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7 Tips on How to Take Instagram-Worthy Beach Photos

Pretty much everyone agrees: there's nothing quite like the sheer beauty of the ocean.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a casual beach bum, capturing the coastal beauty through beach photography is a great way to preserve those special moments by the seaside.

The crashing waves, golden sands, and radiant sunsets easily create a picturesque paradise that beckons photographers from all walks of life and all levels of skill.

And while this tech-savvy era of smartphones and point-and-click cameras has made casual photography a breeze, there are still some lesser-known tricks that can truly level up your beach pics game. 

So, grab your camera and your sense of adventure, and let's dive into some valuable tips to help you create stunning beach photos!

1. Embrace the Magic of Golden Hour 


One of the often overlooked techniques to captivating beach photography is embracing the golden hour. If you don't know, golden hour is that magical time just after sunrise and before sunset when the sun casts a warm, flattering light over the entire scene. 

During this time, the colors of the beach come alive with a soft, golden glow that just seems to enhance the glassy surf, vibrant swimsuits, and lush flora of the coast.

Hues become richer and shadows are softened, resulting in mesmerizing and ethereal images that are guaranteed to make for some seriously eye-catching pictures.

2. Master the Art of Composition 

Composition is the key to creating visually compelling images. 

One easy technique is to utilize the rule of thirds, which you can do by placing your main subjects of your pictures off-center. By changing the balance of the photo, it makes it more interesting and visually unique. 

You can also incorporate leading lines, such as the curve of the shoreline or the trail of waves, to guide the viewer's eye through the frame and towards a focal point. 

So next time you're taking pictures, don't forget that incorporating mindful composition in your photos is what can change them from an out-take to outstanding!

3. Play with Shutter for Surfing Action Shots 

If you're a photographer who loves to shoot in the midst of action, you'll need to know your way around shutter speed. 

A fast shutter speed around 1/1000th of a second or faster will help ensure that your epic shots come out crystal clear, instead of a blurry mess.

You can also utilize burst mode for sequences of shots, that way you can select the most dynamic frame that captures the energy of the moment.

4. Don't Forget the Candids 


Candid beach shots with your friends or loved ones is a fantastic photography style that can result in some of the best and most memorable pictures.

This style allows you to freeze fleeting moments, like carefree laughter, genuine expressions of joy, and candid conversations, preserving the true essence of your beach day. 

Ask for permission from your subjects before you start clicking away, and if you're using professional equipment, be sure to grab a long lens so you have the option to shoot from a distance without interrupting the fun. 

5. Get Creative with Reflections and Silhouettes 


Photography is about your viewpoint and creativity, and making images that stir emotions. In other words, it's an art form! 

So feel free to try new things, like capturing water reflections on wet sand or dark outlines against a colorful sunset or sky, for one-of-a-kind beach photos.


And if you feel like getting technical, you can even experiment with exposure settings to emphasize the contrast between your subject and the background. 

6. Try Out Different Angles and Perspectives 

To elevate your beach photography, steer clear of the standard eye-level perspective and unleash your creativity by exploring unique angles and viewpoints. 

Embrace low angles to accentuate the sand's texture and the water's movement, which can add interesting depth to your shots. You can also seek higher vantage points to capture the expansive beauty of the beachscape, highlighting its vastness. 

By venturing beyond the ordinary, you'll infuse your images with captivating perspectives that will really make your photos stand out.

7. Use Filters and Lens Hoods 

Using photo filters for your beach pictures can change the entire mood of the image. 

Filter tools let you change colors and tones, giving your images a unique style. You can enhance sunset shades, intensify ocean blues, or add a vintage feel. 

Trying different filters (and lens hoods for professional cameras) can help makes your beach pics rally pop and capture the feelings you want to show.

Mastering Beach Photography

Preserving the beauty of the beach through beach photography is a captivating and enjoyable art form.

Whether you're aiming to freeze the action of surfers, showcase stylish swimwear on your vacation, or simply capture the natural splendor of the shoreline on beach day, these tips will help you elevate your beach photography to new heights. 


Now that you're ready to shoot, get outside and capture the breathtaking beauty of the beach with these useful tips!


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