Entries in beach (45)
This past Saturday I photographed one of my family members professionally for the first time! My cousin whom I have not seen in over a decade due to living in different parts of the country moved down here to the Tampa Bay area. She got engaged and contaced me about an engagement shoot on Sunset Beach in Treasure Island Florida. I said sure, sounds great, you bring the romance and I will take care of the rest!
They did their homework and had several photo ideas they wanted to try out, which is fine with me as I am always looking for new shot ideas myself. It was a frigid day, actually the coldest of the year, but they dressed Florida style anyway and were real pros!
As requested, they brought the romance allowing me to make candid portraits like the one above. I wanted to have the sun melt through the couple in this shot adding to the impact of the overall image.
Besides being cold, it was incredibly windy, but at least Mother Nature also provided a classic dramatic Florida sunset to use as a background in the photographs. I prefer there to be clouds in the sky as well, as I feel it adds more interest than if the sky were cloudless.
I remembered to make a quick shot of my strobist setup this time. As you can see, I use two speedlights in my off camera flash technique for sunset portraits. There are just diffuser caps on the strobes as it was far too windy for an umbrella or anything like that.
My cousin and her fiance brought their dog, Bear, who was a good boy and watched patiently until it was his time to be in front of the lens where he immediately started dishing out big kisses!
My cousin, like me, was born in Rhode Island and will have her wedding actual up in the Ocean State. It was great to reconnect with her, and her mom (my aunt) made a surprise visit too! It was a real reunion and a very fun engagement portrait session.
Two families were coming to Florida for a warm winter vacation from their homes in Pennsylvania and contacted me about getting family beach portraits. They were staying at Sunset Vistas on Treasure Island, Florida and wanted to use the beach their as the backdrop for their family portraits. I had never been on that stretch of beach before, but I pretty much knew what to expect as virtually all beaches on Treasure Island look the same. The biggest variable was the weather, but we were pretty lucky. The day before the shoot was all day rain. The day after the shoot was arctic and super windy. Our shoot day was perfectly sunny with only a slight chill in the air. Lucky!
Since there were two families in this hour portrait session, I had to work twice as fast. There were several group shots with everyone, but otherwise I setup a shot with one family and then quickly had to get the next in place for their turn, all of course with the sun providing its own countdown timer!
This was my first time to make this type of shot with so many people. I had to use both speedlights at max power and a relatively large aperture of f/5.6 to light everyone with the sun that low.
Even though each family had four members and were photographed in the same spot and time was ticking away, I still tried to add as much variety between shots as possible, in the case above using a different pose and moving one of the speedlights behind the family. Compare this shot to the second photo from the top to see how the light changes at sunset time in just 3 minutes.
This black skimmer was enjoying the late afternoon sunshine on a small beach in the North Shore Park area of St. Petersburg, Florida. I had to get down on the sand to get to the bird's eye level for this composition. These birds get their name from skimming their beaks over the surface of the water in search of food. Unfortunately, this bird and all her friends must have already eaten dinner because they were just standing around and I could not get any cool action shots of them skimming. Such is the nature of nature photography!
The Anderson family was visiting from Canada staying at their condo on Redington Beach for the holidays and while the family was all together, wanted candid Florida sunset beach portraits. Unfortunately, the weather was not very Florida-like as the temperture was pretty low and the strong wind actually made for a tangible wind chill effect. Nevertheless, we had a good sunset for a background and made some fun portraits together.
They had seen my other photographs of families looking away from the camera and out toward the sunset and specifically requested to have one of these trademark shots of mine. I added a bit of a soft filter to the image this time as I felt the high detail of the original did not match the overall feel of the shot.
One thing you may notice in all my sunset portraits is that I always get the people's heads above the horizon as much as possible so the horizon is not unpleasantly bisecting anyone's head. In order to do that for the family while sitting, I had to lay down on my stomach right on the sand! Beach portrait photography does require getting messy sometimes.
I always like to see siblings having fun together, and here brother gives sister a lift with a bright sun setting behind them. I feel these kinds of shots will have the most impact twenty years from now and hopefully will help remind the siblings of the fun of their childhood, and in these case, teenage years together.
Once again I had the opportunity to photograph a client I already knew as DSLR Photography Lesson student Kristin booked a Family Beach Portrait session for Sunset Beach on Treasure Island. As I have mentioned before, it is always a plus to photograph people you are familiar with, and of course as a pro photographer it is flattering that a client would give you repeat business.
Kristin's nearly 2-year old daughter was a very talkative little girl, and as one might expect a very active one too. I usually recommend that parents hold their child as the best means of keeping them in the frame!
The whole family had a lot of personality which made it fun to photograph them as they were never at a loss for smiling in front of the lens. A willingness to get a bit sandy allowed us to make the above shots in front of Sunset Beach's tall grass dunes.
Using a mound of sand that was the remains of a castle, Naomi practiced her ballerina moves as I framed her with the dusk sky out over the Gulf of Mexico.
Kristin has two more photography lessons with me where I will help prepare her to be able to make her own family beach portraits in the future!