Taking a nice photo on your paddleboard can be a difficult task. It’s not easy to balance on your board when you’re focused on posing, and it can be tricky for your fellow paddler to get a good angle from their board.
However, paddleboarding can yield some beautiful photos. As you explore the nature around you, there’s no doubt that you’ll want to capture some memories. And while taking a photo while paddling is obviously more difficult and less intuitive than if you were, say, on solid ground, it is not impossible.
In fact, with a little practice, you could quickly become a pro at snapping some great SUP pictures. Here are some tips and tricks for making sure you get the perfect shot every time.
Take your time
Remember: it isn’t a race! Paddleboarding is an incredibly relaxing sport, and you don’t want to stress yourself out over a photo. Instead, the snap should commemorate everything positive about your adventure. So, don’t be afraid to take your time. Find your balance, and give your photographer some time to set up the shot. In the end, you’ll be happy that you spent the extra time to get a picture that you really enjoy.
Consider shallow waters or shorelines
Even for experienced paddlers, it can be hard enough to make sure you are keeping your balance when that is what you’re focused on. This tip is for both safety and yielding better photos: Take your photos in shallow water or along shorelines.
No one is going to know the depth of the water except for you. While it might be tempting to take a photo while paddling in deeper water, it can be dangerous if you fall in while you’ve let your guard down to snap the shot. Also, if you happen to drop your phone or camera, it will be much harder to retrieve.
Shallow water and shorelines also tend to be calmer and easier to manage, which will make your photos so much simpler to take.
Especially if you are going to try a fun pose, make sure that your surroundings are safe and manageable before doing so.
Experiment with different poses
The most natural way to pose on your board is likely to just stand and smile — but there are lots of ways to add some spice to the shot and make it more fun. Don’t be afraid to break the rules (you may just get creative sometime).
If you have good balance, try out different poses. Get some photos from different angles you are comfortable with. Thinking out of the box for the moment sometimes will yield the best photos, and you’re bound to have the most fun in the process if you don’t get caught up in how the photo should look.
Now, you might be wondering: What other poses could there possibly be? The answer is plenty! You can try out some yoga poses to show your amazing balancing technique or strength— of which there are an endless amount to experiment with. If you’re bringing animals along on your paddleboarding trip, pose with them. Try taking a selfie or a group photo, if you can.
Don’t worry if you aren’t able to nail these more complicated poses on the first try. Some of them are hard enough on solid ground! Just keep practicing and have fun with it, and make sure to capture some memories in the process such as a view worthy sunset or a marine animal encounter. The point is, don’t just point and shoot photos and call it a day.
Get some candid photos too
Sometimes, the best photos come from moments where you aren’t posing at all. Instead, you’re genuinely engaged in the activity and having a great time. If you have a waterproof phone case (or another way to take photos spontaneously without damaging your technology), carry the device around as you paddle. Take some candid shots, and make sure that your fellow paddlers get some of you as well.
Capturing those moments of pure joy are going to mean so much when you look back at them, and they’ll make for much more engaging photos.
Take advantage of golden hours
Sunrise and sunset sky are some of the most beautiful times of day to shoot photography on your board. The way that the sun reflects off the water makes for some unmatched shots.
If you’re able to, definitely try to be out on the water for amazing shots.
Always make sure your equipment is waterproof
As mentioned above, you should be working with waterproof equipment (or at least putting your regular phone or camera in a waterproof case) before you try to get adventurous with your photography while paddleboarding.
This is especially important if you’re using your phone to take photos. While it would be disappointing to lose your camera, your phone is a much more important device to keep safe — as it is likely your only method of communication should an emergency arise. Even when you’re having fun, you want to keep safety at the top of your mind.
If you know you’re going to be using your phone to snap photos while paddling, make sure to invest in a water proof case and try to only shoot in more shallow water where it will be easy to retrieve, should you drop it.
Stand up paddleboarding is both a relaxing and adventurous sport, and you are sure to make memories worth capturing while out on the water. While the most important aspect of this sport is staying safe, there are plenty of ways to do so while also getting creative with your photography. As you get more comfortable on your board, you’ll be able to try out different poses and get some really great shots to commemorate your trips and share with friends who haven’t tried the sport yet.