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How to take great Race Pictures

The Zensah Winner is….

Kelly from Part of life is Having a Good Ponytail! She is running a 1/2 marathon in San Antonio in November and I have been following her. She seems so sweet and I’m super excited for her to win. Don’t worry, I’ll try to rally up some more cool giveaways! :) Also, if you use the code, FreeShip at checkout at the Zensah site, they will give you free shipping which is pretty cool! Thanks to everyone who entered and I hope you can all experience cool Zensah stuff.

Anyways, so I’ve had this post written for a while… and if you are just finding this post, this is me bantering about taking race pictures, but it may seem kind of mean if you don’t know me, I don’t mean it that way! Now, the big difference for me and some others who run, is that in running a race, I run for fun, and because I enjoy it. Yes, I do race on occasion, but mostly, I’m just running for fun. I know, I know to some of you this post doesn’t make sense because you are all racers and that is what you care about. For me, it’s all about having fun. Anyways, after I run a race, people always ask me how I take such good race pictures. Well my friends, first off, I’m SUPER flattered, and I wanted to share some ideas with you. Now, some of you might think that this post is totally ridiculous since the point of racing isn’t to get good race pictures, but if you are getting your picture taken and you want to plaster it all over facebook and your blog showing off your accomplishment, it might as well look good right? Well here are a sampling of my race pictures.


This was the finish line at the first and only marathon I’ve done, called San Diego crap festival. No pun intended. Well, I think at this point I was just happy to be DONE. So the smile was uber genuine. This wasn’t a hard race photo to get. :)


I remember the guy I was running next too on my right (a friend Charlie) warned me the camera was coming up! I was really focusing this race and wanted to PR so badly, if you don’t remember my anger at that race, for no reason, you can read about it here, but I was hurting right here, but since I knew the camera was coming I smiled very big. Charlie then yelled at me to keep going because I wasn’t that tired if I could smile so big. :)


This was my VERY first half! Last October, in Long Beach. How things have changed. I really like this picture because I look like I’m fast! Picking up those feet really work!

Now, after looking at them, I realized there are some steps you can take to make sure that your race pictures kick butt, just like you kicked the race’s butt.

The key to taking to taking good pictures is to find the photographers and SMILE big as you are running by. If you don’t smile you are going to look like you are either in pain, constipated, or dying. All of which may be true, but that isn’t the exact look you are going for and it will ruin your race picture. These pictures, if you choose to buy them aren’t cheap either, so you might as well try to make it look the best you can. As soon as you pass by the photographer, wipe that smile off and go back to dying.

First off, make sure you do your hair. This sounds very silly, but you do your hair for everything else, so do it for the race, or wear a hat. I realized that my hair flying behind me looks much nicer than if it is in a knotty, yucky, moppy, sweaty bun thing. I always make sure I either wear a headband or pin my bangs back as well so they aren’t sweaty and gross and flopping around in my face. It sounds dumb, but it makes a huge difference when you look back on your pictures.

Then, make sure to at least apply a little bit of makeup, unless you never wear makeup. I wear Bare Minerals so I brush on some powder since my I have a very red un-makeuped face to make sure everything is at least one color. Since I feel like I look like a baby bird without mascara, I also put on a little bit of waterproof mascara. You don’t take pictures without make up normally, so why do you think ones when you are sweaty and with no make up will look good? Eh? It seems unnecessary, but it helps a TON. I know, these tips aren’t for everyone, but hey, I’m just trying to help.

Next pick up your feet when you run by a photographer, almost  over-exaggerating that you are running. If you don’t, you’ll look like a glorified power walker. I have some pictures like that, where my arms are swinging big, and my feet, not looking like they are moving at all. Yea, those don’t make good profile pictures on facebook now do they, no one wants to say, oh I power walked that marathon like it was no bodies business, right?

Then we have the to wave or not to wave at the camera question. There are many pictures of wavers, sometimes you lose your mind when your running, and when you pass by a camera you wave. Now, I’ve done this before and the pictures turn our weird. You can either look like you are saying ‘stop’ with your hand up, or it looks like you don’t know how to run, and it just screws up your whole “form” thing, if that’s what your going for.

As for clothes, when you race, you should obviously wear something that is super comfortable and that you’ve won before. Bright colors are fun and make you show up way better than if you wear black, everyone wears black. Personally, I know that wearing pink is my thing, if you couldn’t tell. :) I love wearing pink, which is weird because when I was little I HATED pink. Race days usually equal a bright color that I’m super confident in and I know what chafes. :(

Then we have the number, this is key if you want to see your professional pictures because that’s how you’ll be tagged. Now, for me, I know my arms and legs are pretty skeletal. These are pluses for me. You know all that fast food I eat? That makes my stomach not so skeletal. This means photographs show that not skeletal area, especially in spandex. The number has a second purpose, you can pin it right over where your shorts might dig in or you might catch a little glimpse of all that fast food you have been inhaling (for me). Genius, I tell you. I pin mine a little lower, right over that little trouble spot and wha-la it disappears! That is the most clutch thing ever, and it makes you feel way better too. Well me at least. I also always crumple my number before every race, so that it doesn’t get trapped in the wind and takes the form of my body. Learned that back in the cross country days.

Do you guys have any good tips to make sure your race pictures come out good? I know when I ran San Fran with Aron, we worked so hard at getting some great race pictures! :) Smile and HAVE FUN! That’s what running and racing is all about anyways!!


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