Behind the scenes on a group fitness photoshoot with Picture Perfect Photography

At Picture Perfect Photography we work on a wide variety of photoshoots, and recently had the opportunity to take a group fitness photoshoot with CMP, Chris Mason Performance, to showcase his work with some of his clients.

Our photographer Collette knows first-hand what it feels like to see your body and lifestyle transformed; as a bodybuilder she has been on that journey herself and understands the value of documenting your progress.

Collette uses her experience to inform every photoshoot, but how does this come into play during a group fitness photoshoot?

Join us on a behind the scenes tour of our shoot with CMP and find out the where, why, when and how we worked to get some fantastic results for them.

The where: where did we run the shoot?

For this shoot we were based at CMP Studios’ own private gym, which is a fantastic venue.

We always advocate this for a group fitness photoshoot; booking a private gym or utilising your own space is the best choice for offering a variety of backdrops and settings whilst ensuring privacy for the shoot.

You can read more about why we love running photoshoots in gyms and fitness studios in our blog from earlier this year here.

The why: why did CMP want a group fitness photoshoot?

You might be wondering whether a group fitness photoshoot is a good option for your business – so why did CMP want us to shoot one for them?

It’s always great to have progress shots of transformed bodies and lifestyle – they’re inspirational for others to see and a fantastic record for the clients themselves to look back on and celebrate their achievements.

As well as being great for the clients themselves, a group photoshoot like this had provided great shots for CMP’s marketing, showing the transformation possible from working with Chris.

A group fitness photoshoot in this context gives the opportunity for not only physique photos but also training shots of clients with their coach, providing a wide range of content for social feeds and marketing.

Having a range of people and body types in the photos is also great for producing a wide range of shots which can be used in marketing and social media, producing relatable content for a variety of audiences as well as keeping it fresh for your social media feeds.

The when: how was the shoot structured?

We worked with six of CMP’s clients for this group fitness photoshoot, so we shot them in two groups of three to break the day up.

Our photographer, Collette, arrived early to set up her equipment so that everything was ready to go when the clients arrived, and we were shooting with them for around two hours before a break for lunch when the second group came for their shoot.

After the second round of photos, we interviewed the clients for their testimonial videos, which we’ll edit together after the shoot.

The how: how did we set the shoot up?


We used a 3-light setup using a key light from the front, an Octobox from above and a strip box placed at a three-quarter angle from behind.

We also integrated colour gels into our lighting to add depth; these are a great way to bring some more interest into your shots whilst also maintaining consistency across all the different positions in your shoots, which can tie in your company’s branding colours.

Placement and backgrounds

The great thing about being in a gym is that there are a wide variety of shots that you can take against different backgrounds using the different machines and equipment available.

However, given the lighting setup outlined above, it’s more efficient to focus on one area of the gym at a time before moving everything to the next spot.

With a group fitness photoshoot, we always start off in an area of the gym where the clients are familiar with the equipment, such as the cables, so that we can put them at ease while they get used to being in front of the camera.

Then once we’ve taken a few initial shots there, got to grips with the client and what they’re hoping to highlight in their body (more on that next!), and got the lighting perfect we can transition to the next space.

Fortunately for this shoot we had an assistant there to make sure we weren’t getting any wires tangled when we moved everything else around.

How we shot the group fitness photoshoot at CMP in Sheffield

Poses and positions

The great thing about a group fitness photoshoot is that each person’s physique is different, and this gives a great variety to the shots we can take.

Collette uses her own first-hand experience of bodybuilding to each shoot and shares her knowledge of poses and positions to show bodies at their best and bring out their strength.

At the start of working with each model, we consider their body type and the assets of each person’s physique; we can then take these into account as we advise on poses and positions which make sure they look their best.

On shoot day we always ask each model whether there’s something they particularly love about their body that we can focus on, or anything they’re more conscious of that they wouldn’t want to showcase.

This informs the poses we use; often each model will do the same exercise, but we’ll adapt the pose according to their body height, shape and any areas they want us to focus on.

In the second half of our shoot with CMP we had a group of three clients where one of them was much taller than the others, which meant we switched up some of the poses for them and came out with a range of photos showing each member of the group at their best.

This variation also means that you end up with a range of photos produced at the end of the shoot, which is much better for marketing and social media feeds.

Ask Picture Perfect Photography for help with your group fitness photoshoot

As you can tell there’s a lot of thought that goes into a group fitness photoshoot and they can bring huge value to your business marketing and content.

If you’re considering one, we’d love to help – whether you’re looking for content to showcase your own journey or illustrate your work with your clients, we can produce the shots you need to show off what’s possible.

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