3 Tips for Beach Engagement Photoshoot Success

Feature beach engagement photoshoot photo by White House Wedding Photography

Are you considering having a beach engagement photoshoot here in Miami? That is so awesome! Doing an engagement photo session at the beach can be a lot of fun, and I love creating beautiful, unforgettable beach pictures. However, there are a few things about a beach engagement photo session that brides should know to get the most out of their beach engagement photo session. This post gives you 5 tips that will help you get the most out of your beach engagement photos. 

Let’s get to it!

1. Consider Picking a Beautiful Location 

First things first, consider picking a beautiful location! You probably ask yourself, “Aren’t all beaches beautiful?” The answer is no! Some beaches may have very little sand because of erosion. You want to choose a beach with lots of sand. The sand will act as a reflector, reflecting light onto you and making for beautiful beach photos. Most beaches in the Keys have very little sand but make up for it with pristine turquoise water.

Another thing to consider when looking for a beautiful location for your beach engagement photoshoot is general appearance. For example, you want a beach with palm trees and maybe some vegetation like sea oats grass. Also, avoid famous tourist beaches, especially during the peak tourist season (October to March). 

Most of the beaches in South Florida are public beaches. Unfortunately, this means that the public will wander into your photo frame, and there is very little you or your photographer can do about it. Of course, you can politely ask beachgoers to avoid photobombing, but this can become tiring and kill the mood. Whatever you decide, pick a beach location that you love and will enjoy!

Photo of beautiful beach for engagement photos in Exuma, Bahamas | By Miami Engagement Photographer

Photo of beautiful beach for engagement photos in Exuma, Bahamas | By Miami Engagement Photographer
Photo of beautiful beach for engagement photos in Exuma, Bahamas | By Miami Engagement Photographer

2. Timing For Beach Engagement Photoshoot

The time and day of the week will affect your engagement photos’ overall aesthetic and experience. First, let’s look at the effect of the time of day on your photos. Most photographers will tell you you should have your photos done early morning or late evening (during the golden hour).

The golden hour is the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset. Golden hour lighting is generally warm and soft. It makes for creating beautiful portraits with beautiful skin tones and warm color pallets.

Pictures created during the golden hour have very soft shadow edges (low contrast – shadows and lights), whereas images made when the sun is high in the sky have sharp shadow edges (high contrast – shadows and lights).

On the other hand, high-contrast lighting is the least preferred type of lighting but not necessarily bad. Working in high-contrast lighting requires careful attention to where the shadows are falling. In addition, it may require artificial lighting to soften some of the shadows.

I prefer creating beach pictures in the golden hour, but I can make beautiful images at any time of the day. After all, I’m a professional wedding photographer with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography, plus over 10 years of experience photographing real couples in many different conditions. Not bragging, Yea! 🤣🤣

Another thing to remember when picking a beach location for your engagement photo shoot is the day of the week. The day of the week can affect your overall experience and the aesthetic of your engagement photos.

We are fortunate to have so many beautiful beaches here in South Florida. The only hiccups are that they can often time be crowded with tourists and locals. Based on my experience, the best days of the week for beach engagement photos are Mondays through Thursdays. So avoid the weekends and holidays.

One last thing before moving on! Remember that the summer in South Florida is the rainy season. This means that the afternoons are pretty much guaranteed to have thunderstorm forecasts. It can be pouring buckets of rain on Hollywood Beach but a blue sky and gentle breeze on Miami Beach. So, you and your photographer have to plan ahead. The good news is that these afternoon thunderstorms generally don’t last long.

3. What Role Does Color Play in Your Beach Photoshoot?

Color is an essential aspect of any photograph. It helps to tell the story and to give a sense of being there. For beach engagement photoshoot ideas, you will have rich hues of blue from the sky and the ocean, light tan from the sand, maybe a little greenery from palm trees and other beach plants, and various colors from buildings. You may also have some clouds in the sky. If you are lucky to get just the right amount of puffy white clouds in the sky, it will make for an exciting backdrop. 

The thing to remember here is that most of these colors you will have little control over. Furthermore, you will get a color shift as the sun moves across the sky. The most significant change occurs in the early morning sunrise and late evening sunset. In the morning and evening, you will have a tint of orange color cast on everything. This orange color cast is what is referred to as warm lights or warm glow. 

Engagement photo of a couple on the beach by Miami engagement photographer
Engagement photo of a couple on the beach by Miami engagement photographer

What to Wear for Your Beach Engagement Shoot Outfits?

Now, while you may not have control over these colors, your photographer may use filters and lights to create, enhance, and or control these colors. But, what you do have control over are the colors you wear. So, the beach engagement shoot outfits you choose will be crucial to your photos’ overall look and feel. Furthermore, choosing engagement outfits that you love and feel comfortable in is a big bonus to the outcome of your session.

Wear complementary colors so that you will not blend in with your background. It is pretty popular to wear white or beige color to a beach engagement photo session, but I would recommend wearing soft, warm pastel colors such as reds, yellows, and oranges. These colors will provide some separation from the background. On the other hand, wear bold colors such as reds and yellows to stand out and make a statement.

Furthermore, I recommend wearing light and loose clothing such as linen and cotton that will allow air to flow through and help to keep you cool. Also, consider wearing appropriate beach attire that will not have the public gawking at you! 

4. Bonus – Preparing For Your Engagement Photo Session

Whether your engagement photoshoot is in the morning or the evening, you must ensure that you prepare for the shoot—plan to arrive at the beach at least 15 minutes early. The last thing you want to do is be over 15 minutes late due to traffic or your makeup taking longer than estimated. 

Ensure you are adequately hydrated and take plenty of water to the shoot for you and your significant other. Keep the makeup to a minimum – remember that a beach environment will provide hot, humid, and windy conditions, which can be hard on your makeup and hairstyle. If possible, wear your hair up and consider pining in place to avoid having it blown all over your face and making your experience a miserable one. 

If you generally wear sunglasses, we recommend ditching them a couple of days before your session or at least a couple of hours before the shoot. This will allow your eyes to adjust to the bright sunlight and stop you from squinting on the day of the shoot. 

Leave the stilettos and platforms at home – wear comfortable slippers or flats. Don’t forget to apply good sunscreen, keep an open mind, and be flexible. Conditions can change with minimal warning or time to prepare.

Photo of a couple kissing on the beach in Malibu, CA | White House Wedding Photography
Photo of a couple kissing on the beach in Malibu, CA | White House Wedding Photography

Let’s Wrap it Up!

In summary, to rock your beach engagement photoshoot, do the following:

  1. Pick a beautiful beach that you love and will enjoy visiting.
  2. Consider scheduling your shoot at the optimal time for the best results.
  3. Be aware of the impact color will have on your photos, and ensure you wear colors that will not blend into the background.
  4. Consider beach makeup and hairstyles.
  5. Prepare for your shoot by properly planning adequate travel time and wearing appropriate clothing that you love for the shoot.
  6. Hydrate, dress light, smile often, relax, and enjoy! 

Want to talk to an award-winning engagement photographer about your beach engagement photoshoot? Get in touch here! I’m dying to hear your plans and love story.

Sunset Photo of a couple kissing on the beach in CA by Miami Engagement Photographer Sunset Photo of a couple on the beach in California by Miami Engagement Photographer

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5 Best Locations For
Stunning Engagement