Photo ideas

Photo ideas

You may feel a bit stuck for ideas if you are on an open beach without the usual props of trees, doorways, walls etc., but there is lots you can do with just the light, shooting from different angles, creating side-lit or silhouetted images, and using fill-flash to balance the sunset can look good too. If you do have some open shade that you can use, such as an awning, a beach hut, or a veranda, go for it – you’ll get some beautiful light coming in but your subject will be comfortable.

A tropical beach ceremony that starts an hour before sunset is more comfortable for everybody, and the light is nicer. Shoot from various angles to make use of the soft, warm directional light as the sun sets. If the beach is white sand it will provide useful fill for the shadows.
If you do have bright sun to deal with, look for an area of open shade (such as by the side of a building or under an awning). Your subject will be comfortable and you’ll get great soft light and beautiful catchlights in the eyes. Even an empty beach will usually have backgrounds you can use. Here I asked the couple to relax among the grasses on the dunes.
If you have flash, you can use it off-camera to light your subject while still showing the colours of the setting sun behind… …or just go for a full-on silhouette!

Once the sun has set, stick around. Although tropical twilight doesn’t last long, it gives you amazing soft light that’s great for gentler, more intimate portraits (such as the image above with the couple in the dunes).

I often keep shooting until there’s virtually no light at all (or until the clients say they’ve had enough!):

3200 ISO 1/25th sec F2.8 – well after sunset; the groom is illuminated only by the light remaining in the sky.

I hope this article’s been useful – ask questions in the comments below!

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Posted in News, Wedding blog.