Are there restrictions on taking/selling photographs at running events?

I am trying to think of ways to raise money for my VLM charity place. I got inspiration from another thread in which someone suggested taking photo's at a local running event and selling them for charity. Are there are restrictions on doing this? Do events have exclusive photo contracts with specific photographers or can anyone take photos and sell them?


  • I would guess the organisers can't stop you from taking photos on the public road, but they are not likely to give you access to the contact details of the runners unless to come to some arrangement with them.

    You would have to distribute YOUR details around the race, so that people could get in touch with you if they want your photos, and if there is an 'official' photographer on the course they (and the organisers) may not be happy.

  • Yeah I was thinking of handing out fliers at the end but that would end up costing me more money and i really don't want to annoy any official photographers. Not looking great is it image

    I'm not brave or good enough to be an 'official photographer' - if i was I would simply do that and offer my services for free.

  • As long as you're in a public space, or on private property with permission and looking at a public space, or are on public property looking at private space where people in that space have no reasonable expectation of privacy you can do what you want with a camera.

    The organisation running the event wouldn't be able to give you contact details of the all runners regardless of your agreement with you under Data Protection restrictions.

  • Ask the organisers ? Some have photographers - some won't ?
  • I think a lot of runners look at threads on here places like facebook/ twitter after a race so it might be worth giving it a go? Also if there is a local parkrun you could put something on their facebook page as I know local events to me get lots of parkrunners. I guess the trick is to find a race where people can easily find their own pictures (i.e. not too many people!), but still have enough people to buy them from you- you'd maybe need a system to present them with times etc so people could narrow where their picture would be i.e. they know they got to mile 4 at 30/35/40min. Are there any small events locally that don't have a photographer? You could offer your services to them? There is one local to me that doesn't sell pictures afterwards so they do exist! 

    I would think handing out flyers would be more problematic than taking pictures- do some places not have restrictions about whether you can do this (to stop 'chuggers' and the like) and it would be bad press for you if your leaflets ended up on the floor. 

  • Penguingirl you are a genius. Fantastic points - especially about the fliers ending up on the floor! Parkrun is a brilliant suggestion as is posting on here after the event! I am going to take some practice shots at the next parkrun to make sure I can actually do this to a good standard. Thanks very very much image I was feeling really down in the dumps about raising so much money but now it seems achievable again.

  • Cougie good point - found a local event and emailed the race organiser. Fingers crossed.

  • Khanivore - just wanted to wish you luck!  Seems as though you've had some great advice.  I 'only' had to raise £500 for the GNR last year but it was a total nightmare.  I hated the pressure of having to raise so much money.

    I think the race photography idea is superb.  I'm so sick of photographers asking in excess of of £12 for a digital copy of a single photograph.  Even if your photo's aren't of superb quality I would still much rather pay a few quid for yours, especially knowing the money was going to a good cause as well.  Good luck image

  • Flump thanks so much for the encouragement image Unfortunately the race I wanted to shoot is on the same day as my Brighton Half Marathon run. I will try to find others but I really wish I had decided to do this sooner as I am sure people would have loved pictures on some of the nutty christmas and new years runs. I have to raise £1700. 

  • ClagClag ✭✭✭
    Khanivore - regarding fliers, I've seen photographers giving out just a strips of A4 paper with their details on it at the finish. You could do this very cheaply, explaining your cause, and in one of two ways - either get a buddy at the finish line to do it, or ideally chum up the RO and get it into the goodie bag if there's one on the go.

    With regard to ark run, our run has an official photographer who turns up occasionally. Other weeks folk take pictures and post them of Flickr. Is there any way you could sell your pics from parkrun too? Not sure how many would purchase, but if you're there anyway it's worth a shot.
  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭

    I think it is a good idea to liaise with race organisers.
    There is a guy who took photos at the recent Hampshire cross country event, and has a link up on their website to take you to the photos he took on flickr. They can be downloaded for free but he has also put on a link to the justgiving site he set up so that you can add a contribution to his chosen charity for his efforts. Much more worthwhile than the standard event photographers in my view.
    I'm not sure what the legality is but I'm sure the organisers will be better informed.

    try this
    hants xc 
    then scroll down to where it says 'pictures' to see what I mean

  • The person who gave you the idea Khanivvore happens to be a good mate of the Race Director for that race and she helps him out considerably with the organisation.  Thats why she was able to do it.  Doesn't mean that you can't, but it might make it more difficult for you as the RD might be reluctant to cooperate witth you without seeing examples of your work.

    Good idea though and I wish you luck with it

  • If I were to do this I'd jsut take them then post them to Flickr with appropriate tagging, and submit a bunch of links to Google for indexing.

    Unless they're blindingly good no one'll buy them anyway.  Most people look bloody dreadful in photos taken while they're running, so why would they want a high-resolution reminder of it?

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