If you have a small marathon, triathlon, or endurance event, you may be tempted to photograph it yourself. While this can be a viable option, there are some factors to consider before making a decision.
Firstly, photographing a marathon can be challenging, especially if you're not experienced in event photography. There are unique challenges to capturing the action, energy, and emotion of a marathon. Photographing a small marathon may be less demanding than photographing a larger one, but it still requires skill and knowledge to get high-quality shots. Keep in mind this is also very different than photographing other types of sports like basketball or football. In endurance photography, the runners or athletes keep coming, potentially for hours. Its all about getting as many decent photographs of as many individuals as possible, rather than just a few great shots of a few people. If you're going to take big zoomed-out photos of large groups of people, reconsider why, and ensure that's the best approach and if it will truly set your event apart.
Secondly, if you decide to photograph the marathon yourself, you will need to invest in the necessary equipment, such as a camera, lenses, and memory cards. This can be expensive, especially if you're looking to capture high-quality images. We suggest using a 70-200 2.8f, or a similar lens with enough aperture to get a nice bokeh. This allows you to single out a single athlete, and blur out the rest of the background without it being a picture of just a huge mass of people. Also, ensure that your camera has a large enough memory buffer to handle taking a rapid shutter speed that you can expect from shooting a race; we've seen this bog down cameras and result in a lot of missed photo opportunities. Additionally, you'll need to spend time editing the photos, which can be time-consuming and may take away from other important aspects of organizing the marathon. It's best if you can batch edit the photos using something like Lightroom--Flashframe now also offers a default batch edit on upload as another alternative to limit the processing time.
On the other hand, hiring a photography company can ensure that you get high-quality photos without the need to invest in equipment or spend time editing the photos. A professional photography company will have the necessary equipment, skills, and experience to capture the best moments of the event, and even feature your event and make it stand out from the many other endurance photography races across the nation. This can be a great way to ensure that you have professional photos to use for marketing, social media, and most importantly, personal mementos. Flashframe has expert photographers on staff that can help photograph your events, or if you're looking for a smaller team in your area, we're connected with dozens of local photography companies that we can recommend to help you out.
In conclusion, whether you decide to photograph the marathon yourself or hire a photography company depends on several factors, including your budget, skills, and resources. If you have the necessary equipment, skills, and time to devote to photography, you may be able to photograph the marathon yourself. However, if you're looking for high-quality photos and want to ensure that the event is captured in the best possible way, hiring a professional photography company may be the better option. Regardless of the option you are looking for, Flashframe can help you out. We can offer software to help you photograph your own event, edit the photos and tag the bib numbers. Alternatively, we can bring in our expert staff to help photograph your race or recommend a number of expert photographers in your area. Whatever you're looking for, don't hesitate to reach out!
The photograph above is the Flashframe founders photographing Chicago's Bike the Drive with some serious camera gear!