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.
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.
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!
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!!!
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.