Getting beautiful beach photos doesn’t happen by chance.
Whether you’re getting married on a rustic beach in the Pacific Northwest, the Outer Islands along the Southern Atlantic Seaboard, or off to a tropical paradise like the Virgin Islands, it goes without saying that a beach provides a striking backdrop for a beautiful wedding. The contrast between sparkling blue waters and the soft sand makes for an enticing natural setting that draws couples from all over the world. Capturing your beachside wedding day can be difficult but if you follow some of my tips below, you’re sure to get some good results.
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
Maps might not inspire the best of moments between couples but they certainly will help you recognize where the sun will rise and set. You should also check local newspapers or do a quick search on the internet for sunrise and sunset times. Next to having great subject matter and a keen eye, lighting is a photographer’s best friend. Think about where the sun will be positioned during your wedding ceremony. If the sun is positioned directly behind the nuptials, you might find yourself and your betrothed exposed perfectly but have subsequently lost the beautiful beach backdrop due to overexposure. On the other hand, you might find the ceremony dark and underexposed with a beautiful beach backdrop. Though this might be part of a composition featuring a silhouette during sunset, it’s unlikely that you would want all of your photos to show off the beautiful sky more than you on your special day. If you plan to have an early morning or evening wedding, make sure you or your photographer is equipped with sufficient lighting to compensate for the bright sun.
Preparation is key.
Just like planning for the time of day and equipment necessary to achieve great beach wedding photos, you need to think about what other obstacles might intrude on your photo session. Consider getting married in sandals or going barefoot to keep heels from sinking into the sand. (Did you know you can purchase “heal stoppers” that keep your shoes from sinking into soft natural surfaces like sand?) Working with a knowledgeable, local photographer who knows the lay of the land can really help planning for successful wedding photos that will be shared for generations to come.
Know where you’re going to get married. Visit your beach ahead of time and take notes. List unique places along the beach that will make for timeless photos. Think about the poses that you want and how they might be realized on the beach that you chose. If you are struggling to find spots that will make for memorable photos, consider hiring a professional photographer for the job. They can help direct you and your loved one into scenes and poses likely to go viral. Don’t get too set on setting up the perfect shot though. Some of the best photos are captured in the intimate, unplanned moments when no one is looking. It’s only natural to feel a little odd letting a photographer capture you in a very personal way but try to relax and let go so your natural beauty shines through.