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Fitness Photography: 3 Do’s & Don’ts

outdoor triangle pose

Originally posted on SweatGuru, 10/10/13

With so many fitness studios, trainers and fit-pros out there today, the team at SweatGuru wants you to get the most of your digital presence. Because of all the competition, sometimes your training credentials and how many happy clients you have simply aren’t enough. Now, you need a good visual, digital presence. Enter fitness photography – a key element to being successful online.

Whether you have your own website, an Instagram or on SweatGuru, it is super important to have great photography.

Let’s talk about 3 things you should and shouldn’t do when deciding with photos to use!

Let’s talk about the right stuff first.

DO #1: Lighting

For professional photographers, lighting is super important. The difference between a good photo and great photo is just proper lighting.

The best time for taking photos outdoors is usually an hour before the sun goes down. But if that’s not possible, just make sure there isn’t much glare or random reflections in the photo. You want to focus on the main object of the picture (equipment, people, etc.) and make sure there’s no major distractions in the photo.

DO #2: Angles matter

headstands closeup

Angles always allow you to highlight the best possible features of a person or an object. For body builders who take shots of themselves, angles are everything.

For best results, having the light source to one side is best and allows for a good shadow while the camera stays low, high or to the opposite side. Just remember, having light directly on the shot you want will usually flatten out body definition so angles being at the right angle is really key.

DO #3: Look natural!

indoor partner stretching

Don’t think too much into your photo shoots. Expressions are important, but don’t try too hard. Just try to keep it as real and natural as possible.

DON’T #1: Exaggeration

The last thing people want to see if a model holding three pound weights and making an excruciating face. It’s not believable and it will turn customers away because the photo is not natural and looks more posed than an actual client.

DON’T #2: Awkward Shots

This seems like a no-brainer, but always double check your shots and make sure you avoid the awkward butt shots or yoga positions with unflattering facial expressions. Double check your photos and always pick out the best of the bunch.

DON’T #3: Too Many Accessories

If you are doing a photo shoot or just taking test photos for your classes, you should encourage your models to be n their favorite fitness gear, but just make sure nobody is overdoing it.

Over-sized earrings, heels and swimsuits often make their way into photos about exercise, working out or boot camp classes. Have your models dress up as they would for the gym, not the pool party.

All in all, if you follow these simple rules, you will have sharp photography and shots that will definitely make your business stand out. If you have a digital SLR, definitely use it but with proper angles, focus and lighting, even using a smartphone with a good camera can do the trick. If you are sticking to a mobile phone and love Instagram, SnapSeedCamerabag  or any of the other editing apps, just be careful on the filters and don’t over-do it.

Remember, natural is the way to go.

Happy shooting!

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