Austin Tri-Cyclist Blog

Friday, February 10, 2012

Careers in Multisport: Photography
Andrew Wolfe

by Kat Hunter

Every workplace has its hazards. Still, there are some challenges a multisport photographer faces that go above and beyond the typical call of duty. Finish line shots of overextended runners giving their all, including the contents of their stomach, are common enough that photographer Andrew Wolfe has had a number of close calls. If you don't want to sport a hazmat suit, fitness and quick reaction times are just a part of the job description.

Andrew, owner of, is a frequent contributing photographer to the ATC blog, covering everything from 5ks and half marathons to cycling events and triathlons. His wife, Megan Wolfe (Megan Blood before their marriage last October; and yes, Andrew says, her name could have been "Blood- Wolfe"), often picks up a camera to help out when she's finished competing in events. An avid runner and triathlete since 2009, she was Andrew's inspiration to start his own photography business.

"At my wife's fist tri, I brought out a camera, a Canon Rebel XT with a kit lens that we had sitting around the apartment," he says. "After her first triathlon, I knew we had both found a new passion. Before her second triathlon, I upgraded to my first pro lens, which I bought off Craigslist. At the second race I met a great photographer, Jake North, who took a look at my shots and gave me a few recommendations and pointed me to some resources online."

Andrew signed up for his first triathlon, the Fort Hood Triathlon, in September 2011. Due to the lack of rain, however, the race became a duathlon. He admits it was a disappointment, since the swim would have been his strongest leg, but he still had a great time racing. A month later, he ran his second-ever 5k on the morning of his wedding. Andrew says he'll probably race this season, but he's also fond of his place behind the camera.

After two years of out-on-the-course experience, he's happy to help others with advice on site or by email. He recommends a DSLR to shoot any sporting event. "Be sure to keep the shutter speed at or above 1/500 and the aperture at the lowest possible setting," he says. "Most of the time, I shoot with the camera in portrait orientation in order to put as much of the runner in the frame as possible. Also be sure to center the runner in the frame."

Repetition is key, he says. "Shooting races is all about finding a good shot you can repeat for every person. From the camera bodies to lens I use, they are all built for speed and accuracy. It can get hard preparing shots that are far enough from the start line so runners are spaced out enough but close enough to the finish line to make it back for the first finisher."

What's Andrew's favorite type of event to photograph? He says that question is easy. "I like capturing a runner's first race or PR. The satisfaction and accomplishment on their face when they cross the line is awesome."

All photos are by PhotoWolfe. Visit for contact info and more shots.

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