The beach is one of the most wonderfully romantic and naturally beautiful places for taking maternity photos. Even if you’re camera shy, you’ll regret not capturing the amazing moments of your pregnancy later — I promise! 😉 Here are some tips for a gorgeous (and fun!) beach photo shoot:
You don’t need an expensive camera, you can get albums of stunning photos by just using your trusty old iPhone, but your photos will turn out even more beautiful if you hire a professional photographer. I highly recommend it! 🙂 Make sure that you have taken the time to review their portfolio and love their style, and that they have experience shooting outdoors. It is also important that they have a professional flash unit to use during sunset to get those magical moments.
2. Find Photos That Inspire You
Put together a list of photos that you love. You can focus on colors that inspire you, fun poses you want to try, or looks that you want to recreate. Share these with your photographer before the shoot, and figure out a plan to capture your ideas. Print out or save these photos to your phone and bring them with you to the shoot.
3. Golden Hour
Maximize “the Golden Hour.” The golden hour, sometimes called the “magic hour,” is roughly the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset, although the exact duration varies between seasons. During these times the sun is low in the sky, producing a magical, soft, diffused light that is much more flattering than the midday sun. You will want to schedule your shoot about 1.5 – 2 hrs before sunset or about 1 hr or so before sunrise to get the best lighting. Be sure to check sunset and sunrise times and plan accordingly. You will want a beach facing west to capture the sunset, or facing east for sunrise.
Maximize your glow! A tan will always make your skin more radiant, make your teeth look whiter, eyes look brighter, and help cover up any skin imperfections. I recommend getting a custom organic airbrush tan for best results. If you prefer to do it yourself, Coola makes an amazing self tanner that you can use at home. If this is your first time getting an airbrush tan or using a sunless tanner I highly recommend doing a trial first to ensure you get that perfect color. If you don’t have time for a trial tell the tanning tech to do a natural looking shade to avoid being way too dark for your skin tone.
5. Waterproof Makeup
The golden rule: just make sure it’s waterproof. It can be hard to get makeup to stay put at the beach, but that doesn’t mean that you have to let humid weather, wind, or water ruin your photo shoot! With waterproof makeup, you can take a dip in the ocean, splash and sweat, or roll around in the sand without worrying about mascara streaks or smudged concealer. It’s always a great idea to hire a professional makeup artist, if possible.
Don’t forget to get a mani/pedi, as your hands will be visible in your photo shoot! I needed a fill, but didn’t have time to get one before the shoot. I’m pretty sure that most people don’t notice my nails when they look at my maternity photos, but it annoys me, haha. 😉
Pick a beach location that has a unique feature such as interesting rock formations, caves, seaside cliffs, sand dunes, piers, or palm trees. Of course, it’s better if the beach is relatively uncrowded. It’s also a good idea to visit the beach beforehand, and see when the best lighting is. Depending on the landscape, your beach might get shady and dark much earlier than expected.
8. Check Tides
You will usually want a low tide, so that more of the beach is exposed. With a low tide, you will have a longer shore line, and more interesting rock formations (if it’s a rocky beach) and maybe tide pools. It depends on the beach and I recommend checking to see what tides look best at your selected spot.
9. Check Weather
Cloudy weather is your friend! The light is more flattering, and a little bit of clouds make a sunset or sunrise even more spectacular. Wind can be nice, but too much wind can be uncomfortable. Depending on the time of year, the water might be cold. The water felt freezing when I did my maternity photoshoot!
10. Be Comfortable & Have Fun!
You (as Mama!) may feel uncomfortable with your appearance, but I assure you: you are radiant and beautiful. Grab your favorite bikini or beach outfit, play dress-up, and have fun! Don’t be afraid to be a little “over the top.” You can’t be too dramatic. Do you love classic pin-ups? Are you a bohemian at heart? Wear flowers in your hair, or wear a dramatic flowing dress. Decide on a theme for your photo shoot, and let your imagination run wild! 😉
Have you done a maternity beach photo shoot? Let us know your favorite tips and tricks! 🙂