Capture your Race

Photographers and videographers at your race are key to creating good content for you to use after your event. Without it you won’t be able to accurately show people what they’re missing out on, what to look forward to, or how awesome your event really was. As a race director you won’t have time to do any of this, so its important to plan for someone who will. 

Races are an experience and competitors love looking back fondly at this, so why not give them a memory that associates them with how much they loved your event. 

How will race photography help you?

  1. It provides you with more content to market your race and share on your social platforms, attracting new participants year on year.
  2. Allows entrants to see themselves and others at your race, tag friends, remember your event and increase the likelihood of them leaving positive feedback.
  3. If you are selling the photos yourself then you can make some money off every sale.

Plan your shots 

Make sure you plan with your photographers before race day, to avoid them standing shooting in one spot, when you could be capturing a range of exciting material. Here are a couple of our suggestions to focus on:

  1. Route highlights. If you’re closing roads, make sure your photographers have passes to get through, or you’ve come up with a plan for them to be at certain parts of the route for the right time to ensure they capture runners going past. Don’t miss beautiful backdrops and famous landmarks as runners go past, showing scenery can say lots about your terrain for future racers. 
  2. The Start line is going to be full of energy, people will be buzzing. This is perfect content for a flashback video, make sure you have a videographer at hand here. Don’t miss that bell/horn/start whistle too, with everyone shooting off! 
  3. Lead racer. A timetable is key here, to make sure they don’t miss certain spots and can capture shots of the lead racer.
  4. Group Pictures can be shared multiple times by multiple people, so if you see groups in the same t-shirt or in similar outfits, they might be from clubs or participating for a cause or for extra fun. Let your photographer know you want them to take group pictures! 
  5. Charity stands. If you have you got any volunteers helping from a particular charity, with a fundraising stand at your event, make sure to get pictures of them as they will likely share it across their social media. This will also show what your event supports and the goodwill of its community members.
  6. Race Bling needs to be shown off! Medals, T-shirts, goodie bags, the lot! The finish line will be full of hugs, smiles and emotion so capture your merch within this space. 
  7. Sponsors will want their profiles promoted at your race, as its part of the reason they are sponsoring you! An easy way is to place a pop-up stand or logo board at the finish line and use this as a backdrop for photographs of finishers.
  8. Special Moments. You could create a PR craze at your event by emailing all your entrants and asking if someone has a birthday on that day, is running for a special cause or maybe someone is even planning to propose! (It happens...) If they do, then you can plan to have someone capture a special moment and release these pictures to the public. Tag this with a nice story and your event could be on the front page of the local paper!

Paid vs Free Photos

For years many race directors have viewed race photos as a nice secondary revenue stream for events. Much like premium merchandise, race photos were produced by events and made available for sale to participants willing to pay for them. The way this model works, is by commissioning a photographer or specialist race photography company to take pictures of participants during the race. The photographer would take the pictures, sort them and make them available to download/purchase from their website. The photographer would then pass on the proceeds from the photo sales to the event minus an agreed commission which would cover their costs.

Once a no-brainer, this approach to race photography is now in decline. Participants are getting more and more frustrated by the steep prices charged for race photos. It is not unusual in some cases for a single digital image to be sold at £20 with full sets going for £80+. Paying a second registration fee for a snap of yourself is understandably difficult to swallow for some.

More importantly, the rise of the smartphone camera and of social media have thrown open the arena of race photography to amateurs and put additional demands on the way and speed with which participants demand to have their photos delivered.

So, if not paid, then what? Cost item or revenue stream? Merchandise or marketing tool? The way you approach race photography says a lot about your race’s business model and positioning with respect to competition. This is up to you and how you want participants to interact with your event. 

But how and why, would you switch from being paid for photos to paying for them? The answer is free publicity. By making photos freely available you encourage participants to share their race photos online, increasing awareness of your race amongst similarly-minded friends. Letting participants enjoy free race photos they can share online can be a very powerful publicity tool.

Services have emerged which can offer a middle ground to this problem, offering a certain number of free photos to participants with additional ones at a cost, while remaining free to the organiser. Like a ‘Freemium’ service model, where the additional revenue can still come back to you as the organiser.  With participants less willing to pay for race photos – which in turn pushes up the cost of photos to make up for expenses in a vicious circle – the situation will only turn more in favour of this model or completely free photos. 

Prolong the post-race Euphoria 

It is important that you take advantage of this after your race. Put up links to the photography gallery across your social media channels and via your post race emails. 

The buzz around your event will only last a week or so, so make sure you use this time to remind your participants how good your race was! Make sure you put tickets on sale as soon as possible after your event, while the appeal is fresh to make use of all the traffic you are driving to your website. So if you haven’t invested some time into race photos yet, now is the time!

On Hand To Help

The team at eventrac are on hand to assist with all components of your event. From advice on promoting your event through low cost channels such as social media, to a guided tutorial on a specific feature of eventrac. We are here to help.

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