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7 Ways to Spice Up Your Swimsuit Photos

Get your swimwear images to stand out from a sea of competition
Photo of a swimsuit model

Shooting swimwear might seem like one of these easiest genres of photography but it can be difficult to separate your work from the pack. Because of its exotic locales and gorgeous models, swimsuit photography attracts a wide swath of photographers, both good and bad.

So how do you make your swimsuit photos stand out? Popular pro Anita Sadowska, who we profiled last year, has some great ideas. In the below video, she shares her seven secrets for spicing up swimwear shoots. And, as she says in the video, these tips and tricks can be used for portrait and fashion photography as well.

“Today I’ll be sharing with you my top photography tips and tricks that I use especially on my beach photo shoots but also when I’m shooting fashion,” Sadowska says. Watch below as she photographs swimsuit model Nina both on the beach and in the water.

#1 Give Feedback

“First and the most important tip that I have for you is to always give plenty of feedback to your model,” Sadowska says. “I know it might sound a bit silly saying the same things over and over like, ‘I love it! It’s beautiful! Great!  That looks awesome!” But it really does help your subject to know that they are doing a good job. Remember, they don’t see what you see at the back of the camera. They’re just standing there in front of you hoping that you’re going to give them some feedback.”

#2 Fill the Frame

“Whenever I frame my images, I always look out for the sky. My goal is to fill up the frame as well as I can with anything that isn’t just empty space. I usually shoot with direct sunlight so even if the sky is showing it’s not such a big deal because it will still look blue. However, if you’re shooting backlit, it’s helpful to have things like trees or whatever else you can find that will fill up that blank space.”


#3 Underexpose a Bit

“If I’m shooting in direct sunlight, I always make sure to underexpose my images a little so I can preserve all the details in the skin. Remember, it’s always easier to recover darks than it is to recover highlights.”

#4 Consider Limbs

“If I’m shooting in the water, I always try to submerge my subject above their knees, otherwise their limbs might look a little bit off. In this particular case, the water was pretty shallow, so I ended up having to ask my subject to kneel in the water to avoid having her shins awkwardly cut off.”

#5 Shoot Towards the Beach

“I love shooting from the water towards the beach. Although it can be pretty hard as the water can get pretty deep and I don’t necessarily feel like risking my equipment. However, in situations like this, shooting towards the land gives you a really unique perspective that I love.”

#6 Accessorize

“I do love accessorizing my images when I can. I feel like it just elevates the images and makes it look so much more fun. This time, for example, I brought my waterproof analog camera with me and also put a bucket hat on my model.”


#7 Use Reflections

“My final tip is to take advantage of the beautiful water reflections, especially if you’re shooting towards sunset. The light gets absolutely beautiful and it’s so easy to get a really unique and beautiful shot. Working with the sun when it’s closer to setting helps the backlit images look not too harsh and create beautiful sparkles in the water.”

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