My Top 3 Beach Photography Tips That Will Instantly Improve Your Images

I recently hosted a number of Mommy & Me Photography classes and had so much fun teaching tips and tricks to a group of moms who wanted to learn how to take quality photos of their kids. When setting up these classes, I stressed that no fancy equipment was necessary. The only prerequisite was an interest to learn and eagerness to apply the new skills instantly with hands-on guidance by me. Throughout the class I reinforced the process composing a great image by thinking of background, position and light. At the end of one particular class I was asked “What do I do when there is nothing around and the sun is really bright?” My first thought was the beach.  With summer quickly approaching I wanted to provide my top 3 beach photography tips that will improve your images instantly.

A beach provides a variety of frame worthy photo opportunities, however it is not short in photography challenges. Depending on the time and location a beach can be crowded, which causes cluttered backgrounds and not so flattering beach goers. As you see in the images below my background is clutter free and celebrates the sand, surf and sky.

Tip #1: Get Low
When working with clients or even my own child you will find me constantly moving into various positions to capture the right angle. Being in a squat or even laying down provides a unique perspective. On a crowded beach you could also use this “low” position to your advantage by minimizing the amount of “clutter” in the background. In the image of the child throwing the rocks I actually used a waterproof go-pro camera, which is a fun creative tool to use at the beach. You can even allow your kids to participate in taking images and capture memories from their perspective.

Tip #2: Details
Detail images really enhance the story of a beach vacation or day trip. Those little things that might only happen at the certain time in life, for example, baby toes in the water, sand on a toddler’s face, a special toy car that is brought everywhere they go. A detail that when you look back marks a certain time and fond memory.

Tip #3: Light (morning, mid-day and evening)
Light is one of the most important elements of photography. As a professional photographer I am constantly looking for the best light when working on-location with a client. Capturing the light correctly will transform a good image to great. You might not have the opportunity to be on the beach at the ideal morning or evening light, but you can still take great images during the mid-day sun.

  • Utilize a sun umbrella, sun tent or even a hat to soften the light on a child’s face and prevent them from squinting and/or having a harsh shadow on their face.
  • Move around your subject to test where the best light is falling, start with the sun at your back.
  • Always take more than one image, as soon as you stop that is when a child will crack a smile or make a cute face.

If you are in the Connecticut area and are interested in learning about future classes, sign up for the Nicole Bedard Workshops list

top 3 beach photo tips
Beach Photography 101
Beach Photography 101
Beach Photography 101
Beach Photography 101

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The Best of 2016!

This year has been full of fun and exciting projects.  When I was building this post I couldn’t believe all that I accomplished during the past year.  I landed my first magazine cover, which was a huge bucket list item for me.  Lifestyle photography was a large part of my assignments this year and I was happy to capture images for families and incorporate this style of photography to my new big project, Make & Taste blog.  Make & Taste has also brought on food photography assignments and I’m so happy I can apply both styles for one purpose.   I’m looking forward to what 2017 will bring and grateful for all your support along the way.  The below work is a small snippet of my favorite images over the year.

Cheers!

Nicole

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To Print or Not To Print?

As a photographer I normally print personal family photos on a month or bi-monthly basis.  It may only be a dozen or less, but I’m always excited for them to arrive at my door step.  Last week I participated in a “25 prints for free” promotion through Artifact Uprising and decided to try out a new service.  The site was easy to navigate and the editor had some nice features, including the ability to upload straight from your Instagram account.  Below are some of the images I had printed.

So I’m curious…. Do you still print your photos?

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Celebrating Moms + Professional Family Photographers

Mother’s Day is one month away and I wanted to honor of all the moms out there who are also professional photographers. Here are ten Instagram feeds you should check out.  I’ve been working on this blog post for a few months now and am excited to finally highlight these creative women.  How did I determine who would make the list?  I discovered each photographer through a couple of methods.  Over a one month period of time, I researched Instagram feeds posted on #momswithcameras, #childrenphotography, #momazine and random pop up on my search feed.  The number of followers did not matter, so the ten shown here have anywhere from 150-4K+ followers.

You will also notice that the images are mainly lifestyle family and children photography, which I love.  These women have certainly inspired me, so hopefully you too will enjoy these amazing feeds too.

Kicki Sebastian                                   Based in Los Angeles  IG: nickisebastian  Website:  www.nickisebastian.com

Claire Brighten Photography                               Based in Santa Cruz  IG: clairebrightenphotography  Website:  www.clairebrighten.com

Heather Bays                                   Based in Toronto  IG: heatherbaysphotography  Website:  www.heatherbays.com/blog

Jessica Miller Photography                                   Based in MA IG: jessica.miller.photography Website:  www.jessicamillerphotographystudio.com

Danielle Guenther Photography                                   Based in NYC  IG: danielleguentherphotos  Website:  www.daniellebuentherphotography.com

Katie Rain Photo                                   Based in San Francisco  IG: katierainphoto Website:  www.katierainphotography.com

Amy Wimber Photography                                  Based in Seattle, WA  IG: amywimber  Website:  www.amywimberphotographydesign.com

Erika Leitch Photography                                   Based in Rochester, MN IG: erikaleitchphoto  Website: www.erikaleitch.com

Jess Morgan Photo                                   Based in London IG: jessmorganphoto  Website: www.jessmorganphotography.co.uk

Mandalyn Rael Photography                                   Based in Chicago IG: mandalynrael  Website:  www.mandalynraelphotography.com/blog

Children’s Action Photography: Tips and Inspiration

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Action photography is my speciality, considering my sports photography background, and the honest expressions of children are the most fun to see during an outdoor shoot at the park and/or private yard.  Their personalities really shine through and is why today’s post is all about capturing those moments and providing you with a little inspiration.  Here are some tips to think about when you are trying to capture movement.

First:  Get Low!

When you are eye level with your subject the image will instantly improve.  You will noticed in all the images below, I am at least eye level, or below, with all the children.

Second: If they are having fun, it shows!

When children are naturally running, going down a slide, digging in a sandbox, their personalities comes out.

Natural light will help in “stopping the action” in a image, but having gear that can handle fast shutter speeds helps tremendously.  These images were taken with Canon 5D Mark III and shutter speeds are over 1000.

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