11 Photography Pointers for Instagram-Worthy Race Pics

Jennifer Purdie
by Jennifer Purdie
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11 Photography Pointers for Instagram-Worthy Race Pics

Running a marathon or finishing a triathlon gives you major bragging rights — and social media allows you to announce your achievement to all of your followers at once.

To receive the most likes, you need to be selective about your photography. Adhering to these expert photography tips helps ensure your friends and followers notice:

PHOTO-TAKING TIPS

POSITIONING MATTERS

Get the sun behind you when you’re taking photos of your fellow racers. This ensures the photo will be effortlessly lit. This can “give your subjects the glow effect as the sun highlights the edges of their hair and body,” says photographer Louis Perez.

For selfies, face the light. Snapping a photo with your back to the sun creates a silhouette, and you will probably end up deleting it later.

INVEST IN EQUIPMENT

On the flipside, not all races offer good sunlight, and certain ones, like the Ragnar relay or exceptionally long endurance races, extend throughout the night. However, you can still take superior photos with the proper lighting. A product like the MOON Selfie Light attaches to your smartphone to improve the quality of your photos, especially for those events held in the dark. Best of all, the light does not add much weight if you run with your phone.

DOWNLOAD SNAPCHAT

“Use Snapchat’s multi-snap feature,” says photographer Madeline Krause. It lets you record up to six, 10-second snaps in a row. “You can then pick and choose from these clips and cross-pollinate this footage onto other social platforms, such as Instagram,” she says.  

GET CREATIVE

“Behind-the-scenes race content is perfect for Instagram stories (pre- and post-race photos/videos, etc.),” says photographer Bobbi Klein.

EXPERIMENT WITH MODES

iPhone users should familiarize themselves with burst mode. “Burst mode could be used to show the sequence in which something happened,” says Krause. This works for Instagram’s slideshow feature. She also suggests racers with iPhones use time-lapse or slo-mo mode, for optimum creative videos in addition to photos.  


READ MORE > 15 INSTAGRAMS RUNNERS WILL LOVE


EDITING TIPS

DOWNLOAD APPS

After you flip through your photo library and determine your favorites, open an editor — from an app or on the computer. “I love Lightroom; VSCO and Snapseed are great options. All three are apps and Lightroom is also available on the computer,” says Klein. She recommends editing your race photos according to your own personal Instagram style.

Some apps even have special modes, like Enlight Quickshot’s Strobe mode. Strobe mimics strobe lights and long exposures for super cool action shots,” says Daphne Kasriel-Alexander of Lightricks, an organization that builds creativity tools, such as apps and photo editors.

FOLLOW BEST-CROPPING PRACTICES

According to popular Instagrammer Beth Gordon, you should avoid landscape ratios on Instagram. Instead, the best crop ratios for making your photos shine are 4:5 and 1:1. “The former is preferable as it will take up the most screen real estate,” she says.

POSTING TIPS

# LOVE

Before you leave the race, research the hashtags associated with it, including the name of the event and the venue. “This will not only help your content be seen, but will also allow your voice to be heard,” says Krause. “Avoid generic hashtags with a high usage rate like #photography or #race. Your content will get lost in a never-ending timeline.”

USE @

Krause recommends tagging influencers with “@” in both the post description and the post itself, as this improves your chances of getting a repost. Be sure not to forget race sponsors and specific racing teams who participated. Also, geotag the location of the event.

MONITOR YOUR COMMENTS

Respond to all of the comments on your post and comment on others that went to the same race,” says Klein. This helps you grow your community and become a leader in the endurance-racing niche.

CURATE YOUR FEED

“Avoid oversaturating your feed,” says Krause. Meaning, you do not need to post all your racing photos as this might overload your followers. Pare it down to a few highlights, such as a pre-race, during-race and finish-line post.  

About the Author

Jennifer Purdie
Jennifer Purdie

Jennifer is a Southern California-based freelance writer who covers topics such as health, fitness, lifestyle and travel for both national and regional publications. She runs marathons across the world and is an Ironman finisher. She is also a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. You can follow her on Twitter @jenpurdie.

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