10 tips for taking good pictures on a crowded beach with your iPhone.
A few weeks ago we spent a long weekend in Florida. After a last minute trip to Disney World (new post: 10 Tips for Planning a Last Minute Trip to Walt Disney World), we spent parts of Saturday & Sunday at New Symrna Beach.
Now New Symrna Beach is normally crowded on a beautiful weekend, but add on spring break & you are in for a whole lot of people & cars.
So I knew that getting some beautiful Instagram beach photos was going to be a challenge. But one that I was totally up for accepting!
And since I know I won’t be the only one visiting a crowded beach this spring & summer who wants to take gorgeous Instagram beach pictures I thought I would share some of my top tips & tricks!
1. Drive or Walk past the Resorts & Hotels
It can be hard to impossible to find a secluded spot on the beach during tourist season, but if you are up for a long walk on the beach or don’t mind driving a little longer, you will often find that the beaches aren’t as crammed pack once you get away from the resorts & hotels.
2. Between Parking Lot & Beach
One place that is sure to be less crowded is between the parking lot & the beach. This may not be an ideal spot to take a photo to most people, but to the keen eye, it can be perfect!
You can often find palm trees here, which you won’t find closer to the ocean on a public beach.
So this is a great opportunity to score a palm tree picture!
What you can’t tell in the picture above is that Roger is basically standing in the parking lot next to public bathrooms & an outdoor shower.
If there is a boardwalk between the parking lot & the beach you can be sure to grab an awesome picture there!
Wait until there is no one walking towards the parking lot & snap a photo towards the ocean.
And if you position your camera just right, you will be able to avoid the crowd on the beach.
You can see the difference between the picture above where you can see the crowd starting to form early that morning & the very first picture in this post where the camera was placed lower in order to avoid getting anyone else in the picture.
4. Flat Lay
This is a pretty self-explanatory tip.
You aren’t going to accidentally photograph strangers if you create a flat lay photo.
5. Horizontal vs Vertical
Be aware of your surroundings.
If the beach is packed with no break in the crowd of strangers walking & playing on the beach you may want to stick to vertical photos.
However, if there is even a millisecond when there aren’t people in your shot, be sure to take that time to capture a horizontal photo with extra water & beach on the left or right side of your photo (remember the photography rule of thirds).
6. Use Sky
If are having a hard time photographing even vertical pictures without getting strangers in your photos try filling the extra space in your photo with the sky.
7. Use Sand
This is basically the same as #6, but using the sand instead of the sky to fill the extra space of your photo.
In the hottest weeks of summer, there will be more people in the water & fewer people on the sand.
It will be hot taking the picture, but you will more likely get a better shot without a bunch of strangers if you take one on the sand (rather than in the water) during those extra hot weeks.
Beach Bliss Sun Hat (This sun hat was a gift from Lidia’s Treasures)
You may also enjoy this post: 50 Sun Hats You Will Love for Your Next Beach Vacation
8. Into the Water
Taking photos in the water, or with the water being the focal point, can be a great way to avoid the crowd in your photos.
In the spring there will be fewer people in the water because it’s still so cold.
Be brave & dive right in.
Chances are that you may even be able to get a panoramic shot because everyone is laying out in the sun trying to stay warm.
The beaches were packed when we were there a few weeks ago, but since the water was icy cold there were very few people in the water. And I only went in after I had drunk too much water!
9. Wake up Early
This really is the best way to get awesome shots without a crowd
Not only is the lighting amazing & the sunrise gorgeous, but there are very few people on the beach. And those that are on the beach are few & far between.
10. Portrait & Close Ups
The portrait mode on iPhones is pretty amazing!
Those up close photos with a blurry background are a wonderful way to capture just the right shot while avoiding a massive beach crowd.
Just be sure to get the right angle (using sky, beach, or ocean) in order to avoid any random people in your picture-perfect portrait shot!
Do you have any tips for taking great photos on a crowded beach?
I’d love to hear from you!
Feel free to comment below, email me, or tweet me on Twitter.
With love, Giustina
Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem.
On the way, he took the Twelve aside & said to them,
“We are going up to Jerusalem,
& the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests & the teachers of the law.
They will condemn him to death & will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked & flogged & crucified.
On the third day he will be raised to life!”
Matthew 20: 17-19 NIV
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