I often get questions about how I take my running pictures that I post to Instagram and use in my blog. About three years ago I wrote, The Art Of Taking The Perfect Selfie, where I talked about the many different types of running selfies that can be taken. In honor of today’s National Selfie Day – yes, there’s such a day – I’ll share one of my secrets behind how I take my running pictures, selfies and otherwise. Today’s secret, the first of several I’ll share over the next few months, is six camera angles for taking running photos.

camera angles for taking running photos

Perhaps the best birthday gift I ever received was my GoPro Hero 4 (affiliate link) given to me by my husband about three years ago, and after I’d written the post mentioned above. Once I became comfortable using it, my GoPro became my primary camera for action shots.

The first shot below was actually captured my first time out playing with my GoPro alone. I set the tiny camera in a variety of positions as I experimented with camera angles and how the finished pictures would turn out. Initially I shot thirty pictures per three-second bursts and picked my favorite picture out of the set. Eventually, I turned to shooting in video mode and selecting my favorite still frame so I could capture the exact moment I liked best. It’s more time consuming downloading and selecting that exact frame, but the finished product is well worth the effort.


For each of the following running action shots, I follow it with a picture of how I had my GoPro positioned…

1.  When you see pictures where it looks like I’m flying, I’m leaping over my camera. Sometimes I increase my stride length, sometimes I really do take a running jump over my GoPro, and sometimes I run across it at my normal pace. In this picture, I took a running jump right over the camera.


My Miggo Splat tripod (affiliate link) works well for these types of pictures when the camera is tilted straight up, but I don’t use it often on my runs because it’s harder to carry. This little tripod also works well in my gym or outside for my planks and yoga poses.


2.  For pictures that look like someone from a distance is holding the camera (or that I used a drone), I simply run under my GoPro.


With bendable little legs, I can wrap my Splat tripod around a tree branch or another object. This captures an interesting and different perspective as compared to most of my pictures.


3.  I find that shooting at an upward angle allows for capturing unusual visuals of the underside of trees, tunnels, etc. and makes my legs look longer (who doesn’t love that?).


When I want to shoot from that angle, I prop my GoPro against something like a rock, a curb, or the side of a bridge. I point it in the direction I’m running and capture myself running away from or toward the camera.


4.  Similarly, I love using the upward angle for capturing beautiful clear skies or interesting cloud formations.


Again, I use something like my water bottle or the side of the bridge for propping up the GoPro. In this instance, I pointed my camera lens perpendicular to the direction I was running from and I didn’t point my camera up quite as much. I ran a little farther away from it the camera and captured just a tad more of a side view.


5.  Sometime I want to take a picture of a scene at a distance, but frame something interesting in the forefront, like these buttercups.


To capture pictures where I frame something up front, I set up my GoPro on its folded selfie stick (affiliate link) with the tripod legs pulled out, flipped, and opened. Placing the lens behind pretty flowers or even a few blades of grass adds an interesting element to the picture.


6.  Taking a selfie is a fantastic way to capture a moment and is so much more interesting than simply smiling at the camera lens.


For my infamous selfies, I unfold my selfie stick and voila!


As you can see, my folded up selfie stick fits easily in my hand and is no big deal to carry on my runs. Unless I run before daylight, I carry my GoPro because I never know what interesting things I’ll see during my run.


Attached at the end of the selfie stick is a waterproof protective housing (affiliate link), a must have for Hero 4’s. Additionally, I have a remote control (affiliate link) that I seldom use now that I shoot in video mode. Bill finds the remote control very convenient to have when he’s taking pictures while riding his bike since it’s more difficult to get to the shutter while riding, especially if the GoPro is mounted to side of his wheel – he has a variety of mounts to attach the GoPro to different places on his bike.

Edited to add: I have since updated to the GoPro Hero 6 (affiliate link) and love it! It works much better in low light and has voice command options.


  • Questions:
  • Do you take pictures while out on your runs?
  • What type of camera do you use?
  • Did you know that today is National Selfie Day?


Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on the blue product link and then make a purchase, I will receive a commission for referring you. You will pay no more or less for the product; however, Amazon will show their gratitude for my referral by paying me.