Beach photography and child photography go hand in hand. What better place to get authentic shots of children than in one of the best places to play on earth: the beach. There are many important things to keep in mind when taking pictures at the beach and when taking pictures of children. But if you relax, have fun with the kids and keep taking pictures you’re sure to get some that you’ll treasure.
Important things to remember when taking pictures at the beach:
1. Take pictures from different focal points. Both looking out at the water and from the water looking back at the sand. This will add some variety to your shots.
2. The best time to take pictures is in the morning and evening when the lighting isn’t too harsh
3. If you can’t go in the morning or evening use a fill flash when taking pictures of children (or any people). This will help eliminate shadows caused by harsh lighting.
4. If you have one use a polarizing filter. This is a filter that has basically the same effect as polarizing sunglasses. It will reduce reflections and boost contrasts.
5. Keep the horizon either perfectly level or obviously off line.
The most important things to remember when taking pictures of children are to be relaxed and happy. Children are very perceptive to the moods of people around them and in order to get good pictures they need to feel comfortable with you and like you. So before you start taking pictures get down and build a sand castle with them or run in the waves.
The “natural approach” is becoming more and more popular in child photography (as opposed to a formal sitting). In this approach you try to understand the nature of the child by observing them play and capturing it in your photos. The beach is perfect for this kind of photography (as long as the child isn’t scared of the sand or the ocean). An adventurous child might start running and splashing in the waves, which makes for a great photograph with the waves splashing around that tiny body and the exhilaration on his face. A more reserved child may be content to just sit in the sand and build castles, or mosey along looking for sea shells. Both are also great photo opportunities that can be tailored to the specific child.
Lastly, sometimes changing a beach photo to black and white can completely change the feel of the entire image. It can take the image from bright and happy, to more muted and slightly vintage. So be sure and experiment with different color options when you’re at home editing your image.