The best time to enjoy the beach is one of the worst times to take pictures. Harsh midday sunlight can ruin your shots, so experimentation is key. Prevent your camera from automatically under exposing your pictures by keeping it in manual mode. Cameras with spot metering will also allow you to quickly adjust the amount of light you want to capture. When photographing people, try using your flash to get rid of shadows—use a weak flash setting if your camera allows it.
For more tips, check out Digital Photography School’s list of beach photography tips by Darren Rowse.