Imagen 5 Tips for stunning seaside summer wedding photography – through the viewfinder – Imagen Articles

5 Tips for stunning seaside summer wedding photography

Michaela is a photography and digital marketing expert.
By Michaela Luyt
Milica Pešić
Edited by Milica Pešić

Published September 30, 2023.

A bride and groom standing on a pier by the ocean. Photo by: John Branch IV

Sun-kissed shores and the gentle whisper of waves set the stage for a love story like no other. Summer beach weddings are not just ceremonies; they're ethereal moments where nature and romance intertwine.

In this post, we're honored to collaborate with Michaela Luyt, a seasoned photographer who has been capturing these magical moments for over half a decade. Michaela's expertise can take your skills to the next level. With her tips, your beach photos will evoke emotions and showcase your unique style.

1. Ensure your equipment is suitable

It is essential to have the appropriate equipment to capture these moments. Photo by: Pablo Beglez

The allure of seaside weddings lies in their natural beauty and the raw emotions they evoke. To capture these moments, the right equipment is paramount.

Ensure your beach wedding photos are stunning with this essential gear breakdown:

  • Camera Options: Opt for a full-frame camera known for its excellent low-light capabilities.
  • Lens Choices: Equip yourself with two types of lenses: a zoom lens for versatility and a fast prime lens for those intimate, detailed shots.
  • Filter Necessities: A polarizing filter is invaluable at the beach. It reduces glare from the sun and water and enhances the vibrant colors of the setting.
  • Stability Tools: A tripod is essential, especially when dealing with unpredictable beach terrains and capturing shots during the golden hour.
  • Maintenance Essentials: Given the sandy environment, a high-quality cleaning kit is a must-have.

Armed with the right equipment, you're well on your way to capturing the magic of summer wedding photography in all its glory.

» Check this wedding photographer's guide for better organization.

2. Incorporate natural elements for visual storytelling

A bride and groom sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean. Photo by: Sarah Edmunds

Seaside weddings offer a unique canvas where the vastness of the sea meets the intimacy of love. To truly encapsulate the essence of this setting, photographers must weave the elements of nature into their visual narrative.

Here are some techniques to enhance the storytelling aspect of your seaside wedding photography:

  • Natural Interactions: Capture the couple and guests as they engage with the beach environment.
  • Authentic Emotions: Seaside settings naturally bring out genuine feelings. Focus on candid moments that showcase the joy, romance, and spontaneity of the day.
  • Dynamic Framing: Showcase your creativity by incorporating reflections, silhouettes, and unique framing against the beach scenery.

By intertwining these techniques with the natural beauty of the beach, photographers can craft a visual story that resonates with the heart and soul of a seaside wedding.

Ideas for beach wedding photography poses

Here are some beach wedding pose ideas to immortalize those special moments:

  • Names in the Sand: Have the couple write their names together in the sand.
  • Footprints: Capture the couple's footprints side by side, symbolizing their journey together.
  • Beach Run: Shots of the couple running hand-in-hand along the shore.
  • Seaside Kiss: Frame the couple sharing a kiss with the vast sea as a backdrop.
  • Deck Jump: Get lively shots of the couple or bridal group jumping on a deck.
  • Group Sea Shot: Position the entire wedding party for a group photo in front of the sea, ideally from a higher angle to include everyone.
  • Individual Backdrops: Take individual or couple shots with the sea as a backdrop, emphasizing their unique personalities and bonds.

3. Utilize natural lighting

A bride and groom walking on the beach holding hands. Photo by: John Branch IV

The sun, reflecting off the water and sand, can either be a photographer's dream or a challenge.

To ensure you harness the best of natural lighting, consider the following techniques:

  • Time of Day: Opt for early morning or late afternoon sessions. The light during these times is soft, diffused, and offers a flattering glow to subjects.
  • Golden Hour Glow: This period, shortly after sunrise or before sunset, provides a warm and dreamy light, perfect for capturing the romantic essence of the wedding.
  • Midday Challenges: "Avoid taking photos during midday when the sun is at its peak. The bright light can cause overexposed shots or harsh shadows. Opt for morning or afternoon when the lighting is softer," explains Michaela.
  • Shade Utilization: Use natural shades, like those from palm trees or beach umbrellas, to diffuse the sunlight and achieve balanced lighting.

With a keen understanding of natural lighting and its nuances, photographers can paint a vivid picture that does justice to the beauty of seaside weddings.

4. Manage exposure and contrast

A bride and groom standing under a large tree. Photo by: Susan Stripling

"The dynamic environment of a beach wedding, with its reflective sands and shimmering waters, can pose challenges in terms of exposure and contrast. Striking the right balance ensures that the photos capture the depth and detail of the moment without losing the vibrancy of the setting," explains Michaela.

Here are some strategies to tackle these challenges:

  • Spot Metering: Focus on the couple's faces or the main subject to ensure they are well-lit and clear.
  • Bracketing Exposures: By taking multiple shots with varying exposures, you can later blend them in post-processing to achieve a well-balanced image.
  • Photo Editing: Embrace the editing process to adjust highlights and shadows, ensuring that the final image retains detail in both bright and dark areas.
  • Reflective Challenges: Be mindful of the reflective nature of sand and water. Adjust your angles or settings to prevent overexposure or unwanted glare.

5. Adapt techniques for dynamic beach settings

A bride and groom standing on the beach. Photo by: John Branch IV

The vibrant energy of a seaside wedding, with its spontaneous laughter and candid moments, requires a photographer to be both observant and adaptable. The dynamic nature of the beach setting, combined with the raw emotions of the day, offers many opportunities for stunning shots.

Here's how to ensure you're always ready to capture the magic:

  • Candid Captures: Focus on spontaneous moments, such as guests laughing, dancing, or simply enjoying the beach.
  • Emotive Expressions: Prioritize shots that capture the raw emotions of the day, from the couple's joy to the guests' reactions.
  • Interaction Highlights: Emphasize shots where guests or the couple interact with the beach environment, adding depth to the storytelling.
  • Adaptability: Be ready to adjust your techniques based on the unfolding events, ensuring you capture the essence of the wedding.

» Learn about mental health in the photography industry

Seal seaside wedding memories with photography

Seaside weddings are a harmonious blend of nature's grandeur and human emotion. As Michaela Luyt insightfully shares, understanding the nuances of beach settings, from the play of light to the dance of emotions, is crucial for photographers.

Whether you're a novice or a seasoned professional, with Imagen you can edit and embrace these insights, ensuring that every captured moment resonates with the magic of the sea and the depth of commitment.