8 Tips for Filming at a Beach | Boston + New England Family Films and Photos

Let’s chat about BEACH FILMS. As filmmakers, we love them for the visuals and hate them for the audio. Though wind and waves compete for clean voice capture, the beach is one of my favorite places to film. I would never encourage a full family film on a beach but it’s a beautiful setting for a mini-film or Moving Portrait. Here are 8 tips for filming at a beach as we continue to bask in these glorious summer days!

Tip #1

If you have one, pack that stereo mic for all the beautiful ambient sounds…just don’t forget the wind sock!

Tip #2

Don’t be timid about shooting in bright light for brilliant color in the sky and sea. To keep that aperture low and shutter speed double your frame rate, you’ll need a lens filter if you have one. Graduated filters (though more expensive) allow you to adjust the amount of filter as the sun goes down.

Tip #3

If you shoot mirrorless, just say no to swapping lenses or free-lensing on a windy day (unless you can find a protected area free of sand).

Tip #4

As filmmakers, we’re drawn to light and movement, and both are everywhere on a beach—look for it…it will make your B-roll sing.

Tip #5

When you hope for voice capture, take your subjects away from the water. In their family film, I asked the siblings to play back toward the boardwalk so I could include their voices without having them drowned out by the wind and waves.

Tip #6

Ambient stock sounds are great for beach films. Most of the waves and seagull sounds in the following film were downloaded from freesound.org. It can be a tricky balance with your song track, so listen over and over to make sure one doesn’t compete with the other.

Tip #7

This is the time to strut out those light leaks and effects. Be sure to note the direction of the sun and camera movement to make the effect believable and less of a distraction.

Tip #8

If you’re in the US, consider shooting during shoulder months to avoid crowds. My favorite time to shoot on our Boston beaches is May and September.

Note: Although I’ve shared this particular film before, it’s a perfect example of these 8 tips for filming at a beach. I hope it helps! If you’re interested in additional tips and much more, you can learn more about my mentorships here.

love amy xo


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