Prepping for a beach session.

Beach shoot preparation

The beach is a special environment that requires some special preparations and planning on top of a normal glamour/fashion shoot. Here are some tips to better prepare for your sandy modeling adventure and to better the odds of getting successful images.

The biggest thing is to try and control your tan lines when you are out in the sun during the summer. Wearing several different swimsuits during the season will create various tan lines. Try to keep them as small and unobtrusive as possible. Try evening out tan lines with a couple of visits to a tanning salon prior to your session but not just before the session in case you burn. If you are sensitive to the sun then staying pale is perfectly fine.

Please, I beg of you, no tan-in-a-bottle, spray tans, or other tanning products applied to the skin. Fake tans ruin sessions. It turns people orange and it streaks.

As for make-up make sure to blend it in with your body. That is to say, don’t use bronzer/tinted foundation and make up if you don’t have a tan. Blend it all in.

Obviously swimsuits are top of the list. One piece, bikini, bandeau, halter, thong, G-string, high waist, tie side – bring them all. All solid colors work very well. Big, loud patterns don’t work well as it takes their viewer’s eyes off the subject’s face so you can leave them home.

Make sure that, if you are bringing 2 piece suits, that you actually bring both pieces. You’d be surprised how many people don’t.

As for colors bring lots of bright, bold colors like yellows, reds, oranges, purples, blues, greens, etc. White is also very nice.  Tans, light browns, etc., don’t do well on the beach. We want you to stand out – not blend in. This is true for all outfits – not just swimsuits.

Let’s take a moment to talk about black. Small doses of black are good like bikinis or crop tops. Shiny black like leather, pleather, satin, et cetera, are welcomed as well as transparent/sheer black. Avoid large doses of it like a black one piece. Avoid black cloth at all costs. It sucks in the light and turns everyone into an amorphous blob.

A fitted white tank top, a white gauzy blouse, a white bikini, and cut off denim shorts can do a lot. If there’s one basic beach outfit package that everyone can bring all time with everything else – this would be it.

Plan on bringing much more than swimsuits, though. Bring sundresses, shorts (denim, boy shorts, etc.), oversized beach shirts, tank tops, wraps and outfits/dresses you don’t mind getting wet. I am especially fond of models wearing dresses/gowns/et cetera, in the water for something unexpected and special. Bring outfits that accent your features.

The beach tends to have a boho feel to it so bring anything that fits that style. Gauzy, semi transparent materials are wonderful. Peasant blouses and skirts/dresses add a nice sense of earthy freedom and sensuality.

It also has a fitness vibe to it so you can bring active wear, too.

Think outside the box, too. Prom dresses, evening gowns, little black dresses, long, flowing dresses, dresses and outfits that cling when wet have been very successfully used in a beach session. Splashing around in the water in an old prom dress or bridesmaid’s dress can be really fun.

If you happen to have a wedding dress you don’t like anymore I’d be forever in your debt if we could use it.

Long and flowy things are magical at the beach. things that you can twirl in, drape or flutter in the breeze.

Accessories matter so bring scarves, big, floppy hats, sunglasses, parasols, beach hats, necklaces, beach bags, a book, etc., to finish the look.

Pack an extra sweatshirt or robe to wear in-between shots.

Along with clothes bring a couple of bath towels, bug spray, and sunscreen/suntan lotion. I’d also include eye drops, headache and allergy meds – just in case.

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