How to take an amazing race photo:

I felt the need to move this post over from the archives. 

This is where you jump in. No, really. How do you do it?

Here’s one from Sunday (10/4/11):

As good as it gets

I can guarantee you are not seeing what I did when I first looked at this photo. But then I told myself to shut up because I refuse to allow a photograph to diminish the experience. So I kept looking until I could see something different.

Yep, my face is red. Because I’m working really hard. Really, really hard.

Yep, I’m staring at the ground. Because I’m doing something I’ve never done before. (And I’m trying not to fall on my ass or lose a shoe.)

I giggled at my hair (not because my piggy buns are crooked) but the fact that my hair grows out of my head almost black and then gets very auburn. To think of all the time I wasted coloring my hair red in high school. Side note: I’m in love with that headband!

I ran with wider elbows that usual because there was a lot of semi-lateral movement. Once again, I was trying to avoid falling. Embarrassment was not the issue, pain was. It also appears that I’m really twisting from the hips. I don’t know if that is because this was taken just before finishing the race and I’m exhausted, because I was back in the deep mud or something completely different. Twisting is definitely not part of my regular running form.

I’m not wearing any knee sleeves. This is the cherry on top of the icing on my cake that is trail running.

Best of all,  after staring at this picture on and off for the 40 minutes it has taken me to write the post, I’ve come to love it.

Is there a secret to taking a good race photo? Looking at the camera and smiling certainly go a long way. But it’s even more important to remember that a picture is quite literally a snapshot in time. A fraction of a second. Too short for the human eye to recognize. A photograph is not an opportunity to pick yourself apart. It’s a tool to bring up the memory from the recesses of your brain. Does this shot look like it belongs in a magazine spread? Hell no. But that top used to cling to my tummy, and I think my legs look awesome.

The real secret? Perspective.

How do you feel about your race photos (or photos in general)?


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