How to take great beach photos this summer

By Photobox on 29 June 2024

Discover our top tips for taking amazing beach photos, from making the most of golden hour magic to making sure your phone doesn’t overheat. Ready to capture the perfect beach moments this summer?

A great beach photo captures the joy of a day spent by the sea with the people in your life that make the sun shine all year round. But taking great beach photos can be tricky. From sandy fingers and overheating phones to battling the harsh sunlight, there are plenty of challenges. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. With these tips, you’ll be snapping stunning beach photos like a pro!

What makes a great beach photo?

The good news is that you don’t need to be a professional photographer or invest in expensive equipment to achieve fantastic results with your beach snaps. The magic of a great photo lies in creativity and paying attention to details. Whether you’re capturing spontaneous laughter, the serenity of the waves, or the playful antics of the kids, these beach photo tips will help you create beautiful images that capture the happiness of your beach adventures.

1. Experiment with angles

Let your creativity shine by playing with different angles in your beach snaps. Try getting low to capture the texture of the waves for a dramatic effect, or stand on a sunlounger and shoot from above to highlight picnic spreads or fun beach games. Varying your angles can transform an ordinary beach day picture into a visual adventure.

Top tip to make your beach photos shine: For an easy trick, try holding your phone close to the ground to capture the details of the sand with your subject in the background.

2. Use waterproof photography gear

Level up your beach photography by incorporating underwater shots. You don’t need high-end gear; a cheap and cheerful waterproof case for your phone can do wonders. Use it to capture the whole squad snorkelling, diving, or jumping in and out of the waves. These are the perfect beach pics to turn into sunny wall art, bringing a splash of summer into your home all year round.

Top underwater photography tip: For a truly standout shot, try a half-under, half-above photo that reveals the vibrant underwater world while still capturing the beach scene above.

3. Embrace golden hour

Known as the golden hour, this magical time of day enhances colours and textures, giving your photos a dreamy quality. Golden hour adds a beautiful, flattering glow to every scene, so make the most of it! Capture your friends playing beach volleyball, kids building sandcastles, or a gorgeous landscape shot of the sun dipping into the horizon.

Top tip for an amazing golden hour snap: Make the most of your smartphone’s built-in camera features and use the HDR setting to balance the light and capture all the beautiful details.

4. Bring wipes for sticky fingers

From fresh fruit to ice cream, summer snacks are a highlight of any beach day. Keep a pack of wipes handy to clean your hands and your phone. This ensures your photos remain clear and your phone stays in good condition. Clean hands also make it easier to handle your phone without worrying about dropping it in the sand.

Top tip for a clean phone and hands: Use lens wipes specifically designed for cameras to keep your phone’s lens free of smudges and fingerprints, giving you crisp, clear beach pics every time.

5. Add playful elements

Incorporating elements in the foreground can bring your beach photos to life. Beach gear, toys, or natural elements like driftwood add layers to the composition of your snap, making your shots more dynamic. Kids building a sandcastle is a great example, with their colourful buckets and shovels in the foreground. These playful touches help to tell a richer story of your beach day.

Top tip for the perfect beachy shot: Use your phone’s portrait mode to focus on a foreground object, creating a professional-looking blurred background that does the hard work for you!

6. Keep the horizon level

Ensure your horizon line is straight and positioned in your frame’s upper or lower third. This simple composition technique can instantly improve the look and feel of your beach photos. A level horizon helps maintain balance and visual appeal in your shots, making them look polished and well-thought-out. Whether you’re photographing a vast seascape or a bustling beach scene, keeping the horizon level is key to a great photo.

Top beach photography composition tip: Use your smartphone’s grid feature to keep your horizon straight. This will help you achieve well-balanced shots.

7. Protect your phone from overheating

Sunny beach days can be tough on your phone, and often, when it overheats, it automatically shuts down to prevent damage. To avoid overheating, try to keep your phone or camera shaded and cool. When not in use, place your phone under a towel, in a beach bag, or inside a small cooler bag to shield it from direct sunlight.

Top tip for keeping your phone cool: Take breaks from using your phone to prevent it from overheating so you are always ready to snap!

8. Incorporate motion

Bring energy to your beach photos by capturing movement. Use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action or a slower one to create a sense of motion. Try to look for moments to snap: your friends running into the waves or a seagull in mid-flight against a clear blue sky. You don’t need a professional camera – your smartphone likely has settings to help you capture these dynamic shots.

Top tip for a great beach action shot: Did the whole squad turn out for that beach BBQ or annual beach sports tournament? Turn your best action shots into mugs for everyone as a souvenir from a perfect day.

Ready to make waves with your beach photography? With these tips, you’re all set to capture the essence of summer like never before. So grab your camera or your phone, head to the beach, and start snapping those picture-perfect moments. Turn your best ones into beautiful photo products and keep the summer vibes going, from wall art to photo prints, photo books to mugs, cushions, and other cool custom gifts. Happy beach shooting!