Archive: ‘Beach’

Everything is Better at The Beach!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011


Don’t you agree that Everything is better at the Beach??!!!



Smiles are bigger!




Hair is blonder!


Digging in the dirt is more fun!


Frisbees fly faster.




Apples taste much better after you have been in the salt water for a long time!


…once you get the sand off!


Candy taste much better too!


Collecting bottle tops….


and playing with ‘trash’ is more fun!


The water is way more exciting…


and the fish is fresher!


The trees are bigger!


and the flowers seem brighter…


Treasures are more valuable…


and handstands are straighter!


It is true…EVERYTHING is really better at the beach…

…even the end of the day!


Other beach tips!

  • * I love the ‘then’ and ‘now’ shots…. get them when you can…

St. Simonsimg_7131

  • *Change the angles. I also love the artsy feel of the angles…try tilting your camera to get a totally different feel:


  • * BRING your good camera  to the beach. I know a lot of people don’t like to take their nice camera to the sandy beach but if you keep it protected  it will be OK. I wrap mine in a small clean towel when I am not using it and always put it right back in a quilted zipper bag  in-between shots. So glad to have my photos!
  • * Take lots of shots and try to tell the story of what you did and ‘felt’ with your camera.
  • * Keep the light to  your back. Make sure that your subject has light on their face or they will be too dark.

this is the sun behind Evan….(facing me)


this is the sun facing Evan (behind me)


  • *Final thought – -  teenagers are usually easier to photograph on the beach…like I said EVERYTHING is better on the beach!!!


The Beach: Teenagers And Heroes!

Monday, June 6th, 2011

The beach is so fun, but it is one hard place to get good shots especially if there is full sun….which is generally all the time!  Teenagers are fun, but it is hard to get good shots especially if they are acting like teenagers and are a bit moody…which is generally all the time!  So when you combine the two, getting good shots can be a challenge…but not impossible for the confident camera moms out there!!

Here are some dos and don’ts and a few things I have learned about photographing teens and the beach and teens on the beach.

Do bring your camera. I know it sounds stilly to even say this but a lot of people don’t want to get sand in or on their camera so they don’t even bring them down to the ocean. I say go for it!  It is better to get some good shots with a little sand than no shots at all. Wrap your camera in a small towel and put it in a bag for protection. I use a quilted bag with a zipper. After I use it, I zip it back up and pull it in and out during the day. Don’t forget to always put the strap around your neck when you are using it to keep it from falling in the sand.

Do avoid the middle of the day sun… if possible. This is not a deal breaker but the light is much easier to deal with early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Believe it or not, this shot was taken in the morning, if it was much brighter she would not have have been able to open her eyes.


Do look for action shots. These ‘in the ocean’ shots are hard to get because the light is bright in the background and the subject tends to be too dark. Some advanced photo/camera techniques can help with this but for now I just did a quick edit to brighten it up a bit. The time of day can make these water shots easier. This was at high noon but very hazy making it difficult to shoot.




The photo below was from another trip, you can see that it was brighter and not so hazy for this shot. The shutter speed was also very fast to get the drops of water. Try your sports setting for these shots and a good zoom lens. I don’t recommend taking your camera in the water!


Don’t be afraid to request a few action shots. Melissa has been doing handstands since she was little so I like to get these shots when I can.


The YMCA shot always gives them something silly to do for the shot– which is a good thing. As a camera mom it is good to have some suggestions for what to do in your bag of tricks when the camera comes out.  It can mean the difference in having them run from the camera and staying for the shot.


Do get the funny stuff. Get your camera out when they start doing something funny, but be quick, these shots come and go fast!


When the brother starts picking on the sister it is generally worth a shot!


Don’t leave out the big picture. Look around at your surroundings and get the ‘other stuff‘ on your beach for your photo story. There is always more to the beach than sand and water.

The pier for example.


The inside  shot of the pier.

Simply unbelievable!


Don’t give up. If  your kids are not cooperating, look  for other interesting things all around you and practice!

a cute toddler:


a black dog and his Frisbee:.




Oliver North….

did I say Oliver North!!??!!

Yes! We met him on the beach walking his dog! So glad that I wasn’t worried about taking my good camera down to the beach!


Don’t use a flash. A standard rule of mine. Even though the photos may be grainer, I think they look better without the harsh light of a flash. This shot below was taken when it was really dark (9 pm), but a little moon light, high ISO, low 4 stop and some lightening up in post editing helped get enough light to keep the flash off.

Yes, she is kissing the fish!! The fishermen next to us said that she had to kiss the first fish! So she did. If only I had that kind of influence on my kids!


This shot is grainy but I love the look on her face and our friend in the background. I would not have liked this shot with the flash.


Don’t give up on he sunset shots. They can be are difficult to get the true color. Try setting your shutter speed high and see if you can get the color to look more natural.


To sum it up, When you are at the beach don’t be afraid to take your good camera. The morning and evening is usually the best light and if you have teens just try to get them in their world.  A few posed shots are Ok but you will tell a much better story with the candid shots that come along….oh, and don’t be afraid to get the the famous people walking by too!

A sandy beach, full sun and the fam…all make for a happy Camera Mom!

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

1/2500 F3.2 ISO 100

Some would say to leave your camera at home because it is near impossible to get good shots in bright sunlight and the sand isn’t worth it. I agree with that to some degree. But, if you find a way to get that big ball of fire to work with your little balls of fire it is a win/win for the camera mom!

The sun was bright no question, so I put it behind Evan’s head keeping it out of his eyes, keeping him from squinting (the ultimate goal). His head made the shade for his eyes…a good trick to try. Usually you want to have some light on the face but all photography rules are meant to be broken (just ask my good friend and Professional Family Photo Man, Nick Kelsh!). The sun is already so bright that he has enough light on his face even in the ‘shade’ that the camera angle is creating.
I just love this next shot showing the relationship between Evan and his big sister….may not speak to others but to me, the mom, it is just so sweet. (notice her ‘gymnast arms’?)

1/2500 F3 ISO 100

This shot is all about the angle of the sun again and using it to my advantage. I love the curve of his back and the light behind him. Again, it is bright enough on the beach to compensate for light issues, if this were shot in another open field for example, his body may be too dark.


1/200 F7 ISO 200
This is just cool!

The final two shots are all about taking advantage of the warm light during this beautiful magical time of day. The sun is beautiful right before sunset and if you had your camera in the bag all day, it is time to pull it out because you will only have about 15 quick minutes to get what you are after. Have fun with this beautiful bath of warm, golden light, it makes everyone look cozy and happy!


1/200, F 7, ISO 200


1/200 F7 ISO 200
very little if any post editing on all above
Cannon 50D

A lesson on Shutter Speed

Sunday, November 7th, 2010
Understanding shutter speed comes in very handy when you have FAST kids. If you are photographing flowers or other things that don’t move, it isn’t as important. My kids move so fast, I had to learn this lesson early!
These photos show the shutter speed lesson so clear. I set the speed really fast to 1/2500 to try to ‘freeze’ the action and the water. The water drops are frozen and the subject is in focus. This is so important when you are in action situations like sports and other ‘life’ activities with kiddos running around!
One really cool way to learn this concept is to ask your husband if you and 3 girlfriends can plan a trip to Cancun (without him or the kids) so you can learn how to use the shutter speed button on your camera. Tell him that all you will need is a week away and some spending money! If he says ‘go right ahead sweetie, you deserve some time with your friends’, then call me and I will meet you there. If he gives you a different answer…then….go to plan b and turn on your kitchen sink faucet (kinda slow) and take a photo of the water running to experiment with your shutter speeds. Look at the difference in your photos between the fast and the slow settings. The best time to learn this is when your mind is somewhat clear and you don’t have kids at your feet and are not trying to get the perfect shot on the soccer field with all the distractions…humm…maybe 3am?!  It will be totally worth it to nail this concept so get to work and give it a try!
I liked the ‘wall of water’ here…
camera settings:
1/2500, F 3.0, ISO 100
Canon 50D

Follow me!

Friday, November 5th, 2010
Don’t you just feel like following him?
Can you just imagine his excitement when he gets to the end? Can you just feel it? Look for these opportunities…. where you have long sidewalks or paths and let your kids start running. I choose to make this one sepia to make it even more focused on the emotion that I am after. These photos always bring up wonderful happy emotions…look for them….and click away.

Tip: don’t let the moment slip away. I set the camera on ‘program’ for this shot and did some post editing. If I had spent the minute I needed to figure out the settings for the rainy, overcast beach light, I would have missed the shot all together as my kids were running fast ahead of me!

You don’t need their faces to tell a great story.

Monday, November 1st, 2010

These are my 4 year old twins. We were at the beach after dinner and they were running and playing so hard with their light sabers, lots of good action shots to be had. But my favorite shot came when they stopped and just looked out at the ocean. They got real still and started to whisper; I can only imagine what they were saying to each other. I didn’t hear a word but I did get to capture a little piece of their world. I would have missed it if I had asked them to turn around and say cheese.

The info: F8, 1/500, ISO 160
taken at sundown


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