For many of us the first question that pops to mind when we’ve decided to have some portraits made is “what am I going to wear?” I’d love to be there to help you choose (one of the services we provide for our Beachcomber Photography patrons) but I thought at least I could write down a few tips based on our beach portrait photography experience. 🙂
When you’ve chosen to have your portraits made at the beach the most obvious thing to keep in mind is your location – the beach! So wear clothes that you’re prepared to get sandy and wet in. This doesn’t necessarily mean casual – you could get some kick-ass images splashing in the surf in a formal dress or business suit – but you definitely shouldn’t show up for your beach portrait sitting in clothes that you’re going to be nervous about.
One rule we’ve had drilled into us since our school-picture days is ‘no prints’ and that’s still a pretty good rule of thumb. Prints, especially if worn near the face, can distract the eye from everything else in the photo. On the other hand a single solid color from head to toe wouldn’t be very flattering either. The trick is to use layers to introduce different colors. And for beach portraits a Hawaiian print shirt over a solid color t-shirt or a flowered sarong paired with a solid halter top might be just the ticket.
This can work especially well for family groups where you want everyone to coordinate but not be too matchy-matchy. You could have dad in the surfer dude shit and then dress everyone else in colors pulled from his shirt. And don’t forget the accessories! The setting gives you
the perfect excuse tons of options for accessories which can add color, style & personality to your portraits: e.g. sunglasses, hats, leis and fun, funky jewelry. Now IS the time to try that great big flower in your hair! ;D
One thing you should consider avoiding for your beach portraits is a white shirt. Even on an overcast day there’s a lot of light at the beach; the reflection off a white shirt can be glaring enough to ruin an otherwise lovely image. To keep the focus where it belongs – on YOU – you’re better off with less-reflective choices. Soft, “faded” colors and darker hues are more flattering in bright outdoor light.
I hope these tips help you look fantastic in your own beach portraits. Happy sunsets!