Get Picture Perfect - TOP Tips for great SUP photos

It's almost time for those longer evenings and stunning sunsets, that's a pretty great feeling right? A warm, dreamy paddle, lit up by the setting sun, glistening on the glassy, flat water below - wow, that sounds so good. You're going to want to capture some of those moments to relive on a rainy winters day, so let's look at what makes a pretty epic sup photo.

Lots of things make an incredible photo, but we're going to have a look at a couple of easy ways to take your photos from looking average, to spectacular. 


Let's keep it simple to start. That's it. Keep your photo simple. Only include what you want to see. Photos are often about telling a story or reliving the moment, so only include the things that are worth remembering. Here's an example of a simple SUP photo. (This shot was taken using a waterproof phone camera case)

Can you guess what makes this a good photo? 10 points for each correct guess. 

1. It is SIMPLE! All we are trying to capture here is that feeling of a summer paddle during a dreamy sunset, so to nail the shot, we just need to include the sunset colours, the sea and the paddler. Done. Easy. 

2. The horizon is straight! Often a wonky pic can make photos look a little messy as the eyes and brain are naturally drawn to the horizon, rather than the epic paddling skills. 

3. RULE OF THIRDS. In this shot the sea is about one third of the photo and the sky is two thirds. But why have we chosen the sky to take up more of the frame? Yep, because we are trying to capture a stunning summer sunset, so the sky is more important in this particular shot.

4. Subject is in the middle. Let's not complicate things, we want our paddler to be the focus for this moment. They're staying central, with their body above the horizon line, to really make the shot pop! 

How many points did you get? 

Good job, okay let's move on. 


Have you thought about changing your perspective? Let's loosen those hips, stretch out those hamstrings and get reeeeallll looooowwww. Sometimes getting that little lower allows the subject to really stand out, so in this 'behind the scenes' shot you can see Sam getting low. 

But does embracing the low pose really make much difference? For this shot the idea was to capture the paddlers gliding through perfectly clear blue waters, with an unreal, mountainous green backdrop being lit up by the golden morning sun. Let's see how Sam did... 

He did good right? And yeah, good spot from you... The rule of thirds is making an appearance again! One third ocean, two thirds of lush green mountains. Nicely done! 

Take a step back!

Last one for today then, so let's get to it. Sometimes when we are in the moment with our cameras or phones and a beautiful sunset is unfolding in front of us we a desperate to snap away. When we are desperate not to miss the moment,  we can get a little trigger happy and often get too close to the paddler meaning we don't do the moment justice. 

All that has happened here, is we've paused for a second, looked at the landscape and thought, 'It's going to be an amazing sunset and those cliffs are massive'. Crouching down on the beach allowed the cliffs to dominate the frame. A leading line from the gigantic cliff points to the dwarfed paddler. We have also managed to capture the sun, kissing the jagged rock as it descends toward the horizon. Because the sunset sky and the cliffs were the main part of this shot, the rule of thirds came into play AGAIN! The sky taking up around two thirds of the frame from top to bottom and the cliffs dominating the frame from right to left.


If only it was that simple! But jokes aside, we hope these quick little tips will help you take some mind blowing shots this spring and summer! Tag @fatstickboards on socials with your epic photos and we can't wait to see them!