Kids love summer. It means going on holidays, spending time outdoors in the sun, and making great memories with the family. If you’re like most Aussie families, it also means taking trips to the beach.
The problem is… the beach is one of the hardest places to take great photos and document precious moments with your family. So how can you take better photos at the beach with your kids? Photos that are eye-catching enough to post on social media, hang proudly in your living room, and gift to family members at Christmas time?
We’ve put together 7 tips that’ll help your beach photos go from blurry and confused… to frame ready and Christmas card worthy! The best part? Most of these tips will help you take better photos with your children in ANY location (not just the beach!).
1. Choose the right time of day
When it comes to taking beautiful photos, lighting makes a huge difference. That’s why taking great beach photos can be so hard, because the bright sun overexposes faces and creates harsh reflections from the sand and water. So when’s the golden hour for beach photography?
The best time of day to take photos at the beach is either early in the morning, or late in the afternoon. The light during this time is softer and more forgiving. If you do have to take photos in the middle of the day, pay attention to the direction of the sun. You can use it to your advantage to create interesting shadows or highlight your subjects.
2. Coordinate colours
Carefully selecting your little one’s outfit is an effective way to improve your beach photos. For example, you could sit them down in a baby beach chair and put on a matching cotton beach hat. The colours will pop out of the frame and the patterns provide fantastic contrast against the sand.
If you’re taking a family photo, coordinate colours across the entire group so there’s a consistent theme. You don’t all have to wear the exact same outfit. However, wearing a similar colour pallet or piece of clothing with a matching pattern is a simple way to elevate the photo to another level.
3. Get down on your kids’ level
Getting down to your kids' level can make your photos more personal and intimate. So don’t be afraid to get down on your hands and knees and crawl around for a bit!
By lowering yourself to your mini’s eye level, you can capture their full expression. You can also showcase the beautiful beach surroundings from their perspective. As an added bonus, being on the same level makes you less intimidating to your children, which means they’ll relax and you'll get better photos.
4. Play with props
Props are a must for any photography session at the beach with your kids. For starters, they’ll add a splash of colour and help you create unique and interesting compositions. But they’ll also have the added bonus of keeping your baby or child entertained (which can be half the battle when taking photos).
You can use a ball, doll or stuffed animal, but the best props are colourful beach toys because they look at home on the beach. You can try playing in the sand and building castles with your little one, and get your partner to take some quick shots while you do it. You can also take photos of the beach toys by themselves if you want to make a composition of your fun day out!
5. Bring a picnic mat
Children love sand. In fact, they love it so much they’ll often play with it for hours. But if they’re always looking at the ground (and never at the camera), you’ll miss out on some incredible portrait opportunities.
The simple solution? Lay down a beach-friendly picnic mat. This will keep the kids from staring at the sand and open up opportunities to capture their beautiful eyes and joyful expressions. Plus, it’ll add some fantastic personality to your pictures!
6. Frame your photos
In photography, ‘framing’ helps enhance the composition of your shot by directing attention towards the subject. Frames such as trees, umbrellas, or lifeguard stands can add depth and interest to your photos. Using these elements to frame your subjects can create a more professional-looking photo.
7. Have fun!
Kids often get bored taking photos. The last thing you want is to ruin your day at the beach by placing too much pressure on capturing the perfect snap.
So make sure you relax and focus on having fun with your children. Play games, tickle them, and share laughs. The candid moments are often the best, and you'll be surprised at how much your photos improve when you’ve got happy, smiling faces filling up the