Photomarathon: A Comprehensive Guide For Newcomers

Aside from photo walks and exhibits, another regular activity has captured the attention of many photographic groups worldwide. This is referred to as a photo marathon. A photomarathon mixes photography and the notion of a marathon. It’s an event that began in one corner of the world and has developed into a global journey.

What is a photo marathon?

A photo marathon, as previously said, combines photography and the fundamental features of a marathon. It is a photography competition in which contestants must take images connected to a specific topic or theme. Individual sub-themes and an overall theme are present in certain events. Photographers must photograph within a specific time frame – 6 hours, 12 hours or 24 hours – similar to a marathon in which you must cross the finish line in your fastest time.

A 6-hour photomarathon is referred to as a mini-marathon. Most organisers will request six photographs in six hours on specific subjects. Participants in a 12-hour photomarathon have 12 hours to take 12 images on 12 different themes. 24-hour photomarathons demand 24 images of 24 themes to be taken in 24 hours. There are other photomarathons in which contestants have only 12 hours to create 24 photographs. This is more difficult because of the time constraints.

The Origin

In 1984, friends Eduardo Soto and Antonio Bolivar invented photomarathons in Madrid. They created the Maraton Fotografico contest and presented it to the Madrid City Council, which financed the event in collaboration with Kodak and the Albacolor photo laboratory. The idea reached New York in 1987, and the inaugural NY photomarathon occurred. Stockholm and Copenhagen responded with their events in 1988 and 1989, respectively. Soon after, the popularity of the photomarathon exploded, and it is now held worldwide, including in Asia.

How to Take Part in a Photomarathon

The prerequisites for participating in a photomarathon differ depending on location and organising organisation. Of course, the most critical necessity is a camera (and the equipment that goes with it). There is no age limit in general. However, this depends on the organiser. Participants must complete and submit a registration form, like in a conventional marathon. Some photomarathons will charge a fee, so plan accordingly.

Considering numerous factors, such as, is critical when selecting a photo marathon. For example, there is competition for analogue film cameras and digital cameras. Most contests, however, allow for the use of many camera types. Interested photographers should keep this in mind when registering for the event. Take note of the date and time of the competition since this will be an essential part of the photomarathon. The majority of contests begin around 10 a.m.


Photo marathons are one of the most enjoyable events for photographers. So with the valuable tips mentioned above, participate in the photo marathons. Happy clicking!

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