how to take good snowboarding pictures

How To Take Good Snowboarding Pictures – 7 Helpful Tips!

by Fraser

Sports photography is difficult! If you and your snowboarding buddies want to show off your tricks, but your photography skills are unimpressive, you’re not alone! Luckily, I’ve got some tips for you…

Learn how to take good snowboarding pictures:

  1. Provide a point of reference.
  2. Implement the rule of thirds.
  3. Wear bright colors to provide an interesting contrast.
  4. Keep your head up in action shots.
  5. Get the right equipment.
  6. Experiment with different angles and lenses.
  7. Employ a fast shutter speed.

1. Provide A Point Of Reference

You and I both know just how impressive the trick you’re pulling off is.

Still, if it’s just you in the sky, the casual viewer may not know what’s happening — worse they could be underestimating how much air you actually got!

The first rule of snowboard photography is to provide points of reference. This indicates where the rider is coming from and where they’re going.

how to take good snowboarding photos

Your point of reference could be:

  • Trees
  • Mountains
  • The Jump/Kicker
  • …whatever you want!

As long as viewers can use it to get an idea of what the snowboarder was doing, then you’re golden. 


2. Implement the Rule of Thirds

This is a general rule of photography, but still applies when learning how to take good snowboarding pictures.

What Is The Rule Of Thirds?

The rule of thirds is a rule that outlines a specific type of composition.

In this rule, an image is split evenly into thirds, horizontally and vertically.

In this case, the subject of the photo (the snowboarder) should be placed at an intersection of the dividing lines or along with one of the lines. This creates a balanced image that is more visually appealing to viewers.

Image courtesy of

Why Does The Rule Of Thirds Work?

The reason for this is the viewer’s eye is drawn beyond just the center of the image, which is where it naturally goes in the first place. 

If the snowboarder in your image is in the center, a viewer might just glance at the picture and look away because they feel they’ve seen everything.

Using the rule of thirds encourages viewers to draw their eyes to other parts of the image, which highlights the subject and helps them notice the background.

Tips for Using the Rule of Thirds

Furthermore, off-centered subjects have more of a fluid feeling than those stuck in the center have. This is especially important in sports photography. Here are some more tips regarding the rule of thirds:

  1. If the snowboarder is facing a certain direction, leave empty space in the same direction they’re facing. This gives a sense of moving forward, which helps viewers understand what’s going on in the image.
  2. When in doubt, place the snowboarder towards the right of the image. This just feels more natural to viewers because we read from left to right.
  3. Consider whether you want more ground or sky in your image, then use the imaginary horizontal divisions in your image to apply the composition you prefer.


3. Wear Bright Colors To Provide An Interesting Contrast

You want the snowboarder to stand out in the picture. Make sure they (or you, if you’re the subject) are wearing colors that will stand out against the sky and snow.

I would also avoid wearing dark colors because they will blend in with the surrounding trees.


4. Keep Your Head Up in Action Shots

I know, I know, this is easier said than done.

However, if you have your photo taken while snowboarding, you should try to do everything you can to have your head up in the picture.

It can be easy, especially for beginner snowboarders, to keep their eyes on their feet at all times. This doesn’t make for an interesting picture.

Of course, you should always prioritize your safety over any picture being taken. If you feel like you can’t look up without falling, then maybe work up to this tip.


5. Get the Right Equipment

If you’re serious about winter sports photography and want to really take your pictures to the next level, it may be worth invest in some high-quality equipment.

This will take your pictures from “cool” to “incredible.”

how to take good snowboarding pictures

– The Best Camera For Snowboarding Photography

If you’re on the market for a new camera, I suggest the Panasonic LUMIX FZ300 Digital Camera.

This relatively affordable camera has a 24x optical zoom, which is great for sports photography. The resolution tops out at 12.1 MP, but this will more than suffice for casual snowboarding pictures.

– The Best Lenses For Snowboarding Photography

Once you have your camera, you’ll likely need a lens (or two or more).

First, you’ll need a 70-200 mm telephoto lens. If you have the budget for it, I recommend the Canon EF Telephoto Zoom Lens (affiliate link). It has quick and high-quality autofocus performance and a fast aperture. The image stabilization is also handy, as you may be a bit shaky the first few times you’re trying out some serious sports photography.

– The Best Action Cam For Snowboarding Photography

You’ve definitely seen these cameras on the slopes. If you want to catch some footage alongside your pictures, these are some incredible options for you!

GoPro HERO10 Black
The Ultimate Action Cam!
GoPro HERO10 Black
  • Best in class for stabilisation
  • Optimal clarity, even in snow
  • Incredibly durable
  • Wide range of add-ons

✖️ Expensive compared to others

AKASO EK7000 4K30FPS Action Camera
Incredible Considering The Price!
AKASO EK7000 4K30FPS Action Camera
  • Does an excellent job for the price
  • Attachments included
  • Saves $100's compared to the gopro!

✖️ Can't quite compete on quality

We may make a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.


6. Experiment With Different Angles

One way that you can experiment is by switching up the angle.

For example, if the photographer is low to the ground, closer to the snowboarder as they perform a trick, they can make the snowboarder appear much higher in the air than they were.

Try taking pictures from in front of the snowboarder, behind, to the side, amongst some trees…whatever you’d like!

Ultimately, the best angle is whichever angle the photographer and the snowboarder prefer.


7. Employ A Fast Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is the amount of time a camera shutter is open and letting light into your camera’s sensor.

This function helps capture a moving target (such as a snowboarder!) as they fly down the mountain. 

Fast shutter speeds eliminate blur and create a sharp, awe-worthy image.

You’ll need a shutter speed of at least 1/800th of a second for the best snowboarding pictures. This is the fastest shutter speed of an iPhone, so don’t hesitate to give snowboarding photography a try, even if all you have to use is your phone!

Most digital cameras for the average consumer can shoot shutter speeds of up to 1/1000. This is what I’d suggest using when capturing a snowboarder.



Now you know how to take good snowboarding pictures!

With the right equipment and these tips in mind, you’ll get take some awesome snowboarding pictures next time you’re on the slopes.

That way, you can have a blast snowboarding, become a better photographer, and show off your skills online. Win, win, win!

Here’s a couple of snowboarding pictures for inspiration. 

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Pete 24/07/2023 - 9:25 am

The difficulty is, what do you define as cool snowboarding pictures these days? In the days of the printed magazine, full centrefold shots were the best. Especially urban settings with crazy tricks involved. Nowadays, it’s all about the aerial spins and nobody cares about the art or good snowboard photography. Shame

Fraser 24/07/2023 - 5:33 pm

Hey. I know what you mean. Some of the old magazines (like Thrasher) were legendary. But I do think there are still some amazing snowboarding photographers out there! On an amateur level, it’s crazy how much the latest technology has improved the image quality! There’s hope in the sport yet!


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