Race Photography

One thing that I somehow missed in the registering and planning for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon DC was that there would be no race photographer.  Which, honestly, I’m probably okay with except for a few things:

1) Our bibs said there would be.  I wondered, as we were running, which company was providing photography, because I didn’t see the usual MarathonFoto folks out.  (By which I mean: their lanyards. I do not know actual race photographers.)

2) This was not communicated to runners beforehand.  There was a Facebook album that came up late Sunday with a few pictures, and folks immediately started clamoring for where they could get their photos.  At this point somebody from Nike said there was no race photographer, which caused a lot of outrage and one smug girl to say that “jeez, they announced it earlier this week”.  I can’t find where they announced it, and it certainly wasn’t included in the bizarre email we got (which was a photo of race info and not an actual email).

3) The reason given was, “we find runners prefer to coordinate take their own photos.”  Which is certainly true, if you know to have a friend come and take pictures, or you can use a camera while running, because nobody on earth actually wants to pay $60+ for their race photos.  They simply want their race photos badly enough to pay the money for them.  And a lot of people never buy the photos.  This is partially because they are expensive.  (Also, um, some of us do not take good race photos.)  I honestly wonder if they dropped the price for all digital files to $30 instead of 60, would they sell twice as many packages and therefore make the same amount of money?  I mean, they’ve already taken the photos.  They don’t have to do any more work to give them to you.  If you want them expertly photoshopped, you could pay extra.

I do think that photography companies should compensate their photographers – standing outside for 4-6 hours taking pictures is not easy, and I certainly want the photographers to get what they are worth, though based on the quality of a lot of race photos, the companies do not seem to be hiring real talent, and then they have to be tagged and organized (though I’m pretty sure that is done by a software program), and I know that the equipment is expensive and websites and hosting and all of that are expensive.  But I can’t help but feel as if that $60 purchase price is basically the people who buy their photos being willing to subsidize those people who can’t or won’t swing the $60 cost.

What do you think? Do you buy race pictures?


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