There's something incredible dreamy about tying the knot in front of the infinite ocean with watercolor skies as your backdrop. What's more, the setting will make for some of the most stunning wedding photos you could ever hope for. In order to get great snapshots, though, you need more than just a pretty setting and a great photographer: You'll also want to nail the timing, preparation, and inspiration. To ensure you have the opportunity to take beautiful wedding photos on the beach, we asked two photographers to share their expert tips.
Think about timing.
The best way to prepare is to think about timing. Check the weather forecast and expected sunset time in the days leading up to your big day and keep the lines of communication open with your photographer and planner so you can take capture the romance of golden hour. Erin Chrisman of Chrisman Studios recommends scheduling any beach portraits or group shots to take place one to two hours before sunset. "Do them after the ceremony so you don't have to worry about the wind messing up hairstyles or dresses getting dirty," she says. "I've found that when you do them before the ceremony, everyone is a little nervous about getting messy or disheveled, and that means fewer natural smiles and relaxed expressions."
Have a backup plan.
As with any outdoor wedding, the weather plays a huge role in how the day will go. For couples who are worried about having to move inside due to the weather, Chrisman recommends booking an extra session the next day with your photographer. That way, you're pretty much guaranteed an opportunity to get beach portraits without all the stress.
Don't be afraid to get creative.
Stamati Boundouris of SBphotography focuses on creating images with "wow" factor. "We've all seen thousands of destination wedding photos on beaches, so try to be as creative as possible," he says. "I'm not opposed to taking pictures in the rain if the couple is up for it. The excitement and spontaneity of running out in the rain will translate in the photos and be lots of fun!"
When it comes to posing on the beach, both Chrisman and Boundouris agree that you should go for a natural, casual feel in your photos rather than a formal one. "It should be looser, livelier more spontaneous. For group shots especially, drop the idea of everyone lined up side by side stiffly holding their bouquets," Chrisman says. For couple portraits, Boundouris likes to keep the posing as flirty as possible. "You have to remember that they met and fell in love way before they hired you, so I try my best to let them be themselves with just some simple direction," he says, "and if the couple is up for it, get them in the water! Super romantic."