I used to think that race photographers were just catching me at bad moments. I'd look through the thumbnail images emailed to me after the race and see all kinds of unflattering poses: painful grimaces; a red, sweaty face; eyes closed; awkward arm and leg positions; my head down as I crossed the finish line. After seeing photos from countless races, I started to realize that the photographers weren't just catching me at during a rough patch - that's how I always look when I'm racing!
My friend Anne always has the best race photos (like the one of her included in this blog post). She looks composed, effortless, and happy. Anne did confess that she doesn't share her unflattering shots on Facebook, but the fact that she still gets some post-able and frame-worthy ones had me dying to know: What's the secret to good race photos?
The photographer of Anne's photo, Bob Cowin, offered a tip: Smile! It's very simple, but often overlooked, advice. In the past, I've preferred to go for that "serious runner" look rather than smiling. Of course, I end up looking more like I'm constipated or just really want the race to be over. In most cases, you'll look a lot better if you're smiling. So, even if you're not feeling very enthusiastic and really would rather punch the photographer in the face, flash those pearly whites long enough for him to capture a smile.
Photo by Bob Cowin