5 Tips for Great Beach Photos

August 19, 2020

As a California photographer, I have plenty of practice with and tips for beach photos. I think I was born to photograph people on the gorgeous beaches of Northern California! Whether it’s maternity photos at Baker Beach, wedding photos in Big Sur, or anywhere else along the coast, I’m pretty obsessed with the dreamy, glowy look of beach photos!

But, while they may look pretty, they’re not necessarily easy. We usually battle wind, salt, sand fleas, walking long distances, crowds, and more. But, this doesn’t mean you can’t have awesome beach photos, and have a great time while you’re at it. It just means you may need to do a little prep work beforehand to make sure everything goes perfectly.

So, here are my top five tips for beach photos!

Pick the Right Time of Day

One of the best things about beach photo sessions is the glowy light I usually get. I get this because I strategically choose the best time of day for each location. Some beaches are best at sunset, and others are best at sunrise. So, be flexible with your session time. And, be prepared to wake up early for the best light if necessary!

Wardrobe is Key

It’s sooooo important to match your wardrobe to the environment when taking beach photos. You want to choose something flowy and with movement, to mimic the movement of the water and take advantage of the ocean breeze. You should also stick to neutral colors and simple patterns. Leave the bold colors and patterns for the urban photo sessions! And, don’t forget about shoes! No heels, wedges, or anything that won’t work well in sand. In fact, barefoot looks and feels great if you’re comfortable with it!

Creative Locations

Often times with beach sessions, we don’t have time to travel to a bunch of different places. So, choose a beach that has a variety of “backgrounds” for your session. Think of beaches that have epic views or boulders or trees to add variety to your photos.

a couple walks along the coast with their dogs for tips for beach photos

No Fancy Hair

Girl. If you’ve ever been to the beach, you know all about that beach hair! Nine times out of ten, beaches are breezy and not the best place for fancy hairstyles. So, take a more natural approach when it comes to your hairstyle. Think beach waves that will blow in the breeze, or loose braids that will vibe with that beachy boho look we all love.

Be Flexible with the Weather

Unpredictable weather is the norm here on the west coast, especially at our San Francisco beaches. Don’t be afraid to layer up for your session! Throwing on a sweater in between shots and locations can be a life saver. And, it can add a bit of diversity in your look if you want to wear it for a few photos!

a family runs at Baker Beach for tips for beach photos

I hope these tips for beach photos are helpful as you plan your next beach photo session! If you have other tips to share with my readers, comment below to share your thoughts!

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