Beach Bum Photography

April 9, 2013 | Alex

Beach of St. Peter-Ording II , by Margarita Kazanovich (via Saatchi Online)

Beach of St. Peter-Ording II, by Margarita Kazanovich (via Saatchi Online)

I don't like to count my chickens before they hatch, but I might have a fun project in the pipeline for this spring-- a beach house bedroom on a budget. This project is really more of a zygote at the moment, but I'm hoping I can convince the client to use an arresting beach photography as a jumping off point for style and color palette.

With temperatures hitting 81 degrees in New York (insert happy dance), I'm in the right mindset to research beach photography. The term "beach photography," however, casts a dangerously wide umbrella. What I'm searching for is really a very specific subset of the genre. I want a photograph that perfectly captures the sort of bizarre rites of beach-going. I want a photo that's principally about the bathers-- their interaction with the environment and with each other. The sun and surf is somehow incidental. 

But most importantly, I want that overexposed quality that visually mimics the feeling of returning home after a long day of the beach. Your eyes are hazy, your skin feels sun baked and salt dried-- you just feel light, relaxed, and sort of...bleached? Weird choice of words, maybe, but that's more-or-less how I feel after beach bumming it up.

Oh, yes, and I want it to be affordable. A somewhat complicating factor when it comes to art. (If cost wasn't a consideration, I'd happily to turn to the undisputed master of the genre, Massimo Vitali.)

My search continues, but here are a few top contenders right now:


Sources (clockwise from top left)

  1. A La Plage by Gray Malin, via The Design Ark (see Trend Land for more photos)
  2. Overhead Beach Series #003, Judith Gigliotti
  3. Anakena, by Richard Silver (30 x 40 print, edition of 50) via ArtStar - $450
  4. Photography of Alicia Bock, via The Jealous Curator
  5. Unt., by Margarita Kazanovich (23.6 x 35.4 print) via Saatchi Online - $850

Also on my short list are beach scenes by Antoine Rose   (who likes to dangle out of helicopters with a camera in hand.) I highlighted his piece "The Red Canopy" in my scouting report on the NYC Affordable Art Fair last week.

The overexposed beach photography of Christain Chaize  would be at the tip top of my list, but I'm not sure where to obtain affordable prints of his work now that 20x200  is on hiatus (or, maybe permanently closed? Does anyone what the deal is? 20x200 was one of my most reliable sources of affordable art!) 

Praia Piquinia , by Christian Chaize

Praia Piquinia, by Christian Chaize

If the scenery looks repetitive to you, it's because the photographs were taken from the same spot overlooking Portugal's Praia Piquinia beach at different times of day on each day of Chaize's vacation. Cool concept, right? Check out an enormous print from his Praia Piquinia series in the Manhattan apartment of Kiane and Charlie von Mueffling:

Interior Design by  Iain Halliday , via  Elle Decor

Interior Design by Iain Halliday, via Elle Decor

I've checked all my go-to's for affordable art (Saatchi OnlineSociety6Art StarEtsy, exhibitors at the Affordable Art Fair, etc.), but maybe I missed a great spot? Drop me a comment if you have any suggestions for where to find Vitali-esque beach photography at non-Vitali prices!