Portraits, Vlog

July 3, 2019

Everything You Need Know About Taking Pictures On The Beach

Being in Wilmington, NC, I’m pretty lucky to have close access to lots of North Carolina beaches. I’m so happy that my seniors and couples want to have photos on the beach because it’s one of my favorite places to shoot!

It’s so weird how when you do things over and over, some things just become common knowledge. I’ve run into a few situations recently with beach sessions where we had to change plans from what my clients were originally thinking just because of the reality of being on the beach!

If you know you definitely want a coastal session on the beach, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned about photographing by the ocean.

First, you know I gotta talk about light.

The sun can be really tricky. I love bright light. Unfortunately where we’re at, the sun can set on the opposite side of the actual beach and in order for me to get the glow and not have you squinty eyes. This means you will likely be positioned with the dunes in the background until the sun sets little more. 

This is why I usually start a little more inland with the pretty trees, go on the sound side of the island, and then end with the ocean waves.

Family photos on the beach in Oak Island, NC

Family photos on the beach in Wrightsville Beach, NC

Maternity photos on Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, NC

Engagement photos on Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, NC

Another thing people never think about is the WIND.

Which is silly because we all know it’s going to be there but sometimes it really throws people off. I do have a fancy weather app that I monitor the wind speed on and will reschedule if it’ll be a little too crazy but there will always be wind.

The best way to combat that is to go more inland or on the sound side where you’re not right next to the ocean and to wear your hair curly/wavy, that way it doesn’t get so messed up and looks natural in the breeze!

High school senior photos on Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, NC

Maternity photos on Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, NC

High school senior photos on Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, NC

Other things that are known but not really thought about are people and parking.

Wrightsville Beach is the worst honestly. Other beaches are better but you will almost always have to pay for some parking unless it’s the off season. This also means you’ll have to minimize the amount of cars because finding spots next to each other can be a rarity too. There will likely be a little bit of walking to get to the best spots so this is where the session can turn into a little bit of a workout –– didn’t know you were going to get a personal trainer with your photos too!!!

High school senior photos on Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, NC

High school senior photos on Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, NC

Engagement photos on Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, NC

Another tiny thing I like to tell people is to plan for the sand when it comes to outfits.

You don’t want to change into jeans after you’ve already walked in the sand –– trust me, I will never make that mistake again!! This also means bringing towels or anything else you’ll need to get the sand off and keep it out of the car.

Family photos on the beach in Oak Island, NC

High school senior photos on Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, NC

Engagement photos on Fort Fisher in Wilmington, NC