Making Money at the Marathon: Interview with Colin B

Its been a big few weeks for FlashFrame, making headlines in Chicago's DNAinfo and Runner's World highlighting our big debut at Chicago. Hundreds of runners have been able to find affordable photos of their Marathon accomplishments and photographers who made it out to the course have largely been very pleased with the fruits of their labor. Today we wanted to include an interview with a FlashFrame photographer, Colin. Colin made well over $100 while watching the Marathon on Oct 9th and we'd love to know his tips for success.

Colin B Photography: Photo by Amy Boyle

Nate: So it looks like you made quite a haul at the Marathon, what initially got you interested in FlashFrame?

Colin: I initially got interested in FlashFrame because I was contacted by Griffin Kelly through a connection we have with a coach at one of the great cross country programs here in Chicago.

Nate: Great, well I know that you've had a history with photography, what pulled you to using FlashFrame?

Colin: The pull for me to use the site is that it gives me another way to connect with my customers.  As a photographer, it is important to be able to understand what your audience enjoys and does not enjoy, so FlashFrame really helps me grasp a new take at how people react to photographs of themselves after searching for themselves.  I’m not new to the field of sales when it comes to photography, as I have had my own business for about five years now, however FlashFrame reintroduced me to the audience interaction side of sales, and I really began to enjoy using the site more often because of it.

Nate: Thats awesome, people really do like the ability to search for pictures, theres an inherent satisfaction when the search results pop up with your pictures, its like a game. So where did you take your photos at during Chicago, you post up in a good spot?

Colin: I went back to my old neighborhood as a child and photographed around Mile 10.  I am very familiar with the area and recognized its importance in the race because at that point the athletes should have already reached their desired pace and broken into their comfortable groups, facilitating the photographs and hopefully producing more comfortable facial expressions on the athletes.

Nate: Thats a great idea, something I never would have considered.

Colin: It’s a trade secret of mine haha. Something I’ve learned after photographing sports for the past five years.

Nate: Experience is the best teacher. Do you have any tips for photographers shooting races? How can they make their photos capture the essence of the race and cash in like you did?

Colin: My tip that I always jokingly make when asked this is to ‘set your shutter speed faster than 1/500th of a second.’  From there, it all depends on how the photographer wants their end product to appear.  In my past five years, I’ve spent a lot of that time experimenting how I frame the runners in the shot, what equipment I use, and so forth.  One of the ways that I have found to capture the essence of the race is to get to know these athletes, if not the sport itself.  Really study how the athletes’ forms work and when that moment of true confidence appears in their motions.  There is really no way of understanding that besides studying and practice.  Incoming photographers will quickly realize that photography is more than just ‘clicking a button,’ rather it is an art just as much as sculpting, painting, etc. are.  There is no one way to create a beautiful photograph, but there is also no simple, cookie cutter way to get there either.

Nate: Well said, I've been taking photos myself here and there since we started FlashFrame but its not easy, definitely a practice makes perfect sort of skill. Speaking of capturing runners' essence, I heard you got this great picture of the joggler?

Colin: I sure did! He reached out to me via email and Twitter and mentioned that Ripley’s Believe It or Not wants a photograph of him in their publication and he was considering using my photograph of him.

Nate: Thats awesome, cool that he was able to get that photo too, you had a bunch of good ones of him in a series, great work.

Colin: Thanks!

Nate: Well thanks for chatting with me for a bit, I'm sure a lot of people will love the tips and hopefully use them to take some great photos upcoming events!

Colin: Thanks for having me!

Great to hear from one of FlashFrame's users! Colin is a talented photographer who has been shooting running for 5 years now. You can learn more by following him on Twitter or Instagram both at @ColinBphotography and make sure to keep your eye out for him on the racecourse at upcoming Chicago Races! The Joggler photo: ColinBPhotography