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Monday, 29 January 2018

Brutal Men and Women 2018 Galleries live and all about Happiness

Be Happy.
Happy New Year (again, and yes it's almost too late to say it one last time).

One of the key "raison d'etres" for us running this business and in our work life is "to make people happy". We just happen to have chosen sport photography as the medium to do this, and if it doesn't work, then we'll try something else !

This for example is not how we aim to make you happy or ourselves happy in the workplace...
but it is how I used to make myself happy in my old corporate jobs. I knew I had to leave...

Here in the brave world of entrepreneurial spirit, I can't do that (well I can, but I'd have no clients - ref the cartoon, and starvation isn't a top option), so how can we do the best job doing what we do ?

So first off, there's the happiness of seeing yourself in an image doing something sporty - for me recognising that feeling for myself was a motivation to be able to provide that for you and start up the company. This is pretty much the main basis of what we do - week in week out. Take good pictures of people achieving things, share them with them, and hopefully you'll buy them ! Time to rock for the win-win !

The next thought is how can we maximise your happiness from our photos ?

Getting events to pay for them instead so you can just download them is the next obvious step - whilst they have the "pain" of paying for them, it removes the "transaction pain" for all the participants - so net-net only one person feels the pain, and you don't - result is - more people are happier ! (this has been shown to increase the net happiness of a group of friends that eat together - only one person pays each time - the extra amount they pay doesn't make them feel much more unhappy pain, but for the others - not having to pay  - makes them significantly happier. So as long as the bills roughly add up equally each time and you take turns - and it will make your group meals together happier!)

How can we make sure that the pictures we take are the ones that will make you happiest ? and how can we make sure that the maximum happiness is being extracted from everything we produce and do ? This is where we start to get a bit deeper into the neurology of Happiness.

What is Happiness ?
Happiness is a positive memory - so we need to know what makes a memory, and how it is recalled as a good happy one. For this I've been reading this blog here - which has some fascinating information on happiness and memories and all things psychological.
**warning - this will take up a lot of time when you start browsing it** ideal for commuting if you have bored moments, it's written in an engaging and informative way with lots of references and as much detail as you care to dig into with the links provided, and a nice doses of humour.

For example this blog on Stoicism might have you reeling with self-cringe and truth and a bit of "that's a good idea" that you might prefer to read :

Anyways, I've been reading through and come to think of a few interesting things we can do to help you be more happy, and how you can use our work to also make yourself and your friends more happy (for free!), and how to recall those memories - which also makes you happier... I'll leave you to find which "barking up the wrong tree" posts have made me think of these things:

This is what we can do which should make your race experiences that bit happier: 
1. Take photos at the right point on a race - the finish, and at the point of peak emotion (might be good, might be bad, but it's the peak) out on the course. These are the two things you will remember according to the research.
2. Get the race organisers to make the finish a big happy deal for you - because the memory of the end of an experience overwrites all the feelings and perceptions you had during an event.
3. Write a little congratulations note to you into the order emails when we manually put collection orders together (everyone likes a bit of a "well done" don't we!)
4. Encourage you to find photos of your friends, and share them back to your friends (use the free links buttons) with a little "saw you did this - well done!" note. Spread the love - it works.

Interestingly we can also use the same findings from the happiness neurology to make ourselves happier in our job (because let's be honest, the pay isn't ever going to...and anyway money doesn't make you happy - past a certain level it's been shown to actually make you more stressed, although I'm willing to find out in the name of science) - 
1. starting off with item 3 above - being positive to someone else - and saying thank you - has proven self-happiness effect. Mainly because it forces you to think of happy things ("gratitudes" - i.e. things you are grateful for..)
2. big up the encouragement we give you at races when you run past us - it's one of the reasons people enjoy marshalling at races too, and we sometimes get feedback that people really appreciated our efforts out on a course.
3. I can try to find some things to be grateful for that other people did at events and put them into the blog here. Interestingly even the act of trying to remember things to be grateful for (we need a verb for that), is proven to make you happier. On the flip side - it means I have to put even more effort into writing this !
4. we can write thank you's to the photographers after an event, as well as put them into our post race reports to the organisers - rather than just the cold factual reporting we currently turn out. Happier photographers is always a good thing, as is happy race organisers.

my peaceful happy desktop background - taken up on the south downs way in 2017

Events can also do a better job at making you happy with their event:
1. help events to design better "peak emotional points" and finish experiences for you to leave you with that Happy Glow of achievement. We see more events than the event organisers do, and we know which events have the best post-race engagement - there's definitely a format for the perfect race finish. Have a look at what the Ironman events do as a finish line experience (although it's not very busy for them compared to a half marathon) and see what those OCR races do for those peak emotional moments ! It explains why some people get so passionate about them.

2. Design the last bit of the course as the fastest nicest picturesque part of the course (i.e. don't park a massive white light-van next to the finish run-in to block the crowd and ruin the pictures - like one of the events we attend does every.single.year., or place the back of your admin tents all along one side of the finish run in stopping people from supporting along the finish), make it easy, enjoyable, as long as possible as your layout allows, refreshing and memorable. Not in a carpark, just off a turn, with no crowds and no view of the runners approaching (we stopped covering that one - because nobody wanted to remember the finish - in fact we sold more pictures from just before the finish because of it - which was very very unusual).

3. Give your event the personal touch - based on neurological research - just a bit of congratulatory touching - i.e. a congratulatory pat on the shoulder/back, even a hand-shake - can give you as a runner an immensely better sense of liking the race more than you had before. Race directors - take note - even for the big races - it is literally the "personal touch" that makes a difference in all events - even the big ones - and for all runners, not just the ones at the back with the pacers (which is where we see it most often). Dropping a medal around someones neck doesn't count - but that's still way better than just handing them a medal. Sponsors - be aware - this is what you should be getting your sponsorship/marketing team to be doing at events - congratulatory personal touch (the right sort, not the wrong sort that gets you in trouble!), and giving out sponsor goodies randomly race photos using pic2go (but I digress...)

And what can you do about your own happiness right now ?
Turns out there is quite a bit - here's a list with explains, and one of the obvious ones is to plan something fun for tomorrow, which if you're a runner - work out when you're going to fit your training in and who you're going to do it with ! Then when you wake up next day - you have something to look forwards to in the day !
and also as I said earlier - find photos of your friends (easily on our gallery), and share them back to your friends (use the free links buttons) with a little "saw you did this - well done!" note. Spread the love - it works.

and this is a good starting point in the Barking up the wrong tree blog for you to have a read
remember - above all - we want Serotonin - ahead of dopamine. Dopamine is the crack addiction of facebook and social media, serotonin is the hormone of feeling loved.

Those gallery links you wanted
So on that note, here's the links to this weekends race galleries, where you all did rather well, and a few photos of the same !

Future events - please take special note of the races with free race photos and get yourselves booked in !
Date Event Website
Sat-27/01/2018 Brutal Men only
Sat-27/01/2018 Brutal Women Only
Future Events
Sun-04/02/2018 Watford Half
Sun-11/02/2018 Worthing Half Marathon
Sun-18/02/2018 Hampton Court Half Marathon
Sat-24/02/2018 National XC Champs - Free live race photos with Pic2Go
Sun-04/03/2018 Leicester 10k
Sun-04/03/2018 Steyning Stinger - Free Race Photos
Sun-18/03/2018 Fulham 10k - Free Race Photos
Sun-18/03/2018 Hastings Half Marathon
Sun-18/03/2018 Salomon Richmond Half and 10k
Sun-18/03/2018 Brentwood Half
yes, he's err Nuts ! (Have you entered that yet?)

All upside down and a bit lost

Wrongens enjoying it all, this pic won't make their wrongun standards...

avoiding the land mines

The taste of victory

you are seeing double. yes.

the water was colder than expected

that undeniable hand signal that the gloves were working

posing, or five legged race, but good winners of the event branding prize all the same

job done and flying in victorious Mo Farah style at the finish

The alternative Mo Farah finish style that he's not tried yet

That look of confidence at the start

The innocent exuberance of youth, before it all went pear shaped and they found the mud

swishy water

a step too far - and then what were you supposed to do !?

Step on top of it like this - that's what you're supposed to do...Bambi here demonstrates

mmm, chocolate bath

after an almost-a-faceplant shocked face

relaxing at the foot spa after a good run out

more swishy water nymphs

taking the mexican wrestler approach to all in water combat - just about to do a bodyslam
And with that, I congratulate you all on your endeavours this week, am chuffed with my own which has my resting pulse back down to 50bpm (I've decided Tuesdays and Thursdays are my training days and nothing can make that change - and it seems to be working).

Enjoy Eric's blog  and make sure you find a picture of a friend on our gallery, and then share it back to them with a positive vibe. and did you know we almost have the entire 2014 gallery live now (as well as 2015,2016 and 2017) to work from.
Also we're going back to churn out 2008 next...that'll be 10 years ago. You're going to love to see how much you've changed !!
And remember - Happiness brings success - not the other way around - so make yourself more Happy, and you'll be even more successful.

until next time, be happy,

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