Tips for shooting at the beach :
1. Get the sun BEHIND your clients. Rim light is one of the bigger tricks to a beautiful image, and looking more professional.
This has been something we've done now for a long long time. I realize that the sun is a great source of light, and can be utilized in many ways.... but instead of allowing your clients a blinding experience, turn their backs to the sun (usually about 15-30 degrees over their shoulder one side or the other) Your clients will appreciate being able to see you, (and while looking at you, make sure you are wearing a color easy to look at... white looks great but can be as blinding as the sun.... if you wear green, you might cast some reflected green back at your clients and wonder why your images have green highlights..... ) and not be squinting through their session. You'd need manual settings for this, because you'll need to expose to see their faces, not the sky... unless you're trying for silhouettes.
2. Don't be afraid to do more casual, artistic shots to add in their collection. Let them have some play time of family interaction. Some people value those most because it brings out their true smiles and personalities. Life style photographers do this really well.... but mix it into your style just a little.
3. Pull out an OCF (off camera flash) for a few shots... if you have a low power flash, use it when the sun isn't as bright to get a great vibrance of color, or if there's still bright sun light use it as a fill flash, (it won't be powerful enough to get the whole family lit well) to have a little less of the white washed look. TRY to use your flash at 15-30 degrees to the side, and up higher than their eye level. It's so easy to keep it on the camera, but just the location of the flash shows a difference between the amateur or professional look.
Also, I shoot jpeg and RAW so if I need a few images brought back from a mistake with my exposure, I have the information in the file to do so.
Photo #1 is 1/80 shutter 200 ISO f5.0 at 50mm with the 24-70mm Nikon lens on a D3s.
Photo #2 is 1/250 shutter, 200 ISO, f5.6 at 44mm with the 24-70mm Nikon lens on a D3s.
Image settings : 1/200 shutter, 200 ISO f5.6 at 24mm on the 24-70mm nikon lens on the d3s.
Notice how the settings are almost identical to image #2 above? See how the same settings brought out 2 totally different looks, just one with flash and one without? Cool, eh?
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