How to Take Instagrammable Beach Photos

how to take instagrammable beach photos

You want your friends, family and followers to see the stunning scenery you experienced on your beach vacation and all the fun you had on your trip. Instagram is the best platform for scenic shots of the beach or beautiful captures of amazing memories, but how do you take an Instagrammable beach photo?

From what’s in the picture to how you edit and caption it, a few tips and tricks will help you learn how to take Instagrammable beach photos. Check out the tips below before your next beach vacation to fill your followers’ feeds with breathtaking beach pics.

Instagram Beach Photo Ideas

With the sun, surf and sand in front of you, you’re ready to take plenty of pictures, but you also need to know how to take Instagrammable beach photos. You want unique ideas, as well as the classic pictures to snap all the shots you need for your Instagram. From fun perspectives to unique focal points, these ideas will have you posting one likable beach photo after another.

1. Take Underwater Pics

Whether you’re scuba diving or splashing around the shores, put a waterproof camera to good use and take a unique photo. For an interesting perspective, take a photo when your lens is half-in, half-out of the water to see what’s below and above the surface. Taking a photo with this perspective will be easier in still water, since you won’t have to contend with the waves, but you can get creative by timing other shots to coincide with a crashing wave.

2. Build a Sandcastle

If you’ve got some architectural skill or your kids are having fun in the sand, create a castle and snap a photo for Instagram. Sandcastle pics are classic, and it’s a perfect way to preserve the memory and the creation, since the tide will eventually wash it away. Want something a bit different? Grab a pail and shovel and get creative with some of these sand art ideas:

  • Create a sand sculpture of aquatic wildlife, like a fish or sea turtle.
  • Write the date in the sand and fill it with shells and rocks.
  • Have everyone in your family leave a footprint in the sand together.
  • Bury someone in the sand and give them a mermaid tail.

Take candid photos as your friends and family make a sand creation and when they finish the project. You’ll snap some memories and capture the process of building a sand sculpture, which you can share with multiple photos in the same post on Instagram. Express your creativity to set up a fun beach photo that everyone will like to see on their Instagram feed.

sandcastle pics are classic

3. Get Beautiful Lighting at Sunrise or Sunset

The skies along the shore glow with gorgeous hues of pink, purple, orange, yellow and other shades that make for a stunning photo. Everyone loves a photo of the unique colors in an early morning or evening sky, so use that to enhance your already scenic pictures of the ocean.

If you’re on the East Coast, waking up early will be worth the serene sunrise shots you get of the sun reflecting on the water. If you aren’t a morning person, the sunset will still provide pretty colors in the evening sky, but you won’t see the sun sparkling on the ocean. Either time of day makes for breathtaking photos, so be sure to capture a few sunrise or sunset shots during your beach visit.

4. Include Others in the Shot

Visiting the beach with friends, family members or a significant other? Don’t leave them out of the photos! Capture your memories together for some lovely friend or family beach photos that everyone will give a like. If you need some beach photo poses for families or other ideas for group beach pics, try:

  • Coordinating outfits
  • Matching swimsuits
  • Wearing colors that pop against the background
  • Showing off gymnastics skills
  • Making a heart together with your arms or hands
  • Jumping together in front of the sunrise

Don’t forget to snap some candids, too. Take pictures as your kids splash in the waves or as your friends play some games on the beach to remember the little moments when you look back on your trip. Those candids can make great additions to your Instagram feed, so be sure to snap plenty of them.

5. Find a Focal Point

A shot of the water and the horizon is beautiful, but if you want a unique picture, find something to focus on. Take in the scenery and search for something. Maybe something unique catches your eye that you think others will find interesting, like:

  • A boat in the distance
  • Footprints in the sand
  • A lighthouse on the coast
  • A formation of rocks
  • A collection of shells
  • Some wildlife

Find a point of interest for your photo that you can mention in the caption or let your followers spot. It’ll give your photo a little something extra that classic images of the horizon don’t have.

capture the waves

6. Capture the Waves

While still water looks peaceful and calm, crashing waves are synonymous with the beach. Get an action shot as the waves break onto the shore, or better yet, have someone stand in the waves as they come in for a fun photo. Kids can kick and splash around as you get the perfect shot, showing what a fun time you all had together. Have someone else snap the photo for you, and you can show off your swimsuit and new tan as you embrace the waves.

With someone standing in the waves or the waves crashing, you get a bit of movement and action in a photo that draws everyone’s attention. You can even take a short video of the waves to post on Instagram, which is sure to get views. Leave in the sound of the water, and play around with effects like slow motion to make it more interesting.

7. Do Something Exciting

Relaxing on a beach visit is part of the fun, but there are plenty of exciting things to do on the shore. Thrill-seekers will love experiencing these activities, and they make for some great action shots to post on Instagram:

  • Parasailing or paragliding
  • Going on a boat excursion
  • Boogie boarding or bodyboarding
  • Surfing

Depending on the type of camera you have, you may need someone else to snap the photos for you as you enjoy these thrilling activities. Have them take plenty of pictures so you can choose your favorites for Instagram.

8. Visit the Boardwalk

There’s more to the shore than the sand and sea. Visit the Boardwalk to get photos of fun arcade facades, sweet seashore snacks and amazing views of the ocean. Pose along the railing or look out toward the endless waves. Show off something you won at the arcade or take a pic of your ice cream with a scenic beach backdrop. The possibilities are endless on the Boardwalk! If you’re out of inspiration on the sand, take a break on the Boardwalk for some photo ideas.

tips for instagrammable beach photos

Tips for Instagrammable Beach Photos

It’s essential to consider the subject of your shots, but the different techniques you use to take and edit them will also help you get Instagram-worthy beach photos. Make beautiful scenery even more serene and inviting or warm and vivid with the right setup, settings and edits.

1. Use the Rule of Thirds

Photography tips often feature the idea of the rule of thirds. This rule means that the subject takes up either one-third or two-thirds of your frame. Many digital cameras and phones have a handy grid that helps you get balanced photos. Use that grid to take a picture where your subject isn’t overwhelming the photo, but is clearly the focal point.

Practice by taking a photo of the sand and the water where the ocean takes up two-thirds of the shot. Then, add other subjects, like friends and family members, to get the hang of the rule of thirds. For the best proportions, try to center a subject along one of the points where the grids’ lines intersect. Centering your subject along one of those intersections helps create even more balance and is a clever way to incorporate the beach backdrop.

2. Play With the Settings

Depending on your camera or phone, you may have different lighting settings that will help your photos turn out even better. Whether you’re shooting at dawn or dusk or try a landscape or beach option, playing with settings when you have the time to capture the perfect shot is worth it. Of course, some shots need to happen in the moment. In those cases, you won’t have time to adjust your settings as much, and editing comes in handy.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Edit

Most of the Instagrammers you follow probably edit their pictures before posting them. There are plenty of photo editing apps available that let you conveniently take photos from your phone’s camera roll and enhance them on your phone. Your phone itself may have some editing options or filters, and, of course, there are always Instagram’s built-in filters. When you edit a photo, follow some of these tips, so it’s perfect for your feed.

  • Compare the before and after: Some apps allow you to tap or hold your finger on a photo to see what it looked like before your edits. Check as you edit to make sure the final product is better than the original photo.
  • Focus on the colors: See how your filters or edits alter the colors in your photo. If your sunset sky looks more vivid with one filter, choose that one. If the ocean looks bluer with a few edits, go with those. Bright and saturated colors often draw the eye in, but you don’t want it to be too overwhelming.
  • Don’t go overboard: Many filters have a noticeable effect that takes away from your beach photo. Go with no filter or turn down the effect of the filter you chose. On Instagram, tap once on a filter to select it, then tap it again to see a scale you can adjust for a more natural look.

Editing pictures is an excellent way to save shots that didn’t have the best lighting or that you snapped before adjusting settings. It’ll elevate your stunning beach photo to the next level, which all your followers are sure to like.

Instagram Captions for Beach Photos

While a picture says a thousand words, a caption on Instagram goes a long way. It tells your followers a bit more about the photo, your vacation, the beach you visited and more. Use the caption as both a way to preserve memories and help attract likes on your Instagram beach photos.

As you look at that blank caption box and your beautiful picture, you may feel a bit stuck, but some tips will inspire you. When you’re posting a great photo of the beach, use these ideas for Instagram captions.

  • Where you were: Your followers will see such a beautiful beach and need to know how to get there themselves. Include the location in the geotag — the area above a photo that says where you took it — in the caption or the hashtags.
  • Why you were there: Whether you visited the shore for spring break, a family vacation, a celebration or just to get away, let everyone know in your caption. You’ll also be able to use your caption to capture your memories when you look back at your pictures later.
  • What’s in the picture: Did you spot some wildlife, take in a sunset or catch some rays while reading a book on the sand? Whatever you did, you could use it to add to your caption. Point out something unique about your capture, so everyone will notice.
  • Something simple: If you aren’t one for long captions on your pictures, keep it simple. You could go with the date you took the photo, some emojis or a cute pun like, “Seas the day!” Choose something that fits the tone and theme of your other photos and captions if that’s important to your account.

Add these to your Instagram captions for beach photos to let your friends, family and followers know what you did, saw and experienced at the beach. Don’t worry if you don’t have much to say, either. Keeping a caption short and sweet will ensure everyone reads it and notices your beach photo.

Take Instagrammable Beach Photos at Ocean City, New Jersey

When it comes to Instagrammable beach photos, you need a location that makes for the perfect shot. Let Ocean City, N.J., be the backdrop for all of your beach pictures this summer. Explore the city, take some pics of the Boardwalk or relax and play on the shore. There’s something for everyone to enjoy with a visit to Ocean City, so grab your camera and plan your visit!

Learn more about the shorefind where to stay on your visit or check out the photo gallery for some inspiration. We can’t wait for Ocean City to help you share breathtaking beach photos with all your Instagram followers!


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