Beach Picture Ideas For Every Photographer

From the paradise beaches of the Mediterranean with turquoise blue waters, all the way to vast, sandy beaches ideal for surfing on the Australian coast – If you’re interested in capturing creative and fun images, you’re making a great decision to head to the beach for your next photography session

Beach Picture Ideas For Every Photographer

In this guide, we are going to be sharing with you some of the best beach photography ideas that you can consider for your next visit to the beach.

All of these ideas are perfect for enjoying on your own, but they can also be enjoyed as a large photography project with friends and family. 

Let’s read on.

The Best Beach Photography Ideas

The beach is truly a playground for anyone interested in photography. Below, let’s take a look at some of the best beach photography ideas that you can use for inspiration:

1. Try Out Macro Photography!

If you’ve been doing photography for quite some time, then we’re sure that you might have already heard of macro photography.

If you haven’t thought, macro photography is a term that essentially refers to a technique that places a subject close-up to the lens of the camera.

More often than not, macro photography is usually achieved by using subjects that are small in size, as this will allow the photographer to capture intricate details of the subject that might not have been otherwise visible to the eye.

Thanks to this, this means that the beach is the perfect place to try this technique out for yourself. 

If you’re interested in making a visit to the beach to enjoy some macro photography, then we recommend that you first take the time to pick what subjects you would like to photograph at the beach.

As we have said, macro photography works best with smaller subjects (especially if you want to fit the entirety of the subject in the frame) you’ll want to pick small rock formations, shells, sand, and even small wildlife!

Top Tip: If you’re interested in macro photography, why don’t you consider asking friends or family to come along and help with the project? We’re sure that they’ll love to help you find small beach subjects to photograph, and you can all have a fun day out at the beach.

2. Create A Story With Pictures

Now, if you’re in need of a photography project that is going to be family-friendly, you should definitely consider this one next time you make a visit to the beach! 

Creating a story with images is a super fun way to get all of the family involved, while also providing you with the chance to get creative with photography and hone your technique.

All you’ll need to do is take 4 or 5 images that follow a certain theme or plot, and the best part is that the story itself can be simple and not overly detailed. 

All you are going to need to do is simply come up with a basic storyline (or message that you want to convey through the imagery) and then begin compiling the images together.

To give you an idea of some of the ways that you can achieve this, you could get the family together and take some portrait photos of them acting out a story. 

For example, you could get the children together and take natural photographs of them making sand castles, including them digging up the sand.

Then, when the sand castles are complete, you can then finish up by taking pictures of the children jumping on the sand castles to break them. 

Another example of creating a story through images is to share your and your family’s day out at the beach in a series of pictures!

Some of the image ideas that you can use as inspiration include images such as: laying down the towels on the sand, playing games on the beach, swimming in the ocean, and even enjoying some yummy ice cream to cool down!

Alternatively, if you don’t want to use people as your subjects when creating a story through images while at the beach, why don’t you consider undertaking a miniature photography project?

Miniature photography is very popular and the beach is one of the best places to do it. 

All you will need is a few toy models to use and some props, and you will be ready to go ahead and begin creating your little stories. This is also another ideal photography idea for families with little ones!

3. Write A Message In The Sand

Another great photography idea that you can try while enjoying a day out at the beach is writing messages in the sand!

This idea is especially ideal for those who might not have a lot of photography equipment to work with, but still want to capture memorable, creative images while at the beach.

Unlike some of the other ideas that we have shared in this guide, all you will really need to achieve this is a stick or stone so that you can write a message in the sand.

Plus, unlike landscape or macro imagery, you aren’t going to need to worry about the focus quality as much, which means that you can use a camera to capture the images or your phone’s camera!

This is a great option for beginners who might not have a lot of experience.

So, what are some of the messages or shapes that you can draw in the sand? Wel, just like with the story idea, the options truly are endless.

You could opt to draw shapes in the sand to share a simple theme or feeling, like a love heart, a smiley face or even an arrow pointing at something else in the frame to bring attention to it. 

On the other hand, if you want the photography you take while at the beach to have a specific message behind it, then you can write a phrase or message in the sand.

If you’re in need of a little bit of inspiration on what you can write, you could write your name, the date you visited or even a special occasion. 

4. Get Creative With Lights!

Regardless of where you plan on taking your photography, one of the best ways to elevate your pictures is with the use of props.

If you’re going to be heading down to the beach to enjoy a photography session, then why don’t you consider using LED lights?

It’s super easy to get your hands on LED lights, and thanks to the way that they are super affordable and portable  – it means that you will be able to easily take them to the beach with you.

As well as this, the beach is also a great place to get creative with LED lights because there aren’t too many artificial lights, so you’ll have the opportunity to illuminate aspects of the beach with them to create more interesting images.

While this is a great idea for anyone looking for a specific “theme” for their beach imagery, this is also a great project to try for anyone looking to get creative with their beach photography!

This is also a great option for anyone that wants to capture interesting yet natural portrait imagery, as the LED lights can help to create a focal point, as well as a calming ambience.

This doesn’t have to be limited to just LED lights, either! There are plenty of ways that you can play with light to capture interesting and dreamlike images while at the beach.

You can get creative with all different types of lighting subjects and conditions, including lighting that comes from both artificial and natural light sources.

If you’re looking for a way to practice your technique while experimenting with light, the beach is the perfect place to visit. 

Top Tip: If you’re going to be playing with artificial light, then we recommend that you consider taking your images with a shallow depth of field (this will mean taking imagery with an aperture of at least f4 or lower than this) which will push the camera lens slightly out of focus.

Thanks to this, you will be able to achieve an ambient bokeh effect!

For the most effective lighting, we also recommend that you head to the beach at sunset or the evening, as during the day it will be too light for your camera lens to pick up on the light you want to work with. 

5. Take Images Using Long Exposure!

If you’ve got the photography equipment to hand and you’re willing to bring it along with you to the beach – then why don’t you consider trying out long exposure photography?

Even though it’s a little more challenging to take this type of photography, we think that it is absolutely worth it. 

If you’re not overly familiar with long exposure photography, it is essentially a style of photography that is achieved by opening up the shutter speed of the camera for a relatively long period of time.

Once this is done, the quality of the images isn’t as sharp as when the shutter speed is set to default, which results in very dreamy photos.

In particular, long-exposure imagery looks extremely beautiful when paired with movement.

So, if you’re thinking about heading to the beach to capture some images of the ocean, opting to use long exposure when taking the pictures will be a great decision to make!

So, what will you need if you want to take long exposure imagery? Well, as we have said, this type of photography technique requires a little more equipment than other types of photography techniques.

At the minimum, you’re going to need to make sure that you have filters and a tripod for the best results. 

The filters are highly recommended to be used when capturing long exposure imagery because they will be able to block out any unwanted light, while a tripod will be able to make sure that your camera is held steady.

For the best results, we recommend that you use neutral density filters, as besides being able to help you with high-quality imagery, they will work best outdoors.

All in all, while long exposure might be a little more challenging than other types of photography, the results will be totally worth it.

Next time you’re in the mood to capture some images while at the beach, we recommend bringing your equipment and setting up somewhere quiet. Then, grab a beach towel, relax and begin taking photos.

Top Tip: Finding the right filters to use can be hard, to say the least. If you’re in need of some help selecting the correct filters to use for long exposure images at the beach, then we recommend that you take a visit to your local photography store for assistance.

We’re sure that they will be happy to help you.

6. Capture Family Beach Pictures

Another great way to elevate your photography sessions at the beach is to consider capturing natural family photos there! Family beach photos have the ability to capture candid and memorable moments that will last a lifetime.

Family portraits at the beach are a favorite with photography clients all over the world for a reason!

If you are a photographer that has been hired with taking family portraits at the beach, or you’re simply interested in taking your own family photos at the beach, then you’re going to want to make sure that you are setting your camera’s aperture to at least 2.8 or lower in order to capture the best quality portraits. 

It is also recommended that you make the images as natural as they possibly can be.

The beach is associated with a laidback nature, so you should try and emulate this within your photography through capturing candid moments that will be both natural and memorable. 

Top Tip: If you’re going to be taking your own family photos, then why don’t you use a tripod? This will allow you to get in the photos while still ensuring that your camera is held steady.

7. Capture The Details Of The Beach

If you don’t have a tripod, you’re planning on going to the beach by yourself or you’re simply in need of a little inspiration for your next trip to the beach – why don’t you consider capturing some of the iconic, classic details of the beach?

There are plenty of different things that you will be able to take pictures of while at the beach, including sea shells, the ocean, parasols, and even colorful umbrellas!

There’s so many different options for you to choose from when it comes to choosing a beach subject, which means that you will be able to play around with a variety of photography techniques. 

This is a great way to capture some new and interesting perspectives of the various objects of the beach that might otherwise be overlooked.

In addition to this, capturing some classic details of the beach is a great way to build your technique as a photographer. We think that you’ll have plenty of fun experimenting with this idea, and we’re sure that you’ll love the results!

For example, why don’t you consider creating a list of some of the main subject options that you have available to you when you arrive at the beach?

This could be anything from shells in the sand all the way to a jet ski floating on the ocean. After you have created a list, you can then go ahead and begin brainstorming some of the ways that you might like to capture your subjects. 

If you can see some beautiful boats out on the horizon that you’d like to take a picture (see also: Beautiful Pictures Of Flowers For Your Inspiration)of to remember forever, you could try your hand at long exposure photography.

On the other hand, if you can see a pretty shell in the sand that you want to immortalize forever, you could take some close-up shots. 

Besides offering plenty of variety, this is also a great way to take images of regular things that you find at the beach, and turn them into something beautiful and fascinating to look at through the imagery that you create. 

Another fun idea that you can consider is to take an ordinary item, such as a pair of sunglasses, and then use it to create intriguing images that will offer plenty of visual interest.

For example, even though taking a picture of a pair of sunglasses might seem quite boring if you use the reflection of the glass frames – you’ll be able to capture some pretty incredible imagery. 

Using the reflection of the sunglasses is a great way to capture images of your group of friends, you and your family, or even images of the ocean or the sand.

When it comes to this option,  there aren’t going to be any rules! So long as you are thinking out of the box and having fun, we think that you will be pleasantly surprised by the beautiful imagery that you are able to capture. 

8. Use The Beach As A Backdrop!

Last but certainly not least, the final fun beach photography idea that we have to share with you is to use the beach as your backdrop!

This is one of the best pieces of advice that we have to share with you, especially if you are someone who needs a natural backdrop for client work or your personal portfolio of images.

For example, if you are a budding photographer that has their own small business, the beach is the perfect place to go and show off your creations for all of your potential customers to be able to see.

The beach is an ideal place to take images of nature-related products (such as arts and crafts), although it can also be an appropriate backdrop for photography shoots that require minimal background distractions!

No matter whether you have been tasked with the responsibility of capturing portrait images or you are going to be taking images of products, the beach as a backdrop will be able to add neutral and calm elements to your photography without being overpowering.

Thanks to this, your photography will look refined and polished while ensuring that your subjects are center focus in the frames. 

In addition to all of the above, the beach is the perfect alternative to more formal photography backdrops, such as the type that you can find in a studio environment.

That being said, if you have some products that you want to take images of, or you have been hired to take family portraits and you’re in need of a natural, laidback backdrop to take them – the beach is a great place to go. What’s more, it’ll be totally free, as well! 

Top Tip: If you would like to use the beach as a backdrop for your portrait or product imagery, then we highly recommend that you take a trip to the beach during either sunrise or sunset.

Besides allowing you to make the most of the most breathtaking and optimal lighting conditions, the beach is usually very quiet during these times of the day.

Thanks to this, it means that you will be able to escape any beachgoers so that your photography session goes undisturbed.

Wrapping Up

From landscape photography, and natural portrait photography all the way to macro photography, when it comes to photography – the beach is a great place to enjoy all kinds of photography projects.

Plus, it’s also the perfect opportunity to spend time with family and friends.

Now, all that is left for you to do is to head down to the beach and get snapping pictures! We hope that this guide has been helpful in giving you all the inspiration you need to enjoy an awesome photography session at the beach.

We hope you have fun, and thanks for reading!

Laura McNeill
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