How To Take Timeless Beach Photos This Summer

Looking at wistful beach photos of your grandparents/parents you find pressed between pages of a classic book or hung nicely on the wall can stir all kinds of emotions within. Like listening to jazz or The Beatles; you can’t help but feel nostalgic about an era you weren’t even a part of. It makes you want to be there, be as cheerful and carefree like the people you see in vintage beach photographs…

I got inspired looking at the photos from 1930’s- 1960’s and I said to myself, ‘I want this’. I wanted my beach moments captured in photographs. It must be able to speak about having found a place where I’m genuinely at my happiest. So I did. I may or may not be in a bikini in these photos but I was definitely in my element (cue The Beach Boys music please).

Photographed by: Alvin Saimon Casupang

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How To Take Timeless Photos:

  1. Think about how you want the photo to look…  Do you want to capture an intimate moment? Do you want a portrait of yourself photographed during the golden beach hours? Maybe you want it au naturel sans bikini and make up? Do you want to use colourful props but find fruit props a cliché? Use a beach roundie like this to hold on to so you would at least know what to do with your hands. You can play around with so many concepts but the photo must remain true to yourself at the end of the day.
  2. Have a version of your most favourite still in black and white. Instant timelessness <3
  3. Capture a genuine moment – It’s that instantaneous appeal to your limbic system. The kind that could make your heart melt, your jaw drop, your stomach do backflips. The kind that could translate your soul and the beauty of the world around you into photographs. The laughs, smirks that could tell countless of stories only you know the ending to.
  4. Know the Rule of Thirds – Moving the subject off-centre actually merits more pleasing results.Think tic tac toe. Subject could be placed at the upper left/right box or lower left/right box depending on its orientation (landscape or portrait).
  5. Tone down the background noise – Composition is key. The less clutter there is around your subject, the easier it is to find the right emotions to exude. Notice how minimalist images can draw you in and magnetise you more? These kinds of compositions are the ones that make it to the wall for ages.
  6. Lighting is your friend… – Since we’re only talking about timeless photographs, the best lighting would be during the golden hours, or what photographers refer to as the ‘magic hour’. It’s the time between night and day, where the light diffused is soft and sultry. Photographers can easily play around with artistic lens flares, silhouettes, shadows and even use the light to highlight dust particles around the subject.
  7. Frame it naturally– use leaves, tree branches and what-nots to keep the eye from straying away from the focal point.
  8. Create Lines– What, lines? How can I find lines if I’m shooting at the beach? It’s possible. Use the horizon, the body of your subject, the shadows, the ray of light. We all (allegedly) love lines and appreciate a good photograph with it.

Apps I Use for Editing My Beach Photos:


Skills: Amateur

Favourite Filter: HB1

Other adjustments: higher exposure (to taste), +1-3 clarity, +1 sharpen, +1 contrast, tint: purplish/pink, low saturation, cold tones.

2. Lightroom 5

Skills: Amateur

Favourite Feature: brush, skew

Other adjustments: high exposure, cold tones, HDR, +2-5 contrast, less vibrance, low saturation

3. Pomelo (IOS App)

Skills: Expert

Favourite Filter: Freeze: Iceland

Other adjustments: high exposure, less saturation

This app was my first love but I cheated on it with VSCO, lol. It functions pretty much like VSCO and has its filter game on lock. Reason why I cheated? I wanted to experiment (bad, really bad).

Amp up your beach game with these beautifully hand silk-screen printed beach roundie from Seassentials.

Seassentials is a Cebu-based online seller of beach roundies and bikinis. <3

Shop their products via Instagram 

Contact via Viber or Whatsapp: +63 998 898 1880

Free shipping nationwide (Philippines)

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What do you think of the photos we took that day? Do you think they can make for an interesting story 50 years from now? Let me know your thoughts below! 🙂

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Hi, I’m Sofia! A restless soul traipsing through life one (mis)adventure at a time or sometimes... well, multiple.

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