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How To Photograph A Beach Wedding

Bride at the beach

If you are having a wedding on the beach – or you’re a guest at a beach wedding – photographing the event is going to be a little different. 

True, the overall aim remains the same: to capture the story of the day itself, from beginning to end, so that when you come to put those photographs on Facebook, or create a Facebook photo book out of them – you can see every detail of the wedding and really get a sense of what it was like to be there. 

So how is a beach wedding different and how exactly do you photograph it efficiently? Here are a number of things you need to bear in mind to make sure that the photographs become a true portal into the day itself:

Write Down The Schedule

First off, it’s important to write down the schedule. You might already know the schedule, of course, but remember, this is different to a normal wedding. 

Oftentimes, the routines of beach weddings are more complicated than typical wedding routines, so it’s always a good idea to write the schedule down so that you know what you should photograph and when you should do it. This will also help in terms of lighting – the best times to utilise the natural light and achieve some beautiful silhouette photography.

You’re Surrounded By Nature, So Utilise It

Another thing to keep in mind is your scenery! It sounds like an obvious point, but with so many guests and the happy couple to focus on, it can be easy to forget where you are and really utilise the scenery. Remember, not every photograph has to have a subject. You’re at the beach because it’s a beautiful location, so utilise that location and don’t be afraid to travel off-piste every now and then. 

This will also be good for context when you post the photographs on social media or take them to a photo book maker; location shots provide context, it’s what the participants of the wedding see, so make sure you follow their eye-line.

Unleash The Drones!

A beach wedding is also a great opportunity to expand beyond regular wedding photography. You’re in the great outdoors, so why not utilise drones and take some shots from up above? 

Whilst some photographers question the benefits of drone photography, those benefits can be plainly seen in occasions like this. Use the open air and take some beautiful, unique shots that you wouldn’t be able to take at any other wedding.

Find Reflections

Once again, you need to keep aware of your surroundings and use them. One of the big parts of beach photography, for instance, is finding reflections – whether that’s rock pools, puddles or the ocean itself – and taking some interesting shots of your subjects through the water. Make sure to test yourself and try to come away with some gorgeous shots utilising those reflections.

Seek Sunset-Soaked Scenes

Phew. That’s a lot of sibilance. But it’s true that one of the most beautiful moments of a beach wedding is when the sun begins to set. Sunset photography can give you some great silhouette shots, so make sure you get yourself in the best position possible and take advantage of your lighting when the sun begins to dip.

Don’t Forget The Happy Couple!

We mentioned before that you should not overlook your surroundings, but it’s also important to remember the happy couple! Similarly, if you are part of that happy couple, make sure you’re getting friends to photograph the pair of you as often as possible – including for those sunset and reflection shots. 

Listen, if you’re a guest at the wedding, we’re not suggesting in any way that you’re forgetting the happy couple. Oftentimes, it can just be a little awkward to ask for a photograph, especially if the bride and groom seem busy with other things, so you end up losing the opportunity. But if you’ve got a great sunset shot or a chance for a special reflective photograph, don’t be afraid to ask them about it and get the snap! 

Cast Aside Colours For Black And White

Lastly, we should note that beach weddings do not have to be overtly colourful. Before you post them on Facebook or turn them into a beautiful wedding photo book; don’t be afraid to edit the photographs and play around with filters. 

It can be hard to know when to use black and white photography, but when it comes to beach weddings, black and white filters can make them look textured, sharp and beautiful. This is especially true if – god forbid – the wedding day itself is gloomy and overcast. In this instance, black and white photographs can give the wedding a sense of character and magic that is hard to replicate in any other location.

Remember, there are so many unique ways to shoot a beach wedding. All you have to do is make sure you’re in the right place, at the right time, and you capture every opportunity when it’s presented to you. Only then will you make the wedding look even more fantastical than it already is!


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