look for unique angles of view that are not at eye level.  Get on the ground and a take a picture of that tree from an ants’ perspective.  Or climb up on the pier to take a downward perspective view of the beach at a different view.  We tend to like images that are a little different than what our eyes normally see.  Changing the angle of view can give your images an extra edge.




2. Take pictures between 10am-3pm if you are taking portraits of people.  With the sun reflecting off the sand it is BRIGHT on the beach!  Even if you are able to find a slightly shady area, people with sensitive eyes will still be squinting in your pictures.  Also without shade there will be harsh shadows on your subjects faces.

2. Change your lenses out on the beach.  With the wind blowing and the sand everywhere there is a greater chance of sand getting into you camera body and scratching the sensor or camera mirror.  If you must change lens, make sure your camera is TURNED OFF, and with the lens mount pointing towards the ground.  If your camera is on when you switch lens it causes a vacuum effect which can draw particles into your camera.

3. Forget to check your backgrounds for objects that “appear” to be coming out of subjects heads!  Getting that sweet palm tree behind grandma might seem like a great idea, but if its centered right behind her…it will appear to be coming right out of her head!

4.Don’t have your subject facing directly into the sun.  Most subjects are more flattered by standing at a 45 degree angle to the sun.  When the sun is your light source not only will your subjects be squinting but it will accentuate skin imperfections.

5.Take your photograph with a background that has a distracting color or extreme bright spot.  Your eye will go to those spots instantly and take away from the subject matter of your image.





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