Planning Your Sailboat Photos

May 1, 2023


There’s something truly enchanting about capturing photos on a sailboat. Photographs that exude a carefree, joy-filled attitude that accompanies a day spent on the water. For portraits taken on a sailboat, or any boat for that matter, you’ll want to keep some things in mind…


As the waves gently rock the boat, it can be easy to lose your footing. Make sure your shoes are comfortable, and have traction, or better yet, go barefoot! 

Sunset vs. Sunrise | Sailboat Photos

For dreamy lighting and effortless portraits, it’s essential to be selective when timing your sailboat photos. The first hours following sunrise or the hours just before sunset are best. The lighting is soft and romantic, which is perfect for portraits. 

Additionally, when you’re out on the water, there are no structures or trees to provide shade from harsh lighting. Choosing to set sail in the morning or evening will make all the difference for your portraits.

Chaser Boat 

To maximize your sailboat photos, arrange for a chaser boat to follow you on the main boat for a portion of your session. This way, you’ll be able to capture the beauty of the boat and water from a distance. 


I’m the kind of person who will burn in any kind of sun, but especially out on the water. Be sure to apply some SPF prior to you setting sail. I love this sunscreen and use it every single day as part of my skincare. I carry this sunscreen and this one with me on days when I shoot, and they make it so easy to reapply.

Large Boat

When choosing a boat to sail in, select the largest one possible. The more space on the boat, the more room you’ll have to utilize for portraits. 

Pop Champagne | Sailboat Photos

This is the perfect way to start or end your sailboat session. It also makes for the perfect sailboat photos.

If you enjoyed this post, you can take a look at Sarah Beth & Teddy’s full sailboat elopement here.



At home near the Lake. Ever-focused on the beauty of life's simple moments. 

I’ve spent years refining an approach that allows me to sincerely honor the moment — knowing when to step in and adjust a subject or environment, and sensing when to stand back and allow a moment to just be.

With me, your photographs will be an intentional representation of this time of your life — imagery that will make you feel like it was just yesterday, and yet, feel forever untouched by time.



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