Instagram for Runners: Tips, Tricks, and Outtakes {Just Run Round Up}

Instagram for Runners: Tips, Tricks, and Outtakes {Just Run Round Up}

This month’s Just Run Round Up brings you an Instagram for runners guide: tips, tricks, and outtakes from running bloggers. 

Instagram for Runners: Tips, Tricks, and Outtakes {Just Run Round Up}

I will be the first to say that Instagram does not come naturally to me. I’m an introvert by nature and didn’t start using Instagram until I started blogging. It’s super awkward for me to put photos of myself on Instagram…. and even more awkward to take them. Over the past few years, I’ve found a few tricks that have worked for me in sharing my running photos on Instagram (and for blog images and Pinterest graphics). (You can follow me on Instagram under @thisrunnersrecipes.)

How I Take My Instagram Photos

For most Instagram photos, I prop my phone up (either on a tree, a bench, or, if I’m taking the photo after the run, a small tripod) and I use a slow motion video. I run back and forth, as if I were doing a sort of modified strides workout. Sometimes, I use the burst function, but I overall prefer videos because I can take screenshots of multiple images.

My best Instagram photos were taken by my husband, who is a far more talented photographer than I. He’s natural at things like capturing good light and applying the rule of thirds.

Be Authentic

I can be a little bit type-A sometimes; I will analyze a photo and think, my hair is messy, my posture isn’t perfect, or the gray skies aren’t exactly flattering. There are so many perfect pictures on Instagram, where people miraculously go for a run without a strand of hair out of place or a blotch of red from exertion on their face. There are accounts where it seems like every single run is perfect.


Don’t worry about those other photos or their paces. Share your sweat-streaked face, share your bad runs (along with the good), and just be authentic. This is Instagram, not Vogue.

Rule of Thirds

I do not always follow this on Instagram, but when I do, I notice more likes and engagement. The rule of thirds is a simple guideline for aesthetically pleasing photos: you use two horizontal lines and two vertical lines to divide the photo into thirds, and then use the intersections and lines as focal points in your photo.


Instagram makes this rule even easier to follow by providing the grids on the screen when you edit a photo for posting.

Avoiding Resting B*tch Face

A majority of my running selfies are from the side or rear view. Why? I have a bad case of resting bitch face (and a complexion so sunshine deficient that I look like an extra from Twilight). Somehow, I can pull off a smile (or epic pain face) for a race photographer but when it’s my own camera, I end up with full-on b*tch face. My Instagram outtakes are full of those moments:

Instagram for Runners: Tips, Tricks, and Outtakes {Just Run Round Up}

You have to find an angle that works for you and your best features. Play around with angles: behind, side view, looking up from the ground, or looking down from above. Different angles also make your profile more interesting!

The other ladies in the Just Run Round Up share their tips, tricks, and outtakes. If you aren’t already following them on Instagram, you should! 

Allie (@Vitatrain4life) 

Instagram for Runners

Angela (@happyfitmama)

Sarah (@runfargirl)

Carly (@carlypizzani)

Instagram for Runners: Tips, Tricks, and Outtakes {Just Run Round Up}

Nellie (@glamnellie)

Instagram for Runners: Tips, Tricks, and Outtakes {Just Run Round Up}

[Tweet “Snap a great #running photo for Instagram with these tips from @runfargirl @BklynActiveMama @CarlyPizzani @happyfitmama @thisrunrecipes #runchat #justrun”]

Linking up with Coaches’ Corner and Wild Workout Wednesday

What are your tricks for getting a good running photo?


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17 Responses

  1. I just did a webinar yesterday for work with an instagram expert, so funny you are writing about it today! I barely have time to manage my own account anymore with the two others I do for work which means I always forget to take pictures for instagram, especially running ones. I get so annoyed once I finish my run and shower and then say, shoot, I meant to take a picture!

  2. My son took a photography class last year and he told me about the rule of thirds. I like the idea of not always centering myself in the shot. I’ve had a lot of fun with my IG photos.

  3. I try to do a mix of candids and post-run “selfies on the porch” for my pics. I’m an artgeek at heart, and crave variety, so I try to keep things mixed up. I also go through phases where I prefer action shots that are a bit blurry…maybe because they give the illusion of speed LOL

  4. LOL I love that bitch face! You should embrace it and create a hashtag #runningbitchface 🙂
    I agree that it’s super awkward to repeatedly put yourself out there on Instagram but so worth it because it’s motivating and fun to everyone who follows you!!
    Love doing this link-up with you all!!

  5. Great tips, Laura.
    Do you ever worry about other people when you take your photos? I am always so self-conscious outside and at the gym.

    1. I am soooo self-conscious about it! I usually snap photos after I finish my run, so if I see people coming, I just stop and pretend I’m stretching. I had someone offer once to take the photo for me, which was mortifying.

      1. Haha. I am glad I am not alone. I usually try to find a ” secluded” spot where nobody can see what I am doing… and I definitely have done the ‘pretend-stretching’, too! 🙂

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