MarathonFoto’s Do's and Don'ts for Your Best Race-Day Photos


MarathonFoto is the official photographer of the TCS New York City Marathon and is excited to capture your race-day journey. From the start village, through the five boroughs, to the iconic finish line in Central Park, MarathonFoto will be with you every step of the way. And with more than 350 events every year, the MarathonFoto team knows a thing or two about taking good race photos. Here are 10 top tips from their team of professional photographers.

Do Your Homework

As a runner, you will be familiarizing yourself with the course ahead of race day. However, try to look out for the photographer locations before race day. Remember to look for photographers in yellow vests before—and during—the race. And when euphoria sets in at the finish line and post-race, look out for photographers in blue vests so they can capture that feeling of accomplishment.

Ask the Experts

Visit MarathonFoto at the expo and get your questions answered by the professionals. You can speak one on one with an experienced race photographer and MarathonFoto brand ambassador at any time in the MarathonFoto booth #4.

Take Advantage of the Pre-Race and Post-Race Candid Photo Opportunities

While you look your best, capture the pre-race jitters with friends and family in the start village before you hit the course. After you cross the finish, look for photo opportunities in front of official finisher banners and podiums to capture that finish line feeling of victory.

Correct Bib Placement Is Key

While the saying is “nothing new on race day,” for great photo memories from the course, we recommend you wear your bib near your chest and on the outermost layer of clothing so your numbers are visible at all times. Try to avoid pinning bibs too low or covering them up with other layers that you will wear for the entire race. 


Hats Off

Hats are great for keeping the sun out of your eyes and taming crazy hair, but not great for photos. On sunny days, hats cast shadows that hide your face so factor that in when looking for the cameras. Race-day weather will impact your ultimate decision on if you hear a hat or cap, but if you want top photos from the race where you are looking your best, consider wearing a headband and sunglasses instead.

Avoid Traffic Jams

It’s the TCS New York City Marathon. There’s 50,000 runners out there. It can be difficult, but try to avoid congested groups of runners. Again, if you want good photos and want to be easily captured by the race-day photographers, try running on the outside of the road, not in the middle of a crowd.

Enjoy the Experience

Over 1 million fans will line the course to cheer you on through the five boroughs of NYC. Read the cheer signs with messages of encouragement, listen to the music playing to keep you going, and take in the excitement that each borough has to offer.  


Know Your Style

What type of photo do you want? If you are gunning for serious photos to reflect the weeks of training you put into marathon preparation, look straight ahead, not at the camera, lock your jaw, and pump your arms. But if you are aiming to have fun and want to show everyone that you had a good time at the marathon, then slow your speed and get closer to the photographer, look directly at the camera, and show off a big grin, make a silly hand gesture, give a thumbs up, or do a victory dance—don’t be afraid to express yourself at this 26.2 mile block party.

Try Not to Look at Your Watch

As you approach the finish line, avoid the temptation to check your time. Keep your head up, look for photographers on the ground and in elevated lifts, and be sure to run all the way through before stopping your watch. After all, you’ll get your official time soon and you’ll also have a killer finish-line photo.

Get a Head Start

Take advantage of the pre-sale offers. Your photos are sure to be epic, so don't miss this chance to save 30% on all your race photos, plus MarathonFoto’s new Custom Race Video.