Being in San Diego, we take for granted that we can go to the beach year round for portrait sessions. My favorite time of year to take photos on the beach is in November. That doesn’t mean you can’t take photos on the beach other times of the year, but here are some things to consider when choosing to take your photos at the beach:
Crowds: Spring break and summer vacation – undoubtedly the busiest times of year for our beaches. There’s nothing more frustrating than capturing a gorgeous family portrait with a surfboard sticking out behind Dad’s body and a third leg dangling between sister’s feet. Not to mention the crowds in the background, difficulty in finding parking and sometimes having to wait your turn to get that shot on the rocks or under the pier. Beach photos during this time just require a little more patience than less crowded times of year.
Tides: Day in, day out, 365 days a year we have a high tide and a low tide. This isn’t something that changes by the time of year you select to have your portraits taken at the beach. It may however, limit use of certain beaches where a high tide means the water reaches all the way up to the cliffs. And since most photo sessions are planned months in advance, you likely won’t know the tide until we get closer to the date. If you are flexible with the beach location, there are plenty of San Diego beaches that will accommodate families and photographers, even in high tide!
Fog/Haze: If you’ve lived in San Diego more than 12 months, you should be familiar with the terms May Gray and June Gloom. Fog rolls in and out of our beaches most commonly when our weather starts to warm up. I have yet to find a way to predict the fog/haze, except I can say it is more common during the spring and into the beginning of summer. Winter sunsets are usually the most spectacular in December and January, with the rich sky colors and saturated cloud colors.
Temperature: July through October are the warmest months at the beach, with the coldest months being December – April. Your beach photos may be a little more bundled up during the winter and spring, whereas, you can wear summer styles through the summer and fall months.
When I schedule a beach session, I expect the most challenging conditions to photograph in – that way I’m ready for any condition the beach has to offer – whether that’s wind, cold weather, wet clothes, high tide, or fog. If you come prepared for beach conditions, you’ll be able to have a great session any time of year!
Ask me the best time to schedule your own beach photo session, how to prepare for your beach session and what I recommend you wear to your beach photoshoot.