How To Take Great Beach Photos of Your Kids

Written By: Kristen
Published: April 8th, 2013 -- Last Updated: December 10th, 2013

Have you ever excitedly snapped a bunch of photos of your kids playing at the beach, only to feel your excitement change to disappointment when you see that your photos aren’t the things of beauty you imagined they’d be?

Sunset is a great time to capture photos of your kids on the beach!

Sunset is a great time to capture photos of your kids on the beach!

The beach is a bit of a tricky place to take photos, so I’ll share about how to overcome the lighting challenges the beach presents and also how to take your beach photos from blah to interesting.

1. Shoot when the sun is coming up or going down.

Most people think the ideal time to take photos is when it’s super sunny and bright out on the beach.

Here's' a photo taken during the hour after sunrise.

Here’s’ a photo taken during the hour after sunrise.

But when the sun is overhead, it causes harsh shadows, which are not visually appealing and which will give your kids dark areas under their eyes.

In the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset, the sun isn’t nearly so high in the sky and it will give you a nice, soft light.

Another option if you’re out in the middle of the day is to wait for a cloud to cover the sun.  This will soften the usually harsh light of the overhead sun. Your pictures will have much more even light this way.

2. Use your camera’s beach mode or exposure compensation.

When your camera sense all the sunlight reflecting off of the sand and water, it will think there’s way too much light and will automatically darken your photos.  If your camera has a beach mode, it will help to prevent your photos from being too dark.  If you have an exposure compensation feature on your camera and move the slider to the right.

This photo was taken by getting down and zooming out.

This photo was taken by getting down and zooming out.

3. Get down.

It’s easy for us adults to take photos from our standing height, but this usually results in a boring photo.  Squat down, or even lay down to get on your children’s level to make your photos more interesting.

4. Get in close.

Don’t be afraid to fill up the frame with your subject.  You’re taking a photo of your kids, not of the little section of beach around them!

5. Zoom way out.

Zoom out to catch the whole beach in the frame!

Zoom out to catch the whole beach in the frame!

Though it’s a good idea to get in close most of the time, sometimes it’s fun to zoom out so that you capture how large the beach is.

6. Take shots when they’re not looking.

Sometimes it’s fine to ask your children to smile and look at the camera, but you’ll get your most natural shots if you photograph them while they’re happily playing.

Have fun capturing happy vacation moments, and remember to keep practicing your beach photography.  The more you shoot, the more your skills will improve.

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