Whether this is your first Obstacle Course Race (OCR) or your 20th, we all enjoy a great photo to show off on Facebook or Instagram (I know I do!). But a lot of times, I hear “I didn’t get any great pictures” and “I can’t believe the photographers missed me”.
It’s no secret that I am a camera whore, so here are my tips of getting great photos at your next Obstacle Course Race (OCR).
Note – this is mostly aimed at Tough Mudder events, but the tips can be used at pretty much OCR you attend. Second note – this is for the general runner – If you’re an (elite) racer you shouldn’t be worrying about great photos!
Grab all the Opportunities
At the majority of Obstacle Races, the photos are included within the price and so you have to fill your boots! As well as at a number of obstacles, there are usually photographers milling around in the event village, start and finish lines. Grab one and ask them to take a photo of you (and them team). Also, don’t just stand there – do something with motion.
Know the locations
Knowing where the photographers are going to be is half the battle. Set yourself up for a pose! At Tough Mudder last year you could find the photographers at:
– Village (early on and not throughout the day)
– Kiss of Mud
– Mud Mile
– Pyramid Scheme (I think this may be replaced by Electro Shock Therapy in 2019 as it back as the final obstacle)
– Finish Line
– Kingstone Press (Bonus pictures courtesy of the finish line sponsor)
There’s usually a photographer and video crew wandering around the course for some official highlights – if you get these, they are a complete bonus but shouldn’t be expected
Most people wear black or dark colours when they run an OCR. This really makes it difficult to get the photographer to spot you. Hunting down the photos after the event (a sport all of it’s own) is also nigh on impossible. Wear bright colours and where appropriate, run as a group. The photographer cannot fail to spot you!
Take your time
Unless you’re out for a time (aiming to qualify or whatever), take your time and enjoy yourself. When it comes to photos, don’t rush it! If you want a photo with a group, get your team together and wait for the photographer to spot you (or give them a shout). If you’re solo – again, wait for the photographer and get ready for your pose. At mud mile, I will always “sign” to show I want a jumping shot. Give the photographer a second and jump!
The photographer will acknowledge they’ve taken a shot with a “thumbs up”
Take your own pictures!
One way of guaranteeing photos from your obstacle course run is to take your own pictures. I often take an action camera with me to Tough Mudder. It is already waterproof and well protected. Using the action camera, I take a few videos across the course and using the 60fps mode, I can usually get a few great stills from it. The Action Camera I use is a Cross Tour and can be found on Amazon. You can also check out my YouTube channel to see the videos it outputs.
My final tip of getting a great picture is to SMILE. You’re out in the mud, paid £50+ The least you can do is smile and enjoy the experience!
Bonus gallery – the out-takes
So not all photos are great, here are some photos which weren’t so great…
Thanks to Epic Action Imagery for taking awesome photos.