10 Ways to Use Your FocalShare Digital Photo

As the saying goes, the best things in life are free. That's why free FocalShare digital photos are, well, awesome. If you've participated in a race or other sporting event that includes FocalShare service, you can download your high-resolution image at a cost of $0.00.

What can you do with your photo? If you're in need of creative ideas, here are 10 to get you started. 

1. Inspire a friend. Perhaps this is your first race. Perhaps you've been competing in your sport for years. Either way, there is a friend out there who needs you to say, "Hey, join me, this is fun." Maybe they can't imagine themselves at the starting line. Maybe they need some encouragement. YOU can be the person who shows them that it's possible, because you've been in their shoes - and now here you are, crossing the finish line. There's nothing more powerful than an image to start a conversation. 

2. Blog it. Do you chronicle your training and competition adventures? You're in good company. There are countless athlete blogs written by novices, women, men, semi-pros and pros - every sport, age division, and lifestyle you can imagine. Each blog serves a critical purpose: by telling your story, you help people understand your journey. You never know what spark this might inspire. Maybe there's a would-be athlete out there just like you that needs some concrete examples of what it takes to spend a day in your running shoes. Your race report can help them understand what it takes to get there. Without an image, all they have is your words to take on faith; with your photo, they can actually visualize not only the journey, but the beautiful outcome. 

3. Inspire yourself. Focal Flame Photography is headquartered in Madison, WI. We understand the realities of a true winter. There will come a day - likely in mid-February - where you need a reminder that at one point there was no such thing as a "polar vortex," that green grass existed, and that sweat can in fact flow freely. Download your high-resolution FocalShare image, print that baby out, and hang it near your trainer, treadmill, or gym locker. We promise: someday, it will get you through that remaining 10% of your workout. You're welcome. 

4. Spark a meet-up. Has it been years since you got together with high school or college buddies? What about your posse - the folks that stood up for you at your wedding, or fraternity/sorority brethren, or the friends you used to spend endless hours with hanging around the neighborhood? It's time to re-connect. Share your photo and invite them to join you at your next event. It might involve some cajoling, some bribing, maybe even some practical tips on how to train for a 5K. But follow through with the ask, and show them how much fun a healthy lifestyle can be. You know that it's possible. They just need an invitation.

5. Brag. Honestly, it's fun. And it's important. When you do something hard, you get to reap the rewards....period. Declare to the naysayers of the world (and even your support crew): CHECK IT OUT  - I GOT THIS. Remember: Pics or it didn't happen. 

6. Office decor. Some people decorate their cubicles with pictures of cats. We like cats. There's nothing wrong with cats. But you also have the option of framing photos of you being athletically awesome. This may in fact inspire you at a critical moment when preparing your next TPS report. 

7. Send to donors as a thank-you gift. If you have participated in a sports event as a fundraiser for a cause, you might be trying to think of a unique, fun way to thank the people who donated on your behalf. What could be more unique than an image of YOU in competition? Recognize the folks who put their good name and money behind your ability to persevere: show them what passion in action looks like. 

8. Holiday card. Toward the end of the year you may find yourself searching frantically for images that summarize a memorable accomplishment while wishing you could just get back to the festivities. Problem solved! What could be more poignant than committing to, preparing for, and participating in an event?

9. Hang it next to your kid's school photo. If you have kids (or if you're important in the life of a child as an aunt, uncle, grandparent, guardian, older sibling, etc.), you know that school portraits are a yearly rite of passage. It's important to put those school pictures up on your refrigerator. But it's also important to show the next generation what strength and dedication looks like. Don't hide it: children need to see that side of you. Even if they don't say anything about it, they'll internalize the message. 

10. Give back. Is there a coach, training partner, friend, or family member who made certain that you were well-supported as you trained? Whether their sweat equity was paid in voices made hoarse from yelling, patience as they watched the clock waiting for you to return from your training session, or camaraderie on the toughest workouts, you're simply not done with your event until you thank them. Show them what they made possible by sharing your race photo. 

While the list above details a few of the things you can do with your free FocalShare photo...there are also a few things you cannot do. Here are three examples. 

1. Don't represent the photo as your own creative work. While your place at the front of the lens is first and foremost brilliant, every photograph is a relationship between two people: the photo subject, and the photographer. We at Focal Flame Photography are proud to hire the best in the business. Our photographers are highly skilled, experienced, and incredibly nice people who work exceptionally hard in every imaginable weather condition to make sure they capture you at the right moment and with true artistry. When you share your image, please take care to credit the hardworking artists who documented that critical moment. And please, don't submit the image to a photography contest as if it was your own creation. (Don't laugh. There is a reason we have to mention this.) Focal Flame Photography encourages sharing of FocalShare images by photo subjects, but retains copyright. 

2. Use a FocalShare image for disparaging purposes. Focal Flame Photography is on a mission to create good in the world. Images we create may not be used to disparage, harass, embarrass, or make fun of anyone or anything. We feel pretty strongly about this. Contact us if you have any questions. 

3.  Re-sell the image or use it for commercial purposes. FocalShare images are free to share for your own personal use, but attempting to re-sell or gain profit from it in any way is simply not ok. If you or another party is interested in a commercial use license, contact us - are more than happy to help. (But rest assured - we do not issue commercial use licenses without permission of you as the photo subject.)

How have you used your FocalShare digital? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or via email.