I was contracted by Gameface Media to shoot pre- and post-race photos at the Tough Mudder Event in Plymouth, Wisconsin. Of all the mud races, this one tends to attract the more serious participants. Sundays are typically slower than Saturdays when you have a two day event. That being said I was shooting for about 7 and a half hours. The photos I was taking required being on my feet the whole time, crouching, squatting or kneeling repeatedly to get a good angle. I felt that in the days after.
Throughout the day we had direct sunlight or partly cloudy conditions. I was standing out in the sun all day and dehydration was a factor, despite going through four bottles of water. I started at 8am and we wrapped up at around 3:30pm. I’m glad I wasn’t there for the Saturday, they were shooting until 6pm and they had easily twice the number of people going through the race.
The hardest part was doing the post-race photos. There was no place where I could get a decent backdrop, and I had to catch people before they left the exit pen. Of course most of them were more concerned with getting mud out of their eyes, rinsing their mouths, or getting to the beer (the race gives each competitor who completes the race a free beer). The worst was having to shout directions over the loudspeakers near by. That got old quick.
Sometimes the universe smiles on you as a photographer, and you end up being in the right place at the right time. I managed to shoot my first marriage proposal at the race.
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