How to Build a Beach Photoshoot

April 22, 2021

Stuck in a landlocked area miles away from the water? Bundled up for snowy “spring” weather and dreaming of sunshine and tropical views? 

If you need to hit the beach for your next product photoshoot but can’t, you can build your very own beach at home or in your studio! 

What you’ll need

☀️Decorating sand

☀️A piece of posterboard

☀️Bare bulb (more on this later)

☀️Beachy props like tropical plants, beach towels, sandals, or sunglasses

You can find decorating sand and posterboard on Amazon or at your local arts and crafts store. Check home goods stores like Target, Anthropologie and CB2 for your photo shoot props. You might find some awesome hidden gems at your local thrift store, too.

As for finding real and faux tropical flowers and plants, you can buy them online or even at your local grocery store in a pinch. I shared the best places to buy flowers on the blog previously!

Create and shoot your beach scene

Got your supplies? Good! First, lay down your posterboard where you’ll be shooting, either on a table or on the ground. If you hate the cleanup phase of photoshoots like I do, you won’t wanna skip this step, trust me!

Then, pour your decorating sand on top of the posterboard. Make sure you cover the entire space that will be in your frame. Don’t make the sand look too flat and perfect. It should look natural with some bumps and waves.

Arrange your product and props on top of the sand. You can see in this TikTok how I posed the client’s products in the center and arranged fun, colorful beach props around them!

Once you’re satisfied with your arrangement, use a bare bulb to shoot the flatlay. A bare bulb will create a natural, sunny look. You’ll get bright contrast, dark shadows, and harsh “sunlight” when you use a bare bulb for this shoot. It can be a continuous light or strobe light, both work!

That’s all there is to it! All you have to do after that is cleanup your props and sand. Hope you put down that handy piece of posterboard 😉

Take your styling and photography skills to the next level

Wanna know more about the different types of lighting I use for all my shoots? Or how to DIY your own props and backdrops? How about making super fun stop-motion animation videos for brands like this one?

You’ll learn all that and more when you join my course, Slay the Flatlay! Slay the Flatlay is an all-in-one resource for photography, styling, and stop-motion animation. With over 4 hours of content and 22 modules, you’ll learn prop sourcing to camera gear to shoot planning to editing and everything in between.

Save $50 on the course with the code SLAY and sign up today.


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