5 Ideas for Amazing Beach Vacation Photos

by Valerie Johnston | July 20, 2012

Almost everyone loves a vacation at the beach. After all, the sun and the sand, the wonderful breezes, the sunsets, the people having fun...what's not to love? The problem comes when we seek to make creative and unique photographs of our beach vacations. You know the type of digital photography that we mean...the ones that won't look the same as the last trip to the shore; the ones that won't be confused with the photos we took at the other beach earlier in the year.

How do you get amazing shots of your beach vacation? It is a pretty challenging thing, but we're here with five great ideas for overcoming your photographic ennui while on your next beach vacation.

Warning: some of these suggestions include rising before sunrise and forgetting all that you know about "regular composition" of photographs.

  1. The Empty Beach - you will always remember where you were when you get up before the sunrise and head to the empty beach. Not only will this present you with a very rare opportunity for a shot you wouldn't get at another time of day, but you also get the "sweet light". This is natural light around dawn and dusk, and it is amazing. It is some of the warmest, softest, and most flattering light you will ever encounter. It might be a good time for portraits at the beach too.vacation photography, beach vacation, photo inspiration, empty beach, destin, Fl, seaside fl
  2. Themes - forget the grand sweeping photographs at the beach and go for shots that have a specific theme. What do we mean? Rows of feet in flip flops, sea shells with similar color patterns, stones with lines in them all set up in a row, writing in the sand, children's toys, the snack shack, the lobster pots, colorful groups of umbrellas, a close up of brilliantly colored towels, and so on. Find things that say "beach" without necessarily including the beach.vacation photography, beach vacation, photo inspiration, beach fencevacation photography, beach vacation, photo inspiration, sand castle
  3. From the water and inward - why not take fate into your hands (not to mention your major tool for digital photography - the camera) and walk out into the water to take a photograph back towards the shore? You will have to head out a bit of a distance or set the camera to a wide angle to get the water in the image, but it could be a very interesting group of photographs.
  4. The Furnishings - a beach vacation may mean a beach cottage or bungalow. This often translates to hammocks, tiki torches, paths to and from the beach, and the other furnishings that would be necessary for those living at the short. You could easily find dozens of memorable and beautiful shots of the surroundings that made up your "home away from home" during your beach vacation. Shoot the beach chairs, the sand covered "Welcome" mat, and all of those small things that will remind you of your days at the seaside.vacation photography, beach vacation, photo inspiration, beach entrance, boardwalk
  5. vacation photography, beach vacation, photo inspiration, beach steps, stairs to beachA formal portrait - whether it is to have printed on a lovely photo canvas or to be used as a holiday greeting card, why not get everyone dressed up in their very best clothes, and then pose for all kinds of formal portraits while still at the beach? You could have everyone standing in the water, laying in the sand, jumping in the air, smiling down in a circle around the camera, doing a human pyramid, or a handful of other poses that blended the formal with the informal.

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Are you up to the challenge of amazing beach photographs? We think you are, and you will have an absolute blast trying to find ways to use your digital photography skills to make memorable and really unique shots this summer!

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Tips-n-Tricks #221

As you think of New Year's Resolutions, try to include one about taking photos. It maybe taking photos of a specific subject, or just more photos of the family. Whatever your goal is...set it now and do your best to follow it through.


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