Fitness Photography Tips for Photographers & Models

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Fitness Photography Tips

Photography is an art form that translates well to fitness modeling. It’s important to have a steady hand and the right camera equipment, plus some knowledge of how to shoot different kinds of exercises. To help you out, we’ve put together this useful guide on the best fitness photography tips for photographers and models who are doing fitness photography! 

Are you a shutterbug or fashionista with a passion for fitness? If so, this blog post is an absolute must-read! From how to style your most flattering workout outfits to posing techniques guaranteed to make your pictures pop, we’ve got you covered. And if you’re the model, here’s everything you need to know about being photographed at the best angles and with the most flattering lighting.

1) Know Your Camera

camera mirror

Shooting consistent, good-quality photos require a lot of practice and time. Before you try to shoot someone exercising, you should know your camera very well to be more comfortable handling it. Try to get used to your camera settings ahead of time, then move on to the next lesson. Even a simple DSLR is expensive and takes some time to get used to, so give yourself some practice time.

New to photography? see here what is the best DSLR camera for a beginner.

2) Study Fitness Photography for Models

One of the most important photography tips for models is to study other people’s photography. The internet is full of great examples, so spend some time looking through them to feel how fitness models are photographed. This will give you an idea of what is considered good in the industry, so you can better bring it to your work. Studies have proven that seeing other people’s work inspires people more than just reading about what should be done.

Additional resource about how to pose.

3) Plan Your Pictures Ahead of Time

Try to be as organized as possible when you will shoot a model. For example, bring an assistant with you if you want because it will help keep you focused. Have a list of poses that the model will do and what order they are in so everything stays organized. The last thing you want is for the model to be doing twelve different exercises in a row and then forget what came next. This will make shooting much easier for both the photographer and the subject.

4) Bring the Right Camera Equipment

Best Travel Photography Cameras

To shoot a variety of different exercises, you will need a good, sturdy tripod. Most models will be very uncomfortable if they are not secured somehow, so it’s best to have them held firmly by someone. You also want to make sure you have good lighting. Invest in a great set of lights and ensure your camera can handle those lights. A photography tip can be to shoot a model in a studio with soft lighting and then take it on the go with a strobe setting.

Below are some additional resources for Lighting.

5) Keep the Camera Safe

This is an important photography tip for photographers and models that work at home. In the event of an emergency, like if you drop the camera on account of rushing to get a shot. You want it to be propped up safely not to fall and break. It’s also a good idea to have an insurance policy if you are shooting fitness models frequently. It’s especially important to shoot fitness models at home because their skill level may not be as advanced.

Read more about how to store your camera gear.

6) Be Flexible With the Shoot

You don’t always have to follow the flow of the list of poses exactly as they’re written. Sometimes it can be beneficial to change things up and create your poses. For example, when you are dressing a model, you don’t always know what they will wear until they get there. If you know that they are coming in a few minutes, allow them a little leeway to use common sense and think of different poses that would be fun for the picture.

7) Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help

Working with models is hard on your second brain. You never know what they are going to do or how they will move, so it’s a good idea to bring an assistant along with you. If you don’t have an assistant, just ask the model themselves if they’d like a hand because getting any help at all is better than none. You can also ask for help from the gym’s front desk if you’re shooting at a public place. Most gyms will be more than happy to assist you because it shows that they are very welcoming to their members.

8) Work on Your Posture and Expression

Fitness Photography Tips

Photo by Spectaclephoto

Most of the time, photographs depict a very relaxed and natural expression. You probably don’t think twice about your posture or facial expressions in real life as you go about your day, but when you’re shooting a fitness model, these things are important. You want to make sure that you are getting a flattering pose, not an awkward one. Try to be conscious of how you are holding the camera. If your hand is resting on the lens, it might look as if you’re trying to hide the fact that you’re shooting someone. This is never a good idea, so keep it clear of your face and body.

9) Speak Slowly and State the Situation Clear

This photography tip is not just for fitness models, but it’s a good one all around. When you are shooting a model, you don’t want to rush through the process, but don’t drag it out too much. You don’t have time to get lost in your thoughts when you’re trying to shoot someone—work on calmly communicating clearly what you need at all times.

10) Be Direct

You want to stay short and to the point when shooting a fitness model. You don’t have time to waste by trying to be nice or making small talk while they’re in the middle of their workout. You should be very direct with your questions, clear with your direction, and ready if you need any help. Don’t trick the model into thinking you like them more than you do. If you like them, tell them, and if you don’t, don’t. 

All of the other photography tips we shared in this article are all about capturing natural expressions and making people comfortable so that they just feel normal and not awkward or uncomfortable.

On Budget?

Sometimes, Cameras can be very expensive for a lot of people. However, Keh is a great option to get a used one for a reasonable price. Read the full review here.

Featured photo by Rob Hammer

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the article, in case you have any questions just drop them below & I will be happy to answer you.

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  • One of my main mistakes is that I am a control freak. And reading your post, I feel I should continue planning my shots, but also be flexible with their outcome. Not everything we have in our mind can be translated into a picture. And insisting on it can be very time-consuming.

  • Hi Ehab,

    To be honest with you, all your articles that I came across are of high quality and the topics are well presented. Yes, here you have helped many people including me with photography. Photography is something I do enjoy. But, the cost of getting one was a barrier for me. Thanks for sharing these fitness photography tips!

    Thank you.

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