Beach photography as a hobby requires no big setup or different lenses. There is readily available clean back ground in form of sand, water and sky. When we shoot on western coast line of any country, sun is toward water at evening time. This gives a very simple natural lighting, which falls on the back of the subject. Sand on a seashore acts as a natural reflector and it fills the shadow area without casting sharp shadows.
This genre of photography is not only for family portraits or family group photo session. It can, and should be explored for nature and close up photography. Small marine creatures on a beach provides good opportunity for study of marine life. We can also shoot underwater subjects near the coast line from top angle, without going under water with the camera.
Capturing different activities is a part of this shoot. Person walking, having sun bath, preparing snacks... list can be more. Even children provide good subject as doing activities or playing on a beach.
Beach photography for commercial application has a huge potential market. It has to have scenic value. It is done with or without models. When it is done without model, it is for picturesque beauty, which has readily available market for calendars and posters. This form can be considered as a part of nature photography, however, we can include it in landscape photography also.
Even food photography can be done on a beach. It depends on composition and camera angle, which parts food photography from beach photography.
When a human figure is added as a part of subject, we need to have fill in light by using a big reflector, or we can also uses flash light. This light open ups the shadow details and reduces contrast of the photograph. Most of the time, shoot is scheduled in such a way, that the sun is on or near the horizon. This means that on eastern coast, it is done during very early hours, and on western coast, it is done at late evening. In both case, try to capture some shots, when the sun is below the horizon.
We can also shoot some photographs, when the sun is much above the horizon In such case, if the model is laying down on the beach, from his or her perspective, the sun becomes frontal source of light. Careful placement of the subject in such a way, that shadow is cast below the nose and neck, which gives a convincing story. We can also block the direct sunlight with white translucent sheet, if we are shooting a portrait composition.
Models in bikini and swimwear are one of the most popular subject. It blends with the story as atmosphere and back drop is convincing with the dress.