We’re coming up to springtime, which is a time of change, growth, and transformation. The world seems to regenerate around this time, with nature coming into bloom like clockwork.
Our fitness photography clients, similarly, are undertaking their very own transformations. Whether they’re preparing for competition, or on a personal fitness journey to bulk up or shed a few pounds, our clients chronicle that transformation through a series of photography sessions. These sessions are often part of our clients’ subscriptions to the Picture Perfect Photography monthly packages, which can help them to chronicle their transformation across a variety of photography styles and in multiple locations, such as our professional studio here in the picturesque village of Haigh near Barnsley, in their own homes with exquisite lifestyle photography, or in their temple at the gym.
With so many transformations happening at this time of year, it got us thinking about other transformations that have taken place. Not just the physical transformations of Hollywood A-Listers like Tom Hardy bulking up for his part of Bane in the Batman movies, or Adele’s dramatic weight loss, although these were both impressive feats. We’re also thinking brands that changed their identity to find new audiences, or child stars that were able to shed their innocent image to remain as relevant as ever. Here are 5 incredible transformations that helped people and brands to stay with the times.
From the fresh-faced, Disney-approved, wholesome teen idol that played Hannah Montana to a badass wild child taking the world on like a wrecking ball, to a Bonafide megastar with huge hits such as Flowers, Miley Cyrus has completed the very definition of transformation on more than one occasion.
What we love about Miley’s transformations is that they have all been very much her own decisions, with reasons not only on a professional level to remain relevant with her intended audiences, but also personally for her, to shake away the reputation and responsibility that came with being a Disney-associated child star.
Part of her first transformation was to make dramatic changes to her hair and the way she dressed, but another huge part was that if she was going to start wearing fewer clothes and embrace the spirit of 80 and 90s Madonna, she needed to transform her physique. Whilst there are many different forms of fitness regimes that can transform a body, Miley chose Pilates. One-hour sessions, once per day, five days a week for six months, and she had completed her very first amazing transformation.
One of the most successful rebrands in history. LEGO was famously close to bankruptcy in the late 90s/early 00s, but by the mid-10s, LEGO had become the world’s most powerful brand
Their simple-but-effective building block empire, having been built over 90 years, began to slowly fall apart brick-by-brick. Children no longer wanted to play with their products, with digital technology such as game consoles coming into play more and more.
In around 2003, the leaders at LEGO didn’t give up; they stripped back everything they knew about their business, and they began to rebuild their approach to marketing. They slashed the number of toys they made, sold off their theme parks, and started again, doing what they did best.
LEGO became more customer-focused and began to work with children and adult LEGO fans to deliver what their customers wanted, instead of dictating what was going to be on the market. This approach worked big time, and by the time the LEGO Movie was released in 2014, the company was on its way to becoming the official most powerful brand in the world.
A six-time Mr Olympia title holder, Dorian Yates is a legend of the bodybuilding world, having gained a reputation as the first “mass monster” in bodybuilding. He dominated the men’s elite bodybuilding world in the 90s, fervently dedicating himself to an intense regime that would see him becoming the biggest, most muscular man on the planet, and changed the way that people and competitors thought about a bodybuilder’s physique.
After his retirement in 1997, Dorian remained dedicated to his passion and his health and fitness, owning several athletic apparel and supplement brands, but switched his focus to his spiritual and mental well-being, investing himself in yoga and meditation.
In a recent Instagram post, he said, “When my bodybuilding career ended, I continued to train fairly hard and heavy, but over the years I questioned what I really needed and what I could improve upon. So, I shifted more toward working on my mobility, cardio, breathing, mental, and spiritual health and fitness. A tree bends in the wind.”
This acceptance of a change in his life and his body, without compromising on his effort and dedication, is something we can all take inspiration from.
The undisputed Queen of Transformation, Madonna Ciccone has been at the forefront of relevance for over 4 decades. From the punk-inspired, peroxide blonde young lady that burst onto the scene in the early 80s to the defiant sex symbol in the late 80s. From the Evita years to her spiritual discovery of the early 00s. What makes Madonna’s transformations even more amazing is that she does so entirely on her own terms, and in the way she chooses to express herself.
With each physical and spiritual transformation that she undertakes, her music has always shifted shape to reflect the change, enabling her to remain relevant. Madonna has reinvented herself so many times that it’s hard not to be inspired by her ability to stay at the top of her game, especially as a woman in the male-dominated entertainment industry.
Our principal photographer and company founder, Collette Evans, is a women’s natural bodybuilding titleholder, but she wasn’t always. Although weightlifting had always been a passion for her from as early as her teenage years, she had a hit-and-miss relationship with the dietary requirements and requirements of standing on stage that competitive bodybuilding had.
With her competitive bodybuilding days seemingly behind her, Collette took to powerlifting where she was successful but gained all the body fat she had lost and more. Something changed during the first lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic. She began to use her bodybuilding equipment at home and begin training again, dropping 5 dress sizes and almost 3 and a half stone of weight.
When lockdown restrictions were lifted, she immediately joined the gym and worked with her PT, Joe. Just like that, the spark was lit in her again, and she set her sights on overcoming the mental blockers that she’d previously had around competition.
Working with Joe and her coach, Nik, Collette eventually began to hone the kind of physique that could achieve great things in her sport. Between them, the team has seen Collette win 8 trophies in bodybuilding.
Collette is an inspirational figure that proves that whilst dreams can sometimes be set to one side in your mind, they never go away, and with some self-discipline and dedication, they are only as far away as you make them.
Some other great examples of people and brands transforming themselves
Lord Alan Sugar
Lord Alan Sugar is an amazing example of a business person adapting and changing their approach to success and how to achieve it. From the humble roots of his Alan Michael Sugar Trading (Amstrad) electronics company foundation in 1968, to being chairman of Tottenham Hotspur FC in the 90s, to an amazing 17 seasons of his award-winning series The Apprentice, Lord Sugar shows no signs of slowing down.
A school dropout who once had to steal food to stay fed, Steven Bartlett’s story is an inspirational one. He had a vision of where he wanted to go, and started at university to find the education thought he needed to drive his entrepreneurial spirit, but he realised very early that it wasn’t going to take him where he thought it would, and so he made a tough decision to drop out and go it alone.
Within a year, he had registered his first business Social Chain, which is now worth $600m. He left that company in 2020 and now owns other businesses including Thirdweb and Flight Story, and is one of the stars of BBC’s Dragon’s Den.
A-List Movie Stars
Many actors have undertaken huge commitments to transform themselves for a role in a film or TV series. Tom Hardy has been through various changes, changing shape for roles in films like Bronson, The Dark Knight Rises, and Warrior. Christian Bale famously dropped to 120 pounds for a role as an anorexic insomniac in the Machinist before immediately bulking up by 100 pounds for a role in Batman Begins.
Another Batman-related transformation came for Anne Hathaway, who took to a vegan, anti-inflammatory diet, including whole grains that controlled her blood sugar, and nuts and avocados to increase her good fat intake.
These are some great examples of notable transformations that we can think of. Whether it’s a dramatic series of changes to remain relevant, a change of business approach, adapting with age, or changing your mindset to chase a long-held dream, transformation is key to achieving what you want to.
The world changes quickly. Brands change. People change. Consumer behaviour changes. For any business or person looking to remain relevant for any extended period of time, keeping a finger on the pulse is key, and right now, photography and video content is what the pulse is saying.
Picture Perfect Photography is a specialist photography studio, based out of South Yorkshire. We work with fitness professionals to capture the transformation of themselves and their clients with fitness photography, whether in our studio, at home in a lifestyle setting, or in the gym where a lot of the hard work happens.
We have helped commercial brands to transform the performance of their product ranges and personal branding, with the phenomenal product and athlete photography that’s optimised for use in any setting, whether it’s for website listing, social media posts, brochures, or print ads.
A great way to ensure you have a professional photography partner that can help to drive those transformations is by making an enquiry regards our membership packages, which provide creative strategy sessions, discounted optional extras, and plenty of amazing visual content that can drive your business or personal transformation now.