In this “bootcamp” series, Valerie gives Gina a typical client brief – this one centres around taking photos for a gym. Gina walks through her planning, shooting and production process in order to achieve the best results. In this episode, they discuss practical strategies on what you need to do to shoot fitness models or simply great body shots when you’re at the beach or on holiday. It’s also ideal if you want to achieve artistic pics that don’t look cheesy.
Photography Boot Camp: How to photograph fitness models and body shots
The brief from the client
I want to achieve a variety of shots that I can use for promotion purposes for my website and marketing materials for Gifted Gym.
These are the kinds of shots I would like to achieve:
* Shots for website and brochures
I would like these to be non-cheesy shots – so while it’s important to show fit bodies, I don’t want the focus to be on the abs etc., and I don’t want classic fight poses. I would like lifestyle shots of people working out. You are welcome to come to the gym to shoot while people are working out. I’d like people to be “in action”.
I would like “fighting shots”, but of people who are actually fighting.
I would also like “inset” shots so that people can see what else is in the gym, e.g. shots of the cage, shots of kettlebells, shots of protein shakes, shots of rings etc.
I would like friendly shots of trainers being nice to clients. But also some tough shots where they are pushing their clients and training them to an elite level.
* Shots for social media
These need to be quality but also look “real” or else people won’t believe they are authentic. I’d like to use them with instructional posts like “This is how you do a kettlebell swing”.
* Shots for cover
There is potential that we may be able to provide a shot for the cover of a bodybuilding magazine of the owner John. We don’t want a body shot for this. We want John with his shirt ON but looking cool. We don’t want him in fighting stance, we want to position him as a leader and veteran of the industry. The guy that everyone wants to be.
* Group shot of the elite fighters
On Friday our 7 elite fighters will be at the gym. 6 men and 1 woman. We would like a group shot that looks good!
* Headshots of all our trainers (8 of them)
Defining the genre of fitness shots and when you might shoot them.
Arty vs commercial
Mark Raffety Black and White Magazine cover
Definition and some home truths
You want that cut look – sometimes it’s out of your control because you need:
- Men 5-6% body fat
- Women 12-20% body fat (so give your models advance notice where possible!
Models fitness vs lingerie
Getting models shoot ready
Tanning/makeup to accentuate muscle tone
Diet vs exercise
Mood of the shot
Clean/commercial (editorial or advertising)
- 11am-1pm full sun (Herb Ritts)
- Hard light + fill
- Silver reflector
Down lighting to accentuate muscles
Long or fixed
Shoot from low angle for powerful looking shots
- Active/action shots
- Lifestyle shots
- dark moody backgrounds
- grungy exteriors
- rustic walls
- locker rooms
Post production techniques
- grungy treatment
- dodge and burn for muscle definition
Filler or inset shots
- gym equipment
- wide shots
The Footy Show
Carla Bonner (2001)