Yacht Photography Tips

Island Chill Photography Tips

Photography on tour boats, speed boats, and other pleasure craft can capture action and landscapes that we don't see from land, which makes them a unique summer (or warm-weather) photo adventure. Most charter groups carry multiple cameras on their cruise or whenever they book us as a venue for commercial, photoshoot or music videos and many send CDs of their trip for us to enjoy. By following a few simple principles, you'll get even better images and keep both you and your camera safe in the process.

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Damage + Security Deposit

For all photoshoots on Tallawah, Therapy and Irie Vibes, you will be required to pay a fully refundable Damage and Security deposit of $500, paid at the beginning of the charter. Deposit will be refunded at the end of each charter after boat inspection and if no damage claimed to be filed. Security + Damage Deposit $500

Venue Package, Boat Capacity and Rates:

  • At Dock Shoot: Desired yacht/s are tied at dock for photoshoot session. Great scenery and filming environment at Londontowne Marina - $100 per hour, 2hrs minimum. Up to 30 guests allowed at dock.
  • Anchorage Shoot: Allow our crew to take you on a brief tour of South River. capture great views of tributaries & Waterfront properties - $125 per hour, 3hrs minimum.  ONLY 6 guests aboard while under boat is under power/sail.
  • Under Power/Sail Shoot: Allow our crew to take you on a brief tour of South River, Chesapeake Bay & Annapolis Landmarks.
    • Shots of magnificent yachts under sail or power.
    •  ONLY 6 guests aboard while sailing and powering.
    • Our Rates: Therapy 43' sailboat - $650. Irie Vibes 34' powerboat - $800,  4hrs minimum, $150 after

**Fuel surcharge and crew is included in final price.

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PLAN AHEAD!
If you have a new camera or one you haven’t used in several months, take a little time before your trip to check out your equipment.  Be sure to test your batteries if you use them and pack plenty of extras so you don’t get caught without!  If you have a wide-angle lens, be sure to take it along — It will be great for those interior shots.  Finally, know the electrical current on your yacht (110V or 220V) and be sure to pack an adaptor if need be.

Consider a dry bag for your photo gear.

Most modern DSLRs aren't going to completely wither away like the Wicked Witch of the West with a few drops of spray from the side of the boat.  But if you're gong to be around a great deal of spray, either because of the speed or size of the boat, or the choppy water, consider using a dry bag. A dry bag isn't a substitute for a well-cushioned camera bag, but it definitely will keep photo gear dry.  It's particularly useful if you're going to participate in other activities during the day, and you don't want to worry about a wet towel being flung on top of your camera.

Keep a fast shutter speed.

When photographing from a boat, you're always moving. Even if you photograph a subject that's not in much motion relative to the camera–like a subject on the back of the same boat you're on–your camera and lens are still in motion.  While we all like to keep a low ISO when shooting in broad daylight, it's worth a slightly higher ISO to be able to boost your shutter speed.

Use a hand or neck strap.

Many photographers don't prefer to use the neck straps that come with kit lenses. They can get caught on tripods or other equipment. And they're just one more thing to carry and risk leaving behind. But consider photographing from a boat to be a useful an exception.  A hand or neck strap is most useful when your attention is suddenly diverted.  And that can happen quickly on a boat. A sharp bank to challenge a skier or the bucking of the boat against a large waive will concentrate your attentions away from your photo gear in a hurry. If you need both hands to steady yourself, you'll be glad that you went through the trouble of a neck strap.

Use continuous shooting.

Shooting in continuous mode during fast-action makes sense.  Particularly if your distance from the subject–or the subject's speed–mean that your auto-focus may be working overtime. You may end up with a 5-shot burst with two shots in focus. Call it a tactically useful, and limited application of “spray and pray.”

Bring plenty of battery power and memory card space.

All that shooting in continuous mode will eat up your storage space quickly. And nobody's turning the boat around so you can go back to your car and get your spare battery.

PEOPLE SHOTS
Don’t forget to get pictures aboard … and make sure they take you as well!  So often the photographer does not get in front of the camera!

FRAME YOUR PHOTOS
For fun and interest, try framing your shot.  It adds perspective and depth … maybe use the yacht’s canopy or mast … or try a shot through the porthole of your stateroom!

TAKE PICTURES EARLY IN THE MORNING OR LATE IN THE DAY
Just after sunrise and before the sun sets, shadows are long and light has a warm glow.

SHOOT THE VIVID COLORS OF SUNSET
Remember, any figures in the foreground will be come silhouettes.  This can make a beautiful shot.  OR you could shoot an incredible photo of your friends toasting the day using flash fill – the backdrop will not even look real!

LOCAL COLOR
Add interest to your holiday photos by taking pictures in local markets, of handicrafts and seaside restaurants.  Images of exotic fruits and flowers are also colorful and can make striking pictures.  If you have the opportunity to take photos of local people at your charter destination – all the better!

ALWAYS PROTECT YOUR CAMERA FROM THE WATER … EVEN LIGHT SPRAY CAN DESTROY A DIGITAL CAMERA … we know from experience!

Enjoy Cruising With Us!

Notice: WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ACCIDENTS, LOST OR STOLEN ITEMS, VEHICLES LEFT OVER OVERNIGHT OR ITEMS FALLING OVERBOARD.

-Sta'cii StaySea Blake

C.E.O / Cruise Director 

SOME TIPS FROM MY UNCLE WHEN TAKING SHOTS OF PEOPLE
** Use your zoom to move as close as possible to your subject
** Never cut your subject off at the knees (Best photos are portraits, waist up, or full length)
** Plan your picture ahead if you are taking before asking the subject to pose, then shoot quickly
** In most cases, the best people photos are natural