Who doesn’t love a beach day? It’s the perfect opportunity to shoot some summery content, but it can pose challenges. Here’s how to nail your beach video!
As a content creator, it’s important to keep up with trends and seasons. That means taking advantage of your surroundings and the gorgeous summer sun. Your audience around the globe may not be so fortunate to live near the beach, plus they might be enduring their winter whilst you’re soaking up the rays.
Keeping your content relevant and consistent is key to growth, which is why batch creating is a smart move. Forget being confined to one room in your house whilst you do this though. The summer’s here, baby!
Whether you’re selling a product or service, educating the masses, or trying to grow your personal brand to influencer stardom, the beach presents plenty of content opportunities. When we hear “beach video” we might think of sun kissed complexions, high-end swimwear, and salty tousled locks. But, there’s also fun games, sandy picnics, surfing, and eco-friendly beach cleans to enjoy.
Filming Ain’t a Beach
No matter what the topic of your beach content will be, there will be a few hurdles to hop over. Since the beach, with its white sands and open skies, is an incredibly bright landscape, you’ll need to get a handle on the camera settings.
On top of this, you’ll need to face wind, salt, and pesky grains of sand that will insist on creeping its way into every little crevice.
Beach Video Top Tips
From planning your shoots, to making the most of the lighting, we’ve got some handy hints that’ll give you beautiful beach footage every time.
Write a List
Ever laid out your towel on the beach ready for your barbecue, only to realise you’ve forgotten the sausages? It’s the same sinking feeling as getting to the beach for your shoot and realising you’ve left your tripod at home.
Writing a list of all the gear you will need will help your shoot run smoothly and efficiently. It’ll also keep you open for a number of eventualities, like changes in weather or types of shot. If you’re not totally sure what equipment to put on your list, keep reading…
It’s never fun turning up to the beach and having to squint all day because you don’t have your sunglasses. Using your camera without an ND filter is essentially the same thing.
If the weather holds up for you, you’re going to be basking in very bright sunlight. An ND filter (neutral density filter) reduces the amount of light that reaches your camera’s sensor. This is great because it lets you keep your aperture low, which helps with achieving a shallow depth of field. So, if you’re looking for cinematic beach shots, you will need an ND filter.
It’s always a good idea to bring a selection of filters with you to any shoot. Another useful one to have on the beach is a polariser. There will be lots of light bouncing off of the water, and tonnes of glare to battle against. A polariser helps to block out this unwanted reflective light, enabling you to get a clearer shot.
No, we don’t mean the stripy, multicoloured kind you stick in the sand to keep the breeze off your sunbathing bod.
If you’re capturing audio outside, you’ll know that the wind can play havoc with your recording. On the beach, even a small breeze can be amplified into a hearty gust, thanks to the exposed nature of the space.
Having a windbreaker is a good idea for any outdoor environment, but especially the beach. If you’re not shooting alone, it might be wise to have someone hold up a board to help block the wind even further.
When filming a beach video, you’re going to be working with natural light. This is great, because it means you don’t need to lug around anywhere near as much bulky lighting equipment, as you would to an indoor shoot. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t need any kit.
The key to achieving great videos using natural light is to properly harness and manipulate it. Two things that will help natural light become your friend, rather than ruin shots, are reflectors and negative fill.
Reflectors are surfaces that can help to redirect the sunlight towards your subject. They bounce the bright rays towards your desired area, illuminating the parts you want to make brighter.
Negative fill pretty much does the opposite. This can be a board or a bit of fabric, but it needs to be black and very dark. This will block out the light from a certain direction, helping to create depth and tone to an image.
Brushes & Air
Sand will be everywhere. Even if you’re insanely careful, there will be sand on your camera lens at some point during the shoot.
In order to keep your lenses clear and avoid any nasty scratches, use some soft brushes to sweep away any grains. If you’re worried about scratches still, you can use a blower to puff air onto your lens and blast away grit and dirt.
Imagine dumping all your gear on the ground, only for the tide to come racing in and get everything wet and salty. It doesn’t bear thinking about, right?
You might be thinking, “well, I just wouldn’t put it all down on the ground.” If that’s the case, you’d probably keep it all in a bag. At some point, you’re going to put that bag down on the ground. Why take the risk by using a regular bag, instead of a drybag?
Drybags are waterproof and protect the contents from seawater. So, if the tide catches you out, or you’re a particularly clumsy cameraperson, having a waterproof bag will save you a lot of heartache.
There’s no point having everything you need for the camera, if the person behind it (and in front of it) isn’t comfortable or safe.
If you’re creating a beach video with a higher production value, or you’re batch shooting, you’re going to be on the beach for a long time. That means longer periods exposed to the beating sun, as well as high temperatures.
Don’t forget to pack sun cream and plenty of water, to keep your skin from burning and stave off dehydration and sunstroke. A fetching sun hat is always encouraged too!