Happy Monday! Did you get out of bed early this morning to go work for free? Nope, didn’t think so. Think about it. Marathoners and triathletes continually steal images. Literally…steal. Sharing on social media and proud of it. I am speaking to many of my friends, fellow runners and triathletes with great intentions here. I share not to embarrass anyone but to bring up something many might not have thought about. I write this post with kind intentions simply to raise awareness.
As both a wedding and birth professional where photography is part of each event, I can not imagine these photographers working for free. Can you? How often do you see people post their wedding and baby pictures online watermarked? Photographers and photography companies invest thousands of dollars in high-end equipment, numerous of hours into learning their trade, their studio, and spend an entire day keeping on their toes to capture each and every one of us. Time is valuable. They capture the moments that make our lives, moments we re-live through images, the emotions and settings of our race, and produce the still version of our moments so that we can remember them forever. Many of us say we can’t “afford” the race picture or make an excuse when we post the proof. But really? A single image averages $20 and I know that an entire set of Ironman images is usually $99. I imagine smaller marathons and triathlons are less. But this isn’t about whether or not you agree with pricing. If images are important to you, this fee is priceless for the lifetime of memories we dedicate much of our lives to. We invest hundreds (or thousands in triathlon) of dollars in proper nutrition, athletic gear, running shoes, fancy watches, gym memberships, training, and countless gadgets that aren’t even necessary to race. We sign up for the race to race…since when does a race owe us free images? Did you know when you signup for a race, the waiver includes the consent to have your picture/video taken? It does not say those images are free. Photography companies are a business. And one to respect and appreciate. When you search for your race photos there is a “buy now” option because it’s illegal to take the proofs. It is stealing. Do the right thing. Buy the images. Remember, you don’t work for free. Neither should they. If photos are that important to you and you truly can not afford them, why not ask a friend or family member to cheer you on at the race and capture your moments?
Let’s put it this way: if you see an unattended bike in a park, would you steal it and start training with it? If the answer is yes, I can’t help you. If it’s no, maybe this post will change your perceptions of how we, the race community, should purchase race photos on the Internet. Wishing you all a wonderful week. Congratulations to so many who raced the Philadelphia Rock n’ Roll Marathon and New York City Marathon this weekend!! Keli