Turquoise shoreline with wispy clouds
5 Tips For Capturing More Professional Photos of Your Memories in South Walton

We’ve all been there. You tried to take a photo of your beach trip and the sky and water are overexposed, but the people look like shadows. We wanted to know how to capture our memories more effectively, so we called in a pro: Chandler Williams of Modus Photography, a South Walton mainstay on 30A in Grayton Beach. Chandler’s been capturing travel, surfing, beach photos, adventures and weddings for over 18 years, and if anyone can help perk up those shots of your favorite beach moments, he can. In addition to taking photos, Chandler teaches photography classes, so he’s pretty familiar with the issues facing new photographers. Here’s what he tells them.

“During my classes, my students often mention the moments that got away from them, or times when the image didn't come out because they didn’t know what camera settings to use. Photography is a language that needs to be refined - the more comfortable you are speaking the more you can express yourself! In order to be more prepared for these scenarios, the best thing is to get to know the language before those moments arrive.

1.  Take the camera off "P" (or “Automatic”) mode and turn it to "A" or "Aperture" and begin to explore how your lens can be your biggest partner in crime! The lower the aperture number, the more light your camera lets into the photo and the softer your background will be. Soft backgrounds are especially desirable for close-up portrait shots, but on the beach, you might want to try higher apertures to prevent your photos from looking washed out.

2.  Try shooting across your subject instead of down at them. This will give more depth to your shots. A very common habit is to shoot down while standing at eye level, and this prevents you from including the visual interest created by the background. Shooting across your subject at the beach allows you to get those beautiful waves, the sky and the horizon.

Row of colorful chairs on the beach
Modus Photography

3.  Get up early and bring a tripod. My favorite time of the day is when the rest of the world is sleeping. Head out before sunrise and discover a spot that suits you - you should be at the location at least 20 minutes before sunrise. For me, being around water never gets old. Depending on the weather, the early morning can provide amazing gradients of color! 

4.  Shoot the stars. Use a tripod or something steady to brace your camera and test out longer shutter speeds. Longer shutter speeds let more light in and allow you to capture the night sky even in darkness. Shooting astronomy photos is a great way to enjoy the outdoors at nighttime! 

5.  Have fun and shoot often! The more you shoot, the more you will get to know the language of photography. Sometimes the best thing you can walk away with is the experience, and that is what capturing the moment is all about.

So practice, practice, practice and learn the language of photography. That way, you’ll be ready to capture memories on your next beach trip!