Cool Shots on the Beach

The beach can really come to life on those days that everyone avoids it because of inclement weather. Stormy seas, threatening and dramatic clouds and wind slowing lifesaver flags and trees over call all make for atmospheric shots.

Horizon line And Beach Photography

One of the most common problems in beach portrait photography where there are wide open spaces with a long and often unbroken horizon is sloping horizons. Work hard at keeping your horizon square to the framing of your shot. Also consider placing your horizon off center as centered horizons can leave a photo looking chopped in half.

Best Time for Beach Portraits

The start and end of days can present the best opportunities for shooting at the beach. For starters there will be less people there at that time of day but also you’ll find that with the sun shining on an angle that you often get more interesting effects of shadows and colors – particularly in the evening when the light becomes quite warm and golden.

Look for focal points during your Beach Portraits

I was told once don’t bother taking your camera to the beach because all beach shots look the same. I thought that that was a pretty sad thing to say because when I go to the beach I see it as a place brimming with photographic opportunities if you have the ability to look beyond the cliche shots. For example while many people take shots looking out to sea I find it interesting to go to the water’s edge and then turn completely around and see what’s in your frame from that angle. One common problem with landscape beach photographs is that while they might capture a beautiful scene they actually have no point of interest and can as a result be rather empty and boring. When taking a shot look for a point of interest or focal point that will give those looking at your photo a place for their eye to rest. Perhaps it’s a pattern in the sand, a set of footprints, the crashing of waves over a rock, a life saver’s tower etc. Also look for the little things that tell the story of going to the beach like shoes at the waters edge, sand castles, sunglasses, sunscreen lotion etc. Sometimes these can make wonderful little feature shots to break up your vacation album.

Focus on the Eyes With Your Portrait Photography

As the saying goes, “the eyes are the window to the soul”.

Different feelings can be conveyed, depending on the direction in which the subject’s eyes are pointing. Play with this by having your subject look in various directions, until you are happy with the feeling that is portrayed.

Adding extras such as a smile, frown, or grin is a bonus that amplifies the main focal point of the photo.

The possibilities for lighting are truly infinite. Portrait Lighting is the most important element in any photo composition and sets the mood, feeling and character of your photo.

Sunlight can be a bit tricky. If you take a portrait in the daytime, make sure that your photo is not overpowered by the sun.

Beach Portrait Photography

A beach portrait is a representation of a person or as a whole if you are shooting a large group.They usually focus on a person’s face, mood and expression.

Traditionally portraits were sculptures or paintings however, in modern times, a photograph is the most recognized way of taking a portrait.

In most cases, the subject looks straight at the camera in order to engage the viewer.

In this article, we’ll be giving you simple techniques to help you take portraits and also self portraits, to make the very best of your photos.

At the end of the article, you’ll find a showcase of great Beach portraits and self portraits that you can use for inspiration.

How To Take Great Beach Portrait Photography

Simply put, a portrait is a representation of a person.They usually focus on a person’s face, mood and expression.

Traditionally portraits were sculptures or paintings however, in modern times, a photograph is the most recognized way of taking a portrait.

In most cases, the subject looks straight at the camera in order to engage the viewer.

In this article, we’ll be giving you simple techniques to help you take portraits and also self portraits, to make the very best of your photos.

At the end of the article, you’ll find a showcase of great portraits and self portraits that you can use for inspiration.

How to Take a Beach Portrait

Capturing quality portraits is an art that’s mastered with time. Many of the most creative professionals started out by following a simple set of guidelines.

1) Choosing the Right Background

The background will set the mood for your photo, so be extra careful when choosing yours. The ideal background will guide the viewers’ focus to a specific area that you wish to draw attention to, for example, the face.

A neutral, soft colored background will work best and is far more effective than one that is filled with too many details and colors.

You may wish to also blur the background, in order to further emphasize the foreground elements.

Destin Florida Beach Portraits

Destin Beach Portraits

Wedding Photography Websites and Your Business

Web sites for the professional wedding photographer

Your website should show your work. That sounds elementary, but far too many beginning photographers have a home page with a huge paragraph of text that reads like this, “John Smith is very passionate about photography. Since he was a little boy, he has been using cameras to capture every precious moment…” Talk is cheap, and when I see a photographer who has too much text on the front page of their site, I get suspicious that they aren’t very good. Too many photographers have cheesy bios with the words “precious,” “capture,” or “passionate”. It gets old, very quickly. Writers write. Photographers show. If you are passionate, show me your passion. If you capture moments, show me those moments, don’t just tell me about it.

Designing a photography web site

I have always designed my own site. It took me a while to get there, and probably would have been a better investment from the start to hire a designer or use a basic flash template, but I enjoy learning new things like HTML , CSS and flash andprefer having total control over my site.

Photo proofing and print sales

 I  offer online hosting and sales from the site, but will use my current pro lab’s service and provide a link.

Business of Florida Wedding Photography

The Business of Wedding Photography is an extensive subject, best answered by a team of professional wedding photographers, who also happen to be star photo.net members. In this article, these professional photographers have contributed advice and personal experience gained from running wedding businesses. Whether you are just entering the field of wedding photography, or are a seasoned pro, the tips and insights shared here should be helpful with your own business.

Entering the field of Photography

I actually never set out to be a professional photographer. When I started becoming a serious amateur photographer, I had a bit of contempt for wedding photographers, because I was a radical artist with an important statement to make to society, and thought they were sell-outs. I was a poor college student when my friends asked me to photograph their wedding. I did a lot of research and testing, and assisted a professional photographer twice to prepare. After photographing the wedding , my friends were thrilled, people who saw the pictures told me how much they liked them, and I was left with an incredible adrenalin rush. I was hooked. After a while, a few more people I knew asked me to photograph their wedding, and I became a wedding photographer, doing around 4-5 weddings a year. I slowly got more busy from there as word of mouth spread, and I became addicted to having happy clients and feeling good about my work. Out of college, I was hired as the assistant to a public figure in Destin Florida and I continued to photograph 10-12 weddings a year. I never considered going full time until 2003, when I realized I really enjoy photography, my clients rave about my work, and enjoy the idea of being my own boss and having the excitement of running my own business.

How To build your portfolio, resume, style

I never did anything particularly special in the above categories. Instead, I focused very intentionally on building my skills, and everything else seemed to follow. I should say that as far as resume, I have never been an employee in a photography-related job, and I would suggest that people who want to be photographers should be careful about taking photography-related jobs in the hopes that it will transform them into professional Florida photographers. I believe that much more can be learned through research, practice and experimentation than from staffing the counter of the local Ritz Camera.

I tried to photograph as much as I could, regardless of whether or not I was paid. I worked at a children’s summer camp for five summers in high school and college, and I spent a big chunk of my weekly salary on film and processing. As far as skills, I consumed as much information as possible about the fundamentals of photography until I was blue in the face. When I didn’t understand something related to photography, I read about it until I did. This approach has proved helpful, and I’m proud to say that even though I have very little formal photographic education, when I meet with other professionals, I always feel like I can keep up with their technical discussions. I made a lot of phone calls. I would frequently go through the Yellow Pages and call every photographer I could, trying to land a gig as a second photographer here, or an assistant gig there. I eventually got a few gigs. It was a valuable experience to work with a professional photographer and see where I needed to improve and where I was competent.

I would pick up as much information from other photographers as I could. Whenever I met other photographers, I would gently bring up the topic of photography and see where it went. If they were interested, I would sometimes ask a question or two, and I was sometimes rewarded with a personal workshop for no charge. On the flip side, I help other photographers when I can. Just last night, I had just finished a job when a security guard asked me a question about photography. I was happy to talk to him and we chatted for 10 or 15 minutes about photography and his interest in being a photographer. I would like to think that my time was well spent.

I work pretty hard and treat my clients with white gloves. For some reason, people seem to expect wedding photographers to be lazy and grumpy. I try to be the antithesis to this by sweating and smiling a lot. Nearly every time I photograph a wedding, a guest will approach me and tell me how I am the hardest working, friendliest photographer they have ever seen. I have met far too many photographers who have egos or are socially awkward. Regardless of what you are photographing, being a friendly, approachable person, without being fake, can be a huge boost to your Florida photography career. I also made a web site when I realized that I wanted to show my photographs to the world. It was a pretty clunky site compared to what I have now, but I would say that a web site is still one of the most important things for someone who wants to develop as a photographer.

Setting yourself apart as a professional

I don’t know that I do anything in particular photographically. My goal is to make the best images I can, not to make images that are different for the sake of standing out. When meeting with prospective clients, I am careful to stress that this is how I work and to show them the style of images they will receive. There are many different ways to approach wedding photography and mine is just one of them. I am a good photographer and have no doubt about that, but I know that I might not be the right photographer for every couple. It is far more important that a couple hire the photographer they will be happy with than it is for me to book any specific job, both for the couple’s happiness and for my sanity.

I’m not the kind of Florida photographer who works with multiple assistants and a ton of gear. I came from an editorial background, so I am used to working quickly and with a minimum of equipment. My posed formals are simple and functional, but I am not a studio photographer. Long drawn out portrait sessions are not my strong suit, and more importantly, they are not any fun for me to do. I feel very comfortable photographing with a fisheye lens in the middle of a crowded dance floor or standing on top of a rickety table in a bridal dressing room. If posed formals and ceremony images were all I did as a wedding photographer, I would find a new job.

Florida Weddings

Destin Florida Wedding Photographers Tips

One thing that I’ve done at every wedding that I’ve photographed is attempt to photograph everyone who is in attendance in the one shot. The way I’ve done this is to arrange for a place that I can get up high above everyone straight after the ceremony. This might mean getting tall ladder, using a balcony or even climbing on a roof. The beauty of getting up high is that you get everyone’s face in it and can fit a lot of people in the one shot in your Destin Florida Wedding Photo. The key is to be able to get everyone to the place you want them to stand quickly and to be ready to get the shot without having everyone stand around for too long. I found the best way to get everyone to the spot is to get the bride and groom there and to have a couple of helpers to herd everyone in that direction.
When shooting outside after a ceremony or during the posed shots you’ll probably want to keep your flash attached to give a little fill in flash. I tend to dial it back a little (a stop or two) so that shots are not blown out – but particularly in backlit or midday shooting conditions where there can be a lot of shadow, fill in flash is a must.