Hey there, fellow photo enthusiasts! If you’re looking for an awesome location to take some beautiful beach portraits, you should head over to Panama City Beach, FL. aka PCB. This place has it all: pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a laid-back vibe that will put your subjects at ease. So, let’s dive into some of the top spots for PCB photography and some tips to help you capture the best shots.
First up, the beaches! With over 27 miles of coastline, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to snap some amazing photos. Whether you’re taking shots of families playing in the waves, lovey-dovey couples strolling on the beach, or models lounging in the sun, the beach is where it’s at. The crystal blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico make a pretty epic backdrop, too.
Next, head over to Pier Park, the outdoor mall that’s a great area for urban-style portraits. With all the colorful storefronts, fountains, and landscaping, you’re sure to get some awesome shots. Just make sure to hit up the spot during the golden hour for maximum awesomeness.
For a more natural and secluded backdrop, check out Shell Island. This uninhabited island is ONLY accessible by boat and has pristine beaches, dunes, and crystal-clear waters. It’s a little bit of a trek, but trust us, the shots you’ll get are worth it. Just don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray because this place is a critter’s paradise.
Finally, St. Andrews State Park is a great spot for family portraits. You can capture some amazing wildlife, water activities, and beachfront scenery. The park has a diverse landscape, including forests, salt marshes, and lagoons, which provides endless photography options.
Now, onto some tips and techniques to help you take your PCB photography game to the next level. First off, use natural light. PCB has bright and clear skies, and almost white “sugar sand” which reflects back light and is perfect for those who prefer to use natural lighting. However, the midday sun can be a bit harsh, so I recommend shooting during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset. Plus, that’s the time when the lighting is the most magical!
Don’t be afraid to get creative with angles. Try shooting from low angles or shooting from above to add some depth and dimension to your photos. I also love encouraging other photographers to try to capture some candid moments. Posed shots are great, but the candid shots are what really capture the moment. If your subjects need a bit of coaching, using prompts that create movement (i.e. snuggle in close, or take a quick jog down the beach while holding hands) is a quick and easy way to create natural moments of interaction.
Oh, and one last thing: I love using prime lenses! You have to move on your feet a bit more, but 35mm, 50mm or 85mm lenses are perfect for getting those sharp, detailed portraits. Plus, the shallow depth of field can help isolate your subjects and create some beautiful bokeh.
So, there you have it, folks! PCB is an awesome spot for photography, and I hope these tips and spots will help you capture some amazing shots. Just remember to have fun, let your creativity fly and most of all, enjoy the beach! If you’re looking for a photographer to help capture YOUR portraits, I’d love to chat. Contact me here!