5 ways to improve your running photos cover image

5 ways to improve your running photos

Andy Hawthorne • July 7, 2019


I'm not a photographer but I do like taking the odd snap while I'm out running. And I've learned a thing or two. I'm not going to try and tell you how to take better photos. These are a few things I've learned that might be helpful.

Running with your phone is a normal occurrence for most runners.

Apps like Strava depend on us carrying are phones.

And we all post our photos to Instagram these days don’t we? That’s where the problems can start. - more on that later.

So, that's why you'll see plenty of photos taken while people are out running.

Smart phones might have great cameras these too.

That doesn't mean you'll take great photographs.

I still delete more than I keep. I delete them because they turned out rubbish. Simple as.

But there are things you can do to improve the situation.

1. Get a grip

I've found that using an alternative button to fire the shutter works best.

It means you can grip your forearm just below your wrist to add stability.

Also, stop running. You can stop, grab a shot and get moving again in a matter of seconds.

2. Painting with light

Photography is painting with light. That means, you have to pay attention to what the light is doing.

Be aware of where the sun is. And if you are taking a selfie, don't have the sun in your eyes.

Notice the effect of the light in the scene you are photographing.

You can get some stunning pictures just because the light was great.

3. Digital zoom is evil

Most smartphone cameras let you zoom in.


Your photo will be ruined. It's better to use the crop tool in an image editor.

4. Depth of field matters

I often take photos of scenery.

They are often rubbish.

I've learned that because smartphones have a wide-angle lens, you'll end up lots of photos of… not much.

So, crouch down if you have to. Move around a bit. Get something in the foreground.

That way, the beautiful scene before you will look great in your photo because it's got some depth.

5. Go easy on the selfies

I like to see where other runners go running.

The odd selfie is fine.

Loads of selfies is boring. Sorry, but there it is. And loads of selfies posted to your Instagram account feels a bit narcissistic. Or is that just me being a grouch?

This lump of spinning rock we live on is amazing.

It's very photogenic. Even the bits where human endeavour has built stuff on it.

If, like me, you live in a boring city, look for the unusual. There’s usually a shot worth having somewhere.

And some general points...

There are some more general points too:

Oh, and Back up your photos - they are your memories.