How to best prepare for a fitness photoshoot

Fitness Photoshoot with Lucy Carney

You’re now prepped and ready to elevate your fitness brand, and the best way to celebrate is through a fitness photoshoot! Who wouldn’t want to show what they’ve accomplished to others? Building a fitness brand is not an easy task, and you will need progress photos of your brand to fill your social media calendar with great high-quality content online. So, you’ve booked a fitness shoot. What happens next?

The day before the shoot prep

Make sure that you are in top condition, consult your coach if you have one, drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest. However, in our experience of working with professionals in the industry, don’t do anything too drastic and change things last minute in a panic, stay calm and relax. Relaxing will help with your conditioning as it will reduce cortisol response, meaning that you’ll hold less water on shoot day.

Fitness photography shoot with Herbalife
Fitness photography shoot with Herbalife

Bring any accessories that you think would enhance your shoot. If you have any props or fitness products that you want to include in the photo, don’t forget to bring them along. Our previous clients brought water bottles or towels that matched their outfits and props with colours that match their brand. This is a great way to get brand consistency throughout your fitness photos.

Fitness product shoots 

If you’re looking to do a fitness or sports product shoot, bring your products with you ready to be shot with a model. Ensure that you take a shot list of all the products and types of shots that are require for each product. It will make your life a lot easier if you’re considering more than one location to shoot or if you’re considering different types of models.  

Fitness product shoots

If you’re looking to do a fitness or sports product shoot, bring your products with you, ready to be shot with a model. Ensure that you take a shot list of all the products and types of shots required for each product. It will make your life a lot easier if you’re considering more than one location to shoot or if you’re considering different types of models.   

Fitness transformations  

When looking to capture a fitness transformation, ensure that you are in shape and ready for the next day’s shoot and relax! This is a rewarding and confidence-boosting experience to help capture your fantastic physique using fitness photography. When we take photos of models in shoot, we recommend that they come well-groomed, tanned, and waxed or shaven to help define the graft that you’ve put into your physique.

Define the graft!

Fitness photoshoot with Nick Platt PT
Fitness photoshoot with Nick Platt PT

Grooming is important to help with muscle definition and highlighting the best areas of the body- so come well shaven or waxed on the day of the shoot! Tanning is also part of prep work for the shoot (Yes- tanning!). Make yourself or your models look healthy and golden with a touch of a tan to elevate your fitness photos.  

It will also help with adding that extra definition to the muscles. We recommend using professional tanning salons or tanning brands such as ‘Pro tan’ and ‘Skinny tan’ in a dark shade to get a good colour on your skin. Ensure to use a mit and apply 4-5 coats, the tan must be darker than what’s socially acceptable to ensure that the skin doesn’t get drowned out by the bright lights during the shoot.

Personal fitness brand

Similar to personal trainers looking to enhance their personal branding through fitness shoots. You’ll need to get your tan to help define those muscles and be a fitspiration to your clients.

If you’re currently in collaboration with fitness brands like Gymshark, Alphalete or MyProtein, bring any branded fitness clothing or supplements that you want to use for the photoshoot. It will help raise the profile of your brand and elevate your marketing strategy by being associated with established fitness brands. 

Personal trainer fitness photography

Download a FREE GUIDE on How To Take Fitness Photos That Impress, deep dive into fitness photoshoot prep!

Gym branding

As for gym owners looking to establish their brand in the industry, ensure that your gym is clean and fresh, ready to be photographed. A gym with a colour scheme incorporated through the interior and equipment helps define your brand. Use PTs or staff in the shots to show the friendly faces that people will see in the gym.

Find your fitness inspiration before the shoot

To help you visualise and get some direction on where you want the fitness shoot to go, we recommend going on Instagram or Pinterest to find inspiration on how you want to pose or how you could pose your products for the shoot. Bring some ideas with you on the day and share them with the photographer. 

Checkout our Instagram and Pinterest ‘fitness shoot inspiration’ boards if you’re looking for more inspiration on your fitness photoshoot. 

On the day of the shoot 

What to expect?

If you’re working with an experienced fitness photographer, they will listen to your ideas and help you creatively execute them for your photos. Our premium photographer Collette has plenty of experience in the field, photographing around 250+ brands and fitness photoshoots since 2012 with different clients from personal trainers, transformation shoots, gym, and equipment as well as photographing fitness products.

She will ask about your ideas, what you’d like to achieve from the shoot and from then, she will direct the shots moving forward. All photographers are different, so work closely and communicate with your photographer. Don’t worry about the camera, it’s just another workout session at the gym. Make sure that you or your models are ready for the photographer and just enjoy the shoot!

Download our Photoshoot Planner HERE!

Save the pump for the shoot!

Treat this fitness photoshoot as a training session and save the pumping up during the shoot. When working with models, let them know to avoid training beforehand; so they don’t lose the pump before the shoot even starts.

Fitness shoot prepping made easy

Make sure that your products are in stock and are available to be photographed. Idea generation tools like mood boards and a shoot list prepped and sent beforehand will help make it easier for you to collaborate your ideas with the photographer.

When taking your fitness photos, think about your goal for getting these photos done. Is it to enhance your personal brand and empower your clients as a PT? Is it to establish your gym against other competitors? Or is it to help your fitness products thrive in your online store or social media? Finding the purpose of this fitness shoot will help you develop photos that will speak for your brand.

Here are some FAQs that previous clients have asked us:

  • Do I need to be there before the shoot to pump up?
    • No, we will run you through it while setting up lighting and taking test shots.
  • If I compete, when’s the best time to book a shoot, before or afterwards?
    • Usually, 3-4 days posts show in our experience, depending on how crazy you go on that post-show cheat meal!
  • Locations, are you willing to travel or do I come to you?
    • We can shoot wherever you need, but we also have good connections with local public and private gyms in South Yorkshire that are happy for us to shoot there. We also have a studio with indoor & outdoor locations.
  • Can you help with hair & makeup?
    • Yes, we work closely with professionals. Let us take care of this for you.

Curious on what you should wear to the fitness shoot? Read more on what to wear for a fitness shoot in our previous blog!

What to wear to a fitness photography shoot- Picture Perfect

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