Seaside Serenity Guide: How to Take Beach Photos and Create Stunning Memories

Capture the Perfect Moments: Mastering the Art of Beach Photography | Discover expert tips and techniques on how to take beach photos that truly mesmerize.

Seaside Serenity Guide: How to Take Beach Photos and Create Stunning Memories

From those who capture nature with their cameras to hobby photographers, most would agree beaches can be good backdrops for photos. The open sky, the sounds and smells of the sea…they can all inspire creativity. However, what novice photographers may not realize is that while beach photography can be rewarding, it is also particularly challenging. And that’s why we’ll be sharing our best tips on how to take beach photos today! So, whether you want to learn how to take beach photos for Instagram or how to take good family photos at the beach, it’s time to experiment with:

1. Shutter Speed

Your camera’s shutter speed controls exposure time. That means, the slower it is, the longer the shutter will remain open to capture an image. So, if you want to figure out how to take long exposure beach photos to take pictures of the crashing waves, flying gulls, and active surfers dominating the water, you can do it with a slower shutter speed. Similarly, opt for crisper and pristine images with fast shutter speeds.

For nighttime photos, keep the shutter speed to 10 seconds on beaches with little to no industrial light sources. Don’t know how to take beach sunrise photos? Let your camera determine the correct shutter speed for sunrise photography by putting it in aperture priority mode. 

2. Filters

The trick to figuring out how to take beach photos with DSLR involves understanding two types of filters:

  • Polarizing
  • Neutral density

If you’re thinking beach weddings or engagements, knowing how to take engagement photos on the beach will involve the polarizing filter. Since it negates specific portions of the reflected light, the colors in a picture come out clearer and vibrant. The results will be even more eye-catching if the bridal posse is dressed in blues or darker tones since the filter will deepen and enhance those shades. 

Neutral density filters work in a similar way but they don’t block specific wavelengths. So, use them on really sunny days or when you want the colors in a picture to come out looking less intense.

3. Lighting 

Most photography guides will wax poetic about the golden hours. And they should too since beach sunsets and sunrises are magical. The light’s all soft and dreamy, and your images will have some seriously amazing color if you shoot at dawn or dusk. 

P.S. those who know how to take great beach photos also know the golden hours start much earlier and last longer. 

4. Locations

Figuring out how to take beach photos includes not limiting yourself to just the beach! We’d recommend looking for unique and creative settings you can use for framing your images, like:

  • Sand dunes
  • Paths leading to or away from the beach
  • Fun-colored beach houses
  • Piers
  • Jetties
  • Lifeguard stands

Experimenting with locations like these is a great idea for those learning how to take professional beach wedding photos.

5. Focal Points

Focal points catch an observer’s eye and provide them with context for the story your image is telling. They can be in-your-face, like unique-looking rock formations or something simple like a seashell. So, our next how-to-take-beach-photos tip is to tell you to find that one thing and focus on it.

6. Apertures

The aperture controls how much light enters the lens. Figuring out how to take photos at beach at night? Use a low aperture so you get plenty of light without compromising picture quality, like: 

  • f/5.6
  • f/3.5
  • f/2.8

On the other hand, if you’re shooting at sunrise, opt for a higher aperture, such as:

  • f/11
  • f/16
  • f/22

7. Smartphones & Beach Self-Portraits

Since not everyone will lug around a DSLR, we also have some tips on how to take beach photos with phone:

  • Set the phone to HDR mode so the dark and bright areas in your photo will have more detail
  • Use a selfie stick to create a bit more distance between you and your phone
  • Try filters to enhance colors
  • If you can, use a wide lens add-on. It should provide variety in terms of angles and perspectives as you get better at how to take cute photos by yourself at the beach

8. Photo Editing

Want to find out how to take vintage looking beach photos? Go monochrome! That’s the simplest way of giving your images an antique look. So, grab your photos from your DropEvent gallery and apply the black and white to give off those retro vibes.


We’re sure you’re now bursting with ideas of things to try out on your next trip to the beach. Remember the more pictures you take, the better handle you’ll have on how to take beach photos. We’d also suggest using DropEvent to share your results. After all, great photos are worth sharing!


1. What are the best aperture settings for beach photography?

You should use a smaller aperture, like f/11 to focus on the entire beach. But widen the aperture setting if you want to focus on a person or an object.

2. How do you take portrait pictures at the beach?

Use these tips for best results:

  • Be there during the golden hours
  • Keep the horizon straight
  • Avoid crowds
  • Use polarizer filters
  • Adjust aperture and shutter speed based on time and lighting (see above)

3. What is the best time of day to take beach pictures?

The golden hours are ideal for picture taking at the beach. But you can also shoot late in the afternoon since the natural light will be warmer.