Tips for Capturing Emerald Isle During a Beach Getaway

They always say, “take a picture, it will last longer!” and at Emerald Isle Realty, we couldn’t agree more!

While you’re enjoying your Emerald Isle vacation you will definitely want to document your trip. Fortunately, the area provides countless opportunities to capture beautiful photos to take home and enjoy. Whether you’re using a high-end DSLR camera or your just your smartphone, the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast will deliver. If you’re taking family photos with pristine beaches in the background or snapshots of the remarkable North Carolina sunrises and sunsets, you’ll be able to take home beautiful memories that’ll last a lifetime.

With so many photogenic spots around Emerald Isle, it’s hard to narrow down where or even what times are best to take the perfect shots while you’re out and about, but we have some insight that’ll point you in the right direction.

emerald isle beaches

Beach Opportunities

Our #1 recommendation for capturing memorable photos in Emerald Isle is, of course, the beach. Classic and serene, it makes the perfect backdrop for capturing your memories during a beach getaway.

Since many of our vacation rental properties rest on the beaches Emerald Isle, you’ll have immediate access to beautiful scenes for any photo you wish to take. If you’re a wide-angle or panoramic photographer, you’ll want to take photos of the beach from sunrise to sunset to fully capture all of its beauty! If you’re looking to take some unique and fun waterfront selfies of your family, we recommend doing the same, but with more goofy faces!


Bonus Points: Head over to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore for a chance to shoot more secluded photos of the beach and a more private experience. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse makes for a memorable capture as well as Ocracoke Island’s 16-mile long stretch of undeveloped beaches. Shackleford Banks also offers prime opportunities for majestic wildlife photos including the wild horses that inhabit the island.

bogue inlet pier emerald isle nc

The Pier

A popular destination in Emerald Isle is the Bogue Inlet Pier, which has become a photo hotspot. The pier is known for its tunnel vision shots and can make any photographer, experienced or novice, look like a professional. Whether strolling on the pier or hanging out on the sand below, there are many unique photo opportunities that can be had here.

A prime time to take photos of the pier is in the morning when the sun begins to rise from the Atlantic Ocean and bathe the pier in new light. Below the pier, directly center, the sunlight makes for some dramatic lighting as it spills onto to the sand through the stilts of the pier.

sunset emerald isle nc

Sunrises and Sunsets

North Carolina sunrises and sunsets are second-to-none. No vacation photo album would be complete without a few of these shots. If your vacation rental is an oceanfront property, you’ll be able to catch photos of the sunrise from the convenience of your own backyard. Whether on the village-like roads of Emerald Isle or the smaller communities down the coast like Beaufort or Swansboro, the early sun will hit the curves of the ocean town streets in a way only unique to the Crystal Coast.

What goes up, must come down, and the Crystal Coast sunsets are really something to marvel and cherish during your stay. Regardless of where you’re staying, oceanfront or soundfront, the way light escapes before nighttime brings out the golden amber colors of the sky that truly compliment the coast and any photograph. Calmer and more tranquil than the beach, the Bogue Sound sits on the west side of the Crystal Coast and is another beautiful sight to capture while the sun is setting below the horizon.


Sunrise bonus points: The lighting during an Emerald Isle sunrise is perfect for family or portrait shots on the beach with the sun bleeding just enough into each frame providing softer textures and subtle shadows.

Sunset bonus points: While you may not be on the West Coast so you can capture the sun going down with the ocean as the background, Emerald Isle has arguably something better: Bogue Sound. You can also play with your camera settings to allow more light in when in low-light settings to get more dramatic images.


Share your photos with us!

Post your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #EIRealtyNC and show us your best pictures of Emerald Isle. You could be featured on our social media platforms. Get creative, have fun and show everyone why Emerald Isle is one-of-a-kind.





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