The best time for your beach photo session

Couples romantic beach portrait photograph on Sand Key, Clearwater Beach in 'magic hour' sunset light

You may have heard of the “magic hour”, that special time right before sunset that photographers love so much. The light at that time is soft and warm and, because it’s not coming from directly overhead, it doesn’t cast harsh unflattering shadows on people. Instead it bathes them from the side in a lovely golden glow.

That magic hour is truly magical on the beach here in St. Pete, with the gorgeous Gulf Coast sunsets behind us. Unfortunately here in Florida we’re also extremely likely to be plagued with afternoon thunderstorms. Now that can be a very good thing – those looming dark clouds make for some gorgeous dramatic skies. But torrential downpours can also put a stop to any photoshoot.

Tim our beachcomber photographer is excellent at finding holes in the clouds to work in, and also at finding little nooks in the local scenery to shoot from when the weather’s not so hot. But did you know there’s another alternative you might not have considered; a way you can get “magic hour” light without afternoon thunderstorms? Because there are actually TWO “magic hours” in every day – just before sunset, and just after sunrise.

Those sunset photoshoot slots are also the most in demand, and thus they fill up quickly. So if you’d like to try avoiding the crowds of tourists on the beach and on the schedule, as well as avoiding potential thunderstorms, why not consider scheduling your photoshoot in the early morning instead of at sunset? You could have something like this as your backdrop…

glorious 'magic hour' St Petersburg sunrise photograph

As seen through the eyes of love

So I’m putting together this gift of portrait prints for some friends of ours. And just because I can I decide to use my mad new Photoshop skills to touch up some of the things I know they fret about. And as I give her a bit more of a waistline, and her a little less tummy..tighten up this one’s upper arms and firm that one’s double chin…it prompts me to think how much I really enjoy doing this.

Since venturing into the photography business one thing I hear constantly from people is how they don’t want pictures taken of themselves because they feel like they look bad. They feel fatter and wrinklier and frumpier than they used to be. And truthfully, I think this is a pile of culturally-prescribed bs – just because you’re fat or old & wrinkly doesn’t mean you aren’t still beautiful, and you deserve to have your memories preserved in photos just like anybody else!  But it also gives me a thrill to be able to pull out some of the tricks that make celebrities in magazines look so impossibly perfect and use them on behalf of regular folks.

When you’re with the people who care about you they aren’t focused on the double chin or jiggly arms you might worry about, they’re seeing all of the wonderfulness that is YOU. And you’re beautiful to them just the way you are.  I like to think of the retouching we do as an expression of that. Our goal is not to make you look like a cookie-cutter stereotype of pretty. Our goal is to make you look as you appear in the eyes of the people who love you: with the so-called “flaws” softened so that nothing but the true beauty of your personality shines through.

~Contact me to schedule your own Beachcomber portrait experience~

in the end it's only love that matters

Hot makeup tips for beach portraits

Hey y’all!  We’ve been so busy lately I haven’t had time to sit down and do a written post in a few weeks.  Hope you’ve been enjoying the pretty pictures instead!  But finally today I have a bit of time to write and I wanted to quickly share with you a couple of my favorite items for beach makeup.

The thing about going to the beach (or really anywhere outdoors in Florida) is you WILL get sweaty.  You’ll get sweaty, and any tendency you may have toward oiliness will be increased, and you might even get water from the ocean or the sky in your face.  All of these are death to normal makeup, amiright ladies?

One approach to this is to keep the makeup to a minimum.  The less you’re wearing the less of a runny mess it can become.  But going completely without makeup isn’t what most of us want either.  Makeup helps define the features, especially the eyes and lips, and make them ‘pop’ in photographs.  Not only do we look better but we FEEL better, more confident in front of the camera, with good makeup.  And I’m happy to have found a few products over the years that I count on to really stand up to the ‘salt life’. Continue reading “Hot makeup tips for beach portraits”