28 Photos to Inspire: Getting Creative With Beach Photography

Four People on Beach Holiday

From breathtaking horizons and ever-changing lighting to sandy beach bums and interesting sea creatures, the beach presents us with an unlimited amount of photo opportunities. There are some basic beach photography tips everyone should consider, such as following the rule of thirds and capturing photos during the magic hours (just after sunrise and just before sunset), but in order to get some really spectacular beach photos – which, by the way, look brilliant printed on canvas – you should also be creative. Creative in your choice of subjects, creative in your lighting, and creative in your composition. If creativity is something you struggle with, pick apart someone else’s brain to help get you started. Check out these beach photos for some inspiration.

Write a message in the sand

Damp sand is the perfect medium to write on and makes for an interesting beach photo. In addition to single-word photos like those shown below, another great idea is to write a short message intended for the viewer such as Miss you or I love you or even the location and date of when the photo was captured.

Kids at the ocean, word love written in the sand

Creative beach photo word stress written in sand

Play with shadows

Don’t just focus your attention on the solid tangible subjects, photographing shadows can add an extra layer of interestingness to beach photos with their cool and quirky lines and curves.

Interesting shadows from fence on beach

Include interesting subjects

Rather than simply photographing the landscape, try to include appealing subjects in both your foreground and background.

Starfish in sand family holding hands on beach in water

Sandy feet beach photo

Get your subjects to pose in interesting ways

Have fun with your subjects when getting them to pose for the camera.

Creative beach photography heart made with arms

Fill your frame

When capturing beach photos, we often try to squeeze as much as possible into the frame. This approach makes sense and is only natural – after all, we want to share the scenery with our viewers. With that said, some of the best beach photos don’t actually include much of the beach at all. Filling your frame with your subject(s) can make a great photo and there will still be telltale signs illustrating where the photo was taken, such as extremely sandy fur…

Fun beach photography girl with dog covered in sand

Be candid

The photo above is a perfect example of how candid photography can result in spectacular photos. You couldn’t plan that shot if you tried. Although having your subjects pose for images can have good results, capturing your subjects when they least expect it can result in some of the best shots.

Volleyball game on the beach

Young kid rubbing sunblock into his skin at the beach

Toddler girl asleep at the beach

Play with the lighting

Photographers love to capture outdoor photos in the moments after the sun rises and just before it sets because the lighting is soft and won’t cast harsh shadows onto their subjects (and, of course, everyone loves to see photos of sunrises and sunsets). With beach photography, another great lighting technique is to position the subject directly between the camera and the sun. Doing this will create some wonderful silhouette photos (make sure to turn off your camera’s flash!).

Silhouette of adult holding baby up at the ocean

Silhouette and reflection of people jumping on the sand at the beach

Include tracks and textures

Keep your eyes open for interesting textures and tracks in the sand for some great photo opportunities.

Bird prints on the sandy beach

Tied rope on sail boat at the beach

Get wet

Waterproof cameras are more affordable than ever and – even if you don’t plan on shooting underwater images – can be a good investment if you plan on bringing your camera to the beach on a regular basis (regular cameras hate sand and water!).

Scuba divers underwater beach scene

Woman on paddle board underwater photography

More interesting beach photos to look at

Here are a few more images to help inspire you (click on images to enlarge):

I mentioned earlier that beach photos look great on canvas, but they also look amazing when they’re printed on metal What’s your favourite thing to photograph during the summer months? Leave a comment to let us know!


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