How To Shoot Models On The Beach?
Every photographer in this career needs to shoot models on the beach. For some of them this is really easy, for other ones this is a huge challenge! Today we’re going to give you the best tips to do a photoshoot on the beach with professional models. We don’t want you to be taken by surprise when you have a contract; we want to teach you what we already know by experience, with some organization everything will be all right.
First, everything will change if the photoshoot if it’s a professional one for a huge fashion designer, or if it’s more for a personal portfolio. We’re going to separate the article between these two subjects:
Personal Portfolio or Brand With Low Budget
Maybe you’ll think is really difficult because all the sand, humidity, wind, water and dust; but trust me that you’ll need these elements to have a very fashion/natural photos for your portfolio.
What do you need? You’ll need the SUN, your camera and one or two models; I always recommend two models, because one of them can help you with some details meanwhile you’re shooting the other one, and also they can take a rest and not be so exhausted, which it can be reflected in the pictures.
- Make-Up: The make-up needs to be very natural, and not too strong, you want the “girl next door look” with professional models. The eyes need to be very defined but not too much, the lips very hydrated and maybe a little bit of compact in case the model starts to sweating (which looks awful in the photos, and it’s a nightmare to edit it), also a small towel can be very practical.
- Wardrobe: The swimsuits need to be very classical and neutral; with colors like white, black, brown, dark blue or beige. Of course, this will depends on what style do you want, but this will make the photos look very professional. You can play also with fabrics and clothes to give a different twist to your pictures; like a 50’s style or something, the ideas will be up to you!
- Shoes: I guess you’re thinking, “On the beach we don’t use shoes” and it’s truth! But you need to have a pair of these pretty close for your models and you, because in the moment you want to take a walk in the rocks or explore the beach in other extravagant places, believe me that you’ll prefer to have a comfortable session than having a torture in your feet.
- Poses: The poses will depend on the models you’ve chosen, but in general have to be very “high fashion style” with symmetrical body poses, and also “very natural” like running, smiling, sitting in the beach. One good advice: never try to make a super sexy pose remember that models are already sexy wearing a swimsuit, but like I always say, this will depend on what’s your personality as a photographer.
- Photography Style (Retouching): The style of the photos will depend on each photographer, but I can recommend photos in “Black & White” or in a “Duo-Tone” this will make the photography looks very professional and beautiful. Also, you can do a “Vintage/Polaroid Style” which it will be totally awesome, and of course a beautiful colorful picture is very nice too; but you need to give it a twist to have an impact in the market.
Photo-Shooting For A Brand with High Budget
If this is your case, the whole photoshoot and the way to do it will be totally differently. You’ll need a big team for: the production, the wardrobe, the make-up/hair, the shoes, etc. Trust me it will be lot of details and let me tell you that it’s not you who decide everything! But we’ll give you the best advices to be prepared for everything and have success in a big shooting!
What do you need? You’ll need to be prepared with all your camera equipment; I meant you’d need to be very prepared: double battery, several lenses, reflector, diffuser, lights, tripod, memory cards, etc. The rest will be to choose the right models and a good production team with an open communication (this is very important), also a place where the models can be relax and fresh, food and drinks (at least water) and of course you’ll need the beautiful sun for a great light.
- Make-Up: The make-up will depend on the style of the editorial; most of the time you need to see the wardrobe and talk to the make-up artist and the designer/producer to see what looks the best in front of the camera. In a huge production, the make-up can be very different; it’s not going to be always with a “natural flow” it could be very drastic and dramatic!
- Wardrobe: In this type of photoshoot this will be the principal element, everything will turn around the wardrobe/swimsuit; because it’s a fashion editorial on the beach! Most of the time it will be someone in charge of this, but you need to know pretty well to set the light and the style of the photos; vintage style, high fashion, modern, or just a classic one. You’ll discuss this with the producer of the photoshoot and the designer. Remember to always give your point of view, there are some colors that doesn’t match or maybe they’re too bright for the sunlight; this will be your job!
- Shoes: In a fashion editorial, the shoes or without shoes will be very important for the photos concept, this will be the key! It could be a shoes designer the one who hired you as a photographer for the editorial or it could be that the shoes may change the whole theme. As a photographer you need to take a good frame where you can see the whole style, but at the same time the models has to be very confortable; maybe some tricks like a plastic field where the model can be in high heels in the sand or take the pictures in some rocks or in a solid place, you need to check first the beach to know what you’re going to do.
- Poses: The poses for this type of photoshoot need to be very symmetrical and extreme (it’s an editorial), but it can be very different each time; from serious poses to natural ones. The whole thing will depend on the concept of the photoshoot and what you’re showing in the editorial: the scene, the clothes, the shoes, the make-up, hair or maybe everything together, etc. Why this? Because for each one there are different poses and angles that work together. You just need to be sure to make everything looks good in the camera, remember that you’ll have a strong light (the sun) so, be careful with the shadows in the model’s body; your job is to know how it works between light and shadow and a diffuser will helps you a lot with this!
- Photography Style (Retouching): This part is the most exciting one when you’re doing an editorial, because I know that you can play in the post-production with fantasy and an extreme retouching; this will also depend on the concept of the photoshoot and what the designer/producer wants as a final result; you can retouch a photo as many ideas exist.
Of course, you’ll need to know the basic ones; how to retouch the model’s skin and all the little details, but also you can play with themes and backgrounds. Sometimes, in the set there are already many accessories and a good background that you don’t need to over retouch the photos, but as I said everything will depend on the photoshoot concept. Just be creative!
Here you have an idea in How To shoot models on the beach, remember it changes a lot if it’s for a personal project, portfolio or a small brand with a low budget, or if it’s for a huge fashion brand, a designer or an important magazine which most of the time there’s a high budget to do the photoshoot.
Make sure to always to de re-search of different places where it can be confortable and beautiful for everybody, also you need to do some tests with the sunlight to figure out how it works and what do you want as an artist. The best way to get to the excellence is to play with it until you have it!