When taking a great fitness photo there are a few things to consider. Firstly, what do you want the focus of your photo to be? Are you wanting to showcase your body and the progress you have made or is it an advertisement for the gym wear or the equipment?
If you are an influencer, or wanting to become one, you need to consider how you are making that gym gear look. You will need clear photos that show off the activewear to its fullest. So think about what you want these photos for.
If you want professional photos, these are best taken by professional photographers who understand the industry. A photographer that is keen on fitness and regularly uses a gym will understand a lot more about how to make you look good in that surrounding. But here are some tips to help you get a great fitness photo by yourself.
For fitness photography, you will often find that artificial lighting works best. If you have artificial lighting to work with, try getting into a spot where the light is coming from above and in the corners. Artificial lighting will help to create great angles on your body so that you can show off your physique in a flattering way.
However, if you do decide to do an outdoor shoot, then try to choose a time roughly an hour before sundown. This way the light is lower and will give you the best light with complimentary shadows to work with.
According to Collette from Picture Perfect Photography “Indoor shoots with natural lighting will need to have good reflectors. A non-reflective white sheet or even white cardboard works well to even out the way the light source hits the subject.” Just make sure the light source is behind the camera and that the sheet is out of shot whether under you, behind you or to the side. The idea is to have no glare pulling focus.
Getting a good angle is also important to highlight the best features. If you have a professional photographer taking the picture, they will be able to direct you as they can see how the light and shade look through the camera lens.
However, if you are taking the picture yourself or getting a friend to do it for you, then here is a top tip…
Turn your body to the side away from the main light source. This way you will create flattering shadows across your muscles giving them depth and dimension. Try to lift up and don’t be afraid to create angles with your body. Up and to the side is far more flattering than a straight on shot which will flatten out your muscle definition.
The beauty of digital photography is that you can play with angles and see what works best without worrying about wasting film. Get a second opinion if you can as another person may see something you don’t.
Of course the type of camera, lens and filter will have an impact on the quality of the shot as well. Digital cameras and tripods will work best. Choose a lens that will flatter your features. Generally speaking a longer lens (150mm) will work best for people with thin faces and a shorter lens (50mm) would suit a wider face.
If you are using a camera phone just make sure that you are not taking the picture at arms length. This will distort the photo and make you look heavier. Try taking a mirror selfie or using a selfie stick, propping the phone up on a nearby surface or use a tripod. Ideally you would get a friend to take the picture for you.
Consider your background
Another thing to think about is what is in the background of your photo. Gym photos are notoriously difficult as there is always someone who will inevitably walk into shot just as you take your picture.
Mirror selfies are great and the lighting in the changing rooms is often the best. But make sure you don’t have someone who is in a state of undress behind you.
Gym colour schemes may not always be the nicest and you may find that the place just looks a bit out of sync with the desired look. This is where filters can come in very handy, especially black and white ones.
The most important thing is to relax and have fun. Just be yourself and don’t try too hard to look perfect. Relax your face and be natural. Be confident and focus on getting a good picture, not what anyone else is thinking (they are probably more focussed on how they look than what you are doing). Confidence makes you shine and you will end up with a much better looking photo.