Regardless of the pain you're in or the amount of sweat covering your body, the elusive perfect running photo is actually within reach by following these eight tips.
Wear An Outfit You Like1 of 9
If you don't like what you're wearing when you look in the mirror, you're not going to like it when you look at a photograph. Pick out a race outfit that makes you feel strong, happy, confident and highlights the parts of your body you like most.
Photo courtesy of @sarahkduffy.
A Fresh Face2 of 9
Once upon a time, I thought wearing makeup made me look like less of a "real runner." Older and wiser, I now know there is no such thing as a real runner—anyone who runs is a real runner.
If you like the way you look with makeup on, wear some. I liked my race photos much more once I started wearing waterproof mascara, a little cream blush and tinted chapstick.
For guys who don't like how you look when you when you haven't shaved or trimmed your beard in a couple of days, wake up a bit earlier and groom yourself.
There are no rules when it comes to how you look in a race. If you prefer looking more like you do in your every day life, take the necessary steps to present yourself that way. If you're okay with the way you look naturally, then by all means, run as is—and be proud of it.
Brush Your Hair3 of 9
If you don't want to look like you rolled out of bed, then avoid doing just that. Yes, it may take a bit longer to get ready when you are fussing with your appearance, but if you want a race photo that is frame-worthy, consider adding a little more time to your pre-race routine. For me, this often means straightening my hair—something that's now become a pre-race ritual.
Stand Tall4 of 9
When you see the camera, roll your shoulders back, take a deep breath and focus on standing tall by tightening your core. If you typically are a strong runner with good form, that form may be suffering in the later stages of a marathon. This can lead to hunched over shoulders and sluggish feet, which are not photo-friendly.
Exaggerate Your Stride5 of 9
The down stride in running can be one of the most unflattering photos a race photographer can capture. To increase the chances that he or she will capture you floating on air and looking like an elite, slightly exaggerate your stride and spend a little more time in the air. It's going to feel silly, but it works.
Smile for the Camera6 of 9
Smile. This may seem like a no-brainer, but for years I didn't smile because I thought to myself, 'The elites don't smile when they run. I better not.' But have you ever looked at an elite and thought they looked like they were enjoying themselves? Smiling releases tension in your face, so you will likely feel and look better after a quick smile.
Keep Smiling7 of 9
The worst part of family reunions is having to smile continuously as the photographer cycles through everyone's personal camera or phone. Smiling for more than a second or two may feel forced, so it's natural to stop smiling. Start smiling the moment you see the photographer and keep smiling until you are well past them. You might even try to think of something funny in your head and laugh about it out loud.
Do What Makes You Happy8 of 9
If any of these tips feel silly or stressful to you, skip them. The happiest photo is one where you are being yourself and enjoying what you love.
With that said, after I smile as I run past a photographer, made sure my form was on point, taken a deep breath, possibly thought of something funny to giggle about and altered my stride a little, I usually feel better. I'm doing something I love, and I just made a fool out of myself all for the hopes of a good race photo—which makes for a great photo, in and of itself.