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Shooting Waterfront Property in Tampa Bay, Florida

Shooting Waterfront Property in Tampa Bay, Florida
Shooting Waterfront Property in Tampa Bay, Florida

Tampa Bay offers some of the most beautiful and iconic waterfront properties and beaches in Florida. As a photographer, capturing striking images of Tampa Bay's coastlines takes skill and preparation. In this guide, we'll provide tips on how to photograph waterfront homes, condos, hotels, and beaches around Tampa Bay for stunning results.

Scouting Locations

The first step is scouting locations and planning shoots around optimal times. For residential waterfront property, focus on homes with dramatic views, interesting architecture and sunset exposures. For beaches, look for recognizable landmarks, piers and those with vibrant beachgoers.

Some top spots in Tampa Bay include:

Clearwater Beach

Famous for its soft white sands and tranquil waters, Clearwater Beach has stunning waterfront condos and hotels. Shoot from the sand up towards buildings at magic hour. Pier 60 is also ideal for landscapes and sunset shots.

St. Pete Beach

St. Pete Beach is loved for its old Florida charm. Photograph beach cottages, historic Corey Avenue and sunset scenes from Pass-a-Grille Beach, which faces west.

Tampa Riverwalk

The Tampa Riverwalk offers unique perspectives of downtown and the Port of Tampa. Capture cityscapes and waterside homes along the Hillsborough River.

Bayshore Boulevard

Lined with sprawling mansions and spectacular views of Hillsborough Bay, Bayshore Boulevard is a prime spot for upscale waterfront homes.


The right gear ensures you can photograph waterfronts day or night:

  • DSLR or mirrorless camera: Invest in a 20MP+ camera for detailed landscape and architecture shots. Full frame models like the Nikon D850 and Canon EOS R5 are ideal.

  • Wide angle zoom lens: A 16-35mm or 17-40mm lens captures expansive waterfront views and interiors.

  • Telephoto zoom lens: A 70-200mm or 100-400mm lets you photograph from a distance without distortion.

  • Polarizing filter: Cuts glare and enhances saturation. Essential for sunny beach shoots.

  • ND filters: Allow slower shutter speeds to create silky water effects.

  • Tripod: Eliminates blur from long exposures and stabilizes for sharp shots. Compact travel tripods work well.

Shooting Tips

Use these tips to master photographing Tampa Bay waterfronts:


For exterior shots, sunrise and sunset are ideal for warm light. Photograph interiors and overviews during midday when the sun is high. For night shots, use long exposures to capture lights reflecting off the water.


Frame shots to emphasize water elements, leading lines like piers, and reflections. Position horizons lower in the frame so water dominates. The rule of thirds helps balance land and water.


  • Use aperture priority mode between f/8-f/11 for sharp focus across landscapes.

  • Lower ISO like 100-400 for clear, noise-free shots.

  • For silky water, use a shutter speed of 1/2 second or longer.

  • Enable mirror lock-up and a remote release to prevent shake with slow shutter speeds.


Take both horizontal and vertical orientations. Shoot from beaches, piers, balconies and boats for variety. Try aerial perspectives with drones for unique high-angle shots.

Time of Day

Schedule shoots around sunrise, sunset, and twilight. The low lighting creates striking reflections and a moody ambiance. For interior shots, shoot at midday when the sun is at its brightest.


Compose to include reflective water, using it as a mirror for land elements. Windless mornings provide the most pristine reflections.


Use post-processing to further enhance your Tampa Bay waterfront images:

  • Adjust white balance for natural color, especially sunrises/sunsets.

  • Boost contrast slightly to accentuate light and shadows.

  • Increase vibrance to make colors pop without being oversaturated.

  • Sharpen selectively to keep details crisp.

  • Apply gradient filters to darken skies for more dramatic moods.

  • Align horizon lines with cropping and leveling adjustments if needed.

  • Remove distractions by cloning out debris, people, boats, etc.

With preparation and practice, you can masterfully capture Tampa Bay's spectacular coastal scenery and architecture. Waterfront properties provide some of the most stunning photographic opportunities around. Follow this guide to showcase Tampa Bay's amazing waterfronts through an artistic, captivating lens.

AbstractZen's Tampa Bay Waterfront Photography

AbstractZen is your premier destination for stunning real estate and hospitality photography in the Tampa Bay area. Our professional photographers have an eye for framing waterfront properties and beaches to highlight their splendor.

All Photography Services:

  • Real estate photography

  • Lifestyle photography

  • Hospitality photography

  • Food photography

  • Aerial photography

  • HD video tours

We travel all around Tampa Bay including Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, Downtown Tampa, and more.

Get a Discount on Your Shoot

Schedule your free consultation today at 727-301-2832 to discuss your Tampa Bay waterfront photography needs. Mention this article to get 10% off your first shoot! Our team brings artistry and local expertise to every project.


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