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While it might not be so common at a fall or winter wedding, you are probably going to get many opportunities to take wedding photos by the water at summer weddings, and more specifically at beach weddings. As the warmer temperatures start to set in and you find yourself photographing more outdoor weddings that have a waterbody close by, then we’d highly recommend that you whisk your couple away for some couples portraits by the water. They are romantic, scenic, breathtaking, and have that fairy-tale vibe to them. But if you have no prior experience with that or need a quick recap on photographing your couples by the water, this blog’s got you covered with tips and awe-inspiring wedding photos by ShootDotEdit customers.

Tips For Taking Wedding Photos By The Water

a couple standing by a beautiful lake under open skies
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @taylorkempphotography

1. Don’t Be Afraid To Get In The Water

a couple looking at the camera while almost completely submerged in a lake
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer

Whether the water is warm or not (we are hoping it’s the perfect temperature), we suggest that if your couples are willing, you get in the water – from tip to toes. However, if you are planning to do this, don’t surprise your couple on the wedding day. If you know it’s a beach wedding or that there’s going to be water nearby, prepare your couple way ahead of time so they know what they are getting into. Even if it’s an engagement session, discuss the possibility of getting into the water with your couples way before you are actually at the venue/location. 

If they are up for it and your environment allows, you could also try taking some underwater wedding photos. Also, one main tip to remember is: Make sure you get experimental at the end of the event. And remember to ask your couples to bring towels and dry clothes to change into and be sure that you do the same!

2. Protect Your Gear

infographic stating use waterproof casings or DIY techniques to protect your equipment

We don’t need to tell you how important your gear is for your wedding photography business. So if you do happen to take wedding photos by the water at the next wedding you photograph, make sure that you waterproof your gear. This step is especially important if you’re getting into or near enough to the water to be in the splash zone. There’s plenty of waterproof casings that you can find online or in the shops or you could use DIY techniques to ensure that your gear stays safe. If you don’t want to invest in something expensive, consider using a rain jacket or waterproof fabric to wrap the camera in, leaving only the lens showing. However, we wouldn’t rely on this as a long-term solution. 

3. Bring Out The Drone

It’s good practice to experiment a little with angles and perspectives and see what you can do differently. In the case of taking wedding pictures by the water, a drone can make a great addition to your gear. You could try having your client out on a small boat or laying down on a dock or the shore and having the drone photograph from above. That’s going to get you a truly fantastic bird’s-eye view. Additionally, if you are thinking of going sailing, take your wide angle lens with you. This will allow you to work with the limited distances available in smaller spaces while taking a wedding photo by the water. 

Related Read: Drone Wedding Photography: Legalities, Safety Measures, & Useful Tips

4. Look For Reflections

A mirror-like reflection of a couple posing near a waterfront.
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @looyengaphoto

When you photograph reflections in the water, the result is usually a stunning masterpiece of a wedding photo. To take your masterpiece to the next level, here’s another tip. If you are near a lake or the ocean, consider offsetting your couple in the frame by including foreground elements and leading lines or place them somewhere other than the middle of the frame. This gives you space to introduce other elements in the photo and makes it more interesting too. For example: If you are taking wedding photos by the water and there’s a mountain or a forest around as well, think about positioning your couple in a way where you can turn those elements into your backdrop. Additionally, this technique can also work when you are not necessarily around a big waterbody. Think little puddles after it rains. Look for them and photograph the reflections of your couple in the water. 

5. Beware Of The Glare

When the sun rises or sets over the water, there can be a very bright and obvious glare of the sun on the water. In order to avoid this glare from ruining your photographs or the hours that you would later spend on editing them on a photo editing software, plan for the times of day (if you can) when this isn’t as obvious or adjust your angle to work around it. The blue hour (right before sunrise or right after sunset) or cloudy days can be some of the best times for taking wedding photos by the water for those reasons. We know that when it comes to weddings, timing isn’t always in your control, but if your couple is up for taking wedding pictures by the water, you might want to have a discussion with them about this beforehand as well.

Suggested Read: Wedding Photo Ideas: Inspiration From ShootDotEdit Customers

Wedding Photography By The Water Inspiration

1. Brandi Allyse Photo 

a collage of a newly married couple kissing while standing on the pier of a lake
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto

2. Danny Dong Photography

a bride is swinging on a swing under a tree while the groom stands beside her
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @dannydong

3. Apollo Fields

a couple kissing standing on the grasses in front of the city skyline
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

4. Diane Nicole Photography

a couple running through the beach
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @dianenicolephoto

5. Infinite Loop Photography

a couple kissing each other standing on rocky boulders with waves crashing around them
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @infiniteloopphoto

6. Narvold Photography 

a couple rowing a canoe in a lake surrounded by lush greeneryImage Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @narvoldphotography

7. Jodi B Photography

a couple holding hands while standing on an yacht
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @jodibphotography

Get Creative For Wedding Photography By The Water

a couple sitting on a cliff overseeing a lake surrounded by dense forest
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @breonnawellsphotography

These images by ShootDotEdit customers are a testament to how gorgeous wedding photos by the water can actually be. You can experiment with angles, perspectives, backdrops, and even go for a little swim! Just don’t forget to keep your gear safe. Also, they don’t always have to be beach wedding photos and you don’t always need to be near a lake to take these photos either. For example: If your couple is getting married at a park, you might want to spend some time scouting the location in advance and check whether there’s an opportunity to get some portraits by the water. Many parks have some kind of a small pond or waterbody, and that’s where you could try some of the techniques that we’ve shared in this blog. One last tip before you head out for the next photo shoot: Some beach and lakefront parks require permits for photography, so check that out ahead and get all your documents in order. 

Further Read: Photographing Couples In A Forest: Inspiration By ShootDotEdit Customers

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow as a wedding photographer. Besides sharing helpful tips and techniques, we actually make sure that you have the time to go out and test them by lessening your post-production workload with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help, check out our pricing plans.

1 comment

  • Yusuf

    Great info, thank you! I’ll try to make something cool right now :)

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