Let me start off by saying that I am a small time criminal. I admit to "borrowing" photos from race photography sites. Heck if you look around my blog, wait...forget I said that. Sometimes I wish I had my own personal race photographer to capture all my crowning running moments instead of ones of me looking like I am about to pass out with snot coming out of my nose.
Ok, they aren't all that bad but I've been running for many years and have seen my share of bad race photos of myself. Gotta leave it to race photographers to capture some of my most unflattering moments ever. I can't really blame it all on the photographers. I am sure it is very difficult to capture everyone's good side when you trying to take photos of 20,000 people.
Having said all that, I still think race photographers are terrific. Every once in a while, they do manage to get a good photo of me while running. I mean not too many people look great sweating, panting and weezing, but every once in a while, the stars align and lo and behold there is a purchase worthy photo. Unlike most people who stalk the race site following a race for result posting, I stalk the race site for photo posting announcements. I often wonder why it takes them so long to get those suckers up. I am the most impatient person when it come to waiting for race photos to post.
I admit that I've purchased my share of race photos because frankly where else would I get photos of me running. In my 10+ years of running, I think I've purchased 4-5 photos. Believe me, if they are even anywhere near decent, I buy them. This is my latest order. I probably should have order this before they archived it but I was waiting for the 15% discount but I think it turned out to be a wash.
The thing I always forget is that the proof is always not as clear and detailed as the high resolution image that comes when you order it. Every time I open up an order I am always surprise to see more sweat and/or bugs on me than what was on the proof. Other times, I'll find what I thought was a photo of me smiling turning out to be a pained look. These photo proofs are some sort of trickery to get you to order what seems like perfectly good photos.
Overall, I've been happy with my purchases, sweat, bugs and all because sometimes (i.e. Surf City Half Marathon 2011) they only manage to get a blip of me.