I take LOTS of photos while cycling. And occasionally I even take a good photo or two.
But when riding in Cyclosportives or along famous climbs there are often professional photographers along the route. The first few times I tried to avoid them even raising my hand to block the photo. But I have been converted.
As it can often lead to some pretty good shots. The pros will usually be standing in a prime spot with great scenery – or a 10% grade sign like the Mont Ventoux picture at left.
The Pros also do a great job of slightly tilting the landscape so it looks even steeper than reality – see 2nd and 3rd photo above. Don’t admit this to anyone looking at your photos though.
Here Are My Top Tips For Being Photographed By A Pro:
#1 Remember to Beat Your Friends
Most events take photos at the finish line.
This photo of Martin and I was at the finish line of the 2007 Cyclo Tour du Léman (174 kms around Lake Geneva). Notice how I carefully won by a foot! It’s on film now for eternity. Sorry Martin but I kicked your butt.
#2 Make It Look Like You Are Ahead of Everyone
I scan the routes ahead looking for photographers. I then ensure I am not behind anyone. Sometimes this entails speeding up …. but slowing down and letting the old guy go who’s wheel you have been sucking works VERY well.
In the photo on the left from Sunday’s Gruyere Cycling Tour, I slowed down and let a guy that was at least 70 speed away. In the photo on the right during La Marmotte, there are in fact perhaps 6000 riders ahead of me!
#3 Fake That You Are Strong
In June I rode the Morzine d’Aulps Cyclosportive during a heat wave. Almost 7 hours in I found myself 2/3′s of the way up the legendary Col de Joux Plane totally bonked, completely out of gas.
I stopped to breathe at a hairpin and suddenly saw the photographer. We eyed each other warily.
Then I got back on the bike and jumped out of the saddle while he loudly cheered me on. I turned the corner and immediately collapsed again. But an OK photo (despite my therapeutic sock)!
#4 Don’t Buy the Really Lousy Photos
Buying photos costs money – of course. Often the pro photos are pretty useless. And sadly, most of the shots of me descending seem like a crash is imminent.
The photo on the left is me during the 2008 Mont Blanc Time-Megeve – apparently riding over a field.
This race had about 10 photos for sale …. and this was the best. I passed.
#5 Save Money With A Team Shot
Nearing the top of Alpe d’Huez, I yelled at the photographer for a group shot “ensemble s’il vous plait!” of Martin and I. Damn – that sock again!
#6 Remember to Smile
Of course, my favorite. Doreen Conquers Alpe d’Huez.
#7 It’s Cheaper to Take Your Own Photos
It’s far more satisfying to take a good photo than to buy one. Cycling in the Swiss Alps Above Murren: