How to add flare to your race photos

February 12, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

(Photos have been updated-- 08/20/22)

How to add flare to your race photos (or videos!) 

It’s February, and many of you reading this have already had your first race of the year. Whether that is Cross-Country cycling, Enduro, or even running, race season is underway and I’m here to help you make sure your race photos look as good as they can get. There are usually professional photographers on the course capturing the moment, and they work hard on the process of shooting, editing, delivering. There’s nothing more disappointing than to finally look at your picture and find out you basically blend in with the background (or worse, don't look like you're racing at all)! If nothing stands out or you don’t think you look good, what’s the point of buying a photo? Well, read on to find out what you can do to maximize the shot.

Wear bright colors!

Usually, races are outside where the colors of each background are usually green, brown, orange, or even blue (if the race is above treeline). So, don’t wear those colors!  Blue is good, as long as it’s a bright or royal blue. Orange is also ok if it's not the same orange as the dirt! Some favorite colors that I like to see on racers in real life & in post-processing are white, red, gold, some form of blue. Own a pair of zebra pants? Bring em out on race day! Not only will you stand out, but your photo will too! A lot of times, people think that if they wear a bright yellow shirt with bright blue pants (or insert clashy combo here), they don’t match or it clashes. While that might be true if you’re out in public, that’s totally not the case in the woods! 


Exaggerate your form

Ever see a photo on Instagram and the person looks ahhmazing? Everything about that photo is top notch. Well, as talented as we may be as photographers, we can’t REALLY make the subject look good if he or she has bad form or looks terrified, stiff, etc. So, if you happen to see the photog ahead on the course, think about exaggerating your form. Most likely, they are around a turn, at a jump, or at the bottom of a steep section. So, lean more aggressively, move those hips, and look fierce! Think good Body English. Throw some steeze, get low, whatever would make you look like you own that section. Most of the time, doing this will make you ride or run better anyway, so why not? If it’s a running race, a lot of people have that “signature move”. It could be a crazy jump, finger guns, or basically anything else. But let me tell you, as awesome as those moves are, being totally in the zone creates an amazing shot too. 


Be confident

I know it’s kind of a given, but if you exude confidence or even fake it, chances are you will look confident! Looking confident on a bike will show through the photos, and it will make you ride your best! It also really shows through the eyes. So, another small tip; wear clear goggles! Being able to see the eyes in a close up shot will connect the viewer to the photo/rider. It almost makes the viewer feel what you’re feeling. Confidence is key! If you’re a runner, work on taking up space. I don’t mean gain weight, I just mean stand up straighter, move those arms, give me one of those signature poses. Want to know a quick empowerment pose? Stand taller, widen your stance, chin up, and put those hands on your hips. 10 seconds of that pre-race start and you’re ready to take on the world. 


In conclusion, if you’re a racer and you actually care about those race photos, practice the three points I mentioned above. Don’t give a hoot about photos? Well, wait until my next blog to find out why maybe you should. Until next time, shred on!


Taking photos in & around Bellingham, WA Since Sept. '21




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