After any surf day or beach trip, we always want to look back on our trip and have at least a few great photos to remind us of the fun times. But when you’re around the ocean, you don’t want to be spending all of your time posing for shots, trying to get the lighting and framing of the photo exactly right, and finding the most flattering angle. You want to be out there in the surf, hanging with your friends and making the most of the weather.
Here are our tips for taking amazing bikini photos that don’t look like every other girl’s Instagram posts from last weekend - without wasting precious minutes in the water.
- Use a camera with at least the quality of a GoPro 3+ Black or iPhone 6.
We’re not saying you need to go out and buy a crazy expensive underwater camera, but always use the device on hand with the highest quality possible. If your friend recently got a new phone, chances are that phone’s camera will have more megapixels than yours. More megapixels means better clarity and more vibrant colors, so be sure to use hers.
GoPros are fantastic for underwater shots and are super durable, which means you can take action shots without fearing for your camera’s life.
- Take advantage of burst mode on your camera.
Fill your photos with excitement and action using burst mode, which tells your camera to take a series of photos much more quickly than you could manually. This setting is perfect for capturing the movement of a wave or water droplets in a splash.
If you’re using a GoPro, the burst setting is located in the same place as time lapse in your device’s settings.
On an iPhone 6 or later, hold down the white circle (the same one you’d usually press to take a normal photo) to access burst mode settings.
- Consider the rule of thirds or perfectly center your photo.
To create a more visually appealing photo, imagine that you’ve divided your photo into three equal sections, both horizontally and vertically and place your subject along one of those imaginary lines.
Photographers have proven that photos that make use of the so-called “rule of thirds” are seen as more balanced and attractive.
On the other hand, a perfectly symmetrical photo can be absolutely stunning -- especially if there are bright colors or sharp angles in the picture.
- Position your subject so that the sun doesn’t hit her straight on or hide behind her.
Unless you’re aiming for a squinty facial expression, don’t make your subject look directly into the sun.
Don’t place her right in front of the sun unless you know some silhouette photography skills, or she’ll just look dark and you won’t be able to see her smile or other details in the photo.
For the most flattering and friendly lighting, shoot at sunrise or sunset.
- If you’re posting to Instagram, avoid filters.
Instead of using one of the presets, edit your photos manually. Adjusting the exposure and saturation will make your photos pop without making them look fake or cheesy.
TIPS FOR LOOKING AT YOUR BEST
- Don’t pose.
Make sure there’s always movement in your pictures. It doesn’t matter if you’re splashing, running, surfing, jumping, or swimming -- your pics will always look more candid and fun if you’re not just standing there worrying about exactly how to position your body.
Do whatever makes you happiest, and your smile will shine through the lens!
PC: @popy_tahiti for KALOEA
- Be confident!
Stand up straight, smile genuinely, and embrace your body.
No one feels 100% comfortable in her body 100% of the time. Instead of comparing your body to others’ bodies, focus on all of the amazing things your body can do, from running to swimming to surfing and beyond.
If you flaunt what you’ve got, your photos will convey that confidence.
- Find a great bikini that flatters your figure.
From choosing a color to picking the right fit for your shape, bikini shopping can be a challenge. We’ve taken the work out of it for you -- here’s a 1-minute quiz that’ll point you in the right direction!
FUN IDEAS TO TEST OUT
- Look for cool reflections in the water.
If the water is still, you’ll be able to capture some awesome reflections of your subject. It’s easiest to achieve this look in a swimming pool, where the water is usually calm, but the ocean will also reflect amazing colors at sunrise and sunset.
- Try a half-underwater, half-above-water photo.
We love this kind of shot at KALOEA because it shows off all that’s going on under the water in addition to everything you’d get in a normal, above-water picture. Whether it’s a school of fish, colorful plants, shells, or even a turtle or stingray, what’s hiding in the water can only add to your photos.
We recommend using KNEKT’s GoPro Dome to craft amazing half-and-half shots.
- Boost the cute factor with animals.
We don’t know about you, but we’ve never seen a picture of a turtle or puppy we didn’t like. Take photos with stingrays, sharks, turtles, and starfishes whenever you see them around.
Animals always catch everyone’s attention and are guaranteed to make your audience smile!
- Carry an object or your board and make use of natural “props.”
It’s often awkward to just stand there posing for a picture. Try holding onto your board or playing with a flower crown, shell necklace, or some palm tree leaves to occupy your hands and add some personality to your photos.
Test out some of these tips next time you’re in the water and tag @kaloea Surf Bikini on Instagram for a chance to be featured on our feed.
Lucy from KALOEA