I am terrible at taking photos on the beach – awful, actually. In my mind, it’s funny because I always think I’m nailing it in the moment and then I grab the camera and look at it only to realize that I’m definitely not nailing it. Yet, I always see these perfect beach photos from models and celebrities all the time.
I get it – it’s basically their job to look effortless in photos all the time, but with my recent trip to Saint Tropez I knew I wanted some amazing photos to capture the experience and getting it right was imperative. So I set out on a mission in Saint-Tropez to take photos that would make even Tyra Banks proud.
I’ll let you be the judge of whether I failed or succeeded at this task, but since I know I am not alone in this journey I figured I would share my tips on what worked well for my beach photoshoot this time around and how I truly felt like Beyoncé for a good thirty minutes.
How to Master Your Beach Photoshoot
1. Choose a great beach. Not all beaches are created equal and since the beach is basically your co-star in the photos, it needs to look just as amazing as you do. You may be tempted to try to be the first person to post images from a new, unknown beach; now is not the time to make a new beach famous. Instead, look for the best beaches with amazing water in whatever area you’re planning your shoot for and choose one of those. For example, on my recent trip to Saint Tropez, I picked widely known Pampelonne Beach as the location for my shoot.
2. Shut that beach down. Well, not literally… But it would be ideal if you could make it look like you did! Why? Because photo bombing is real and it’s only really fun when you know the person. We found a stretch of the beach that nobody was on (imagine that!) and used it to do our photos. If you’re worried you won’t be able to find a completely empty section, think about scheduling time to take photos at a less populated hour of the day. I picked 4 pm, for instance, which was a perfect time because the sun was still thriving but most people had already headed in for the day. Choosing a time of year when it’s not prime season also works too!
3. Shoot your shots from another point of view. Unless you’re packing tons of tall ladders, the reality is that getting the perfect overhead shot without any extra shadows can be quite the challenge. Not to mention, asking your husband to balance on one foot leaning in to get the shot is apparently asking a lot. For that reason, while I was in Saint Tropez I hired a local photographer and relied on The Drone Project to take all of my beach photos.
This company has nine different drones that can be used, depending on a variety of things like type of photos needed, weather conditions, etc. Within half an hour, Moreno shot a ton of images from a variety of angles and he even managed to take a quick video too! The drone took excellent, high quality photos and it required absolutely no work on my end (aside from awkwardly pretending to be a model). Oh, and I legit felt like I was Beyoncé and hella famous for that full half hour while my husband had the time of his life drinking at a nearby beach club and was excited about not having to play the role of beach photographer.
4. No one likes a shady beach. Not even a little bit. So check the weather and make sure that a sunny forecast is on the horizon for the day. This may mean having to be a little flexible with your schedule, but will be so much more worth it in the end when you have those “no filter needed” kind of photos and perfect weather. I’d also watch out for overcast skies and wind too - sometimes that can alter how things look (case in point my hair is all over the place because it was QUITE windy and I totally forgot to factor that in).
5. Arm your beach bum toolkit. Add some fun beach props that make your shots look natural and un-staged. Since I knew I’d be using a drone, I was excited for that overhead shot and knew a colorful circular beach towel would be a cool, nontraditional prop that you could still see from a far distance. I also packed my beach bag with a magazine, sunblock, and sunglasses, all which are things I normally pack for the beach. And, though I love fun, colorful swimsuits, I chose a white swimsuit to contrast my colorful beach towel so that I wouldn’t blend in from far away.
Shop My Beach Photoshoot
The perfect beach photo shoot requires a bit of planning, but taking that time to make sure all of your elements for the perfect photos come together is definitely worth it. I hope a beach trip is already etched into your summer plans, and that you get some amazing photos that show you living your best beach life.
And if you find yourself in Saint-Tropez, check out The Drone Project – Moreno will help elevate your beach photo shoot to the next level and have you seeing yourself and the Mediterranean Sea from another point of view.