Progress pictures are one of the many great ways to make sure your efforts in the gym are paying off. Once you start tracking pictures, you’ll be able to visually see “what’s changing” and “where”. Use these guidelines when you take your pictures so you don’t risk not being able to accurately see changes; even if you are losing weight and toning up.
Take Gym Progress Pictures
Take photos every two to three weeks as visual changes just don’t happen on a day-to-day basis. Don’t get in the habit of obsessing over taking pictures every day. After we cover the rules of taking progress pictures, we’ll teach you two ways to take them so you can start immediately. When you get through this guide, read this to learn how to take great fitness progress and check-in photos by yourself.
1. Don’t Manipulate These Pictures To Make Yourself Look Better
First, the last thing you want to do is use funny angles and weird filters in your pictures. Remember, the goal of these is to be able to see your progress over time. If you’re always using a different angle and using filters to make yourself look leaner or better, you’re doing it wrong. Progress pictures should be true to life and pretty raw and photos are one of the many ways you can track your gym and fitness progress.
2. Keep Your Pictures Consistent As Possible Each Time You Take Them
To make sure you can see even the smallest changes month-to-month, there are a few tricks you can use.
Try to make sure you use the same lighting each time you take a picture. Lighting will heavily influence how you look in pictures, so it’s important to try to keep this the same each time. We recommend a ring light and tripod such as this one. It’s usually better to light yourself slightly from a front-side angle to create shape & shadows.
Take your pictures in the same place every month and at the same time of day. This way you will get consistent results with lighting from the windows, and you won’t get shadows from different angles making you look more or less defined. Your only lighting will come from the ceiling or lamps in the room, and your pictures will always be the same quality.
If your room is too dark, you can turn the brightness up on your phone a little. Just make sure you write down what settings you used somewhere. Remember, these pictures need to be as consistent as possible.
You should also wear the same clothes every time you take a progress picture. This way you can see the difference in how they fit.
3. Use A Full-Size Mirror So You Can See Everything
Ideally, you’ll want to use a full-size mirror when you take your pictures. If you use something like a bathroom mirror, you won’t be able to see the development of your lower body. When you take your pictures, you’ll want to take them from three different angles.
Capture all the angles
Take A Picture Of The Front Of Your Body
For the first one, use your phone’s rear-facing camera. Hold it out in front of you at about hip level and take a picture straight on. Try to take your picture straight on instead of from a high angle. Remember, we’re using these to track progress. Don’t manipulate these pictures to try and make yourself look better.
If you’re using the tripod, it’s easier to take these pictures in selfie mode, with the screen facing you or on self-timer. Using a video format can also be easier. This way you can see if your whole body is in the picture.
Stand normally and take a picture of the front of your body, including your feet.
Take A Picture Of The Side Of Your Body
For the next shot, you’ll want to turn to your side and same as before, the camera position at hip level. If you’re using a mirror hold your phone from the bottom, it’s easier to press the button with your thumb. Don’t try and suck in for this picture, just relax and stand normal but with chest high.
On the side, stand normally and take a picture of the side of your body. Try to face the same way each time you do these so your pictures are consistent or take a photo on both sides.
Take A Picture Of The Back Of Your Body
Lastly, you’ll want to take a picture of your back. To do this, put your phone in selfie mode and hold it over your shoulder. Try and get as much of yourself in the shot as possible, and do your best to angle the phone so it’s lined up as straight as possible with the mirror. This is kind of an awkward shot, which is why I like using the next method best.
Set your phone camera on self-timer or use a video and face away from the camera and take a picture of the back of your body from hip height.
Have A Friend Help You Or Use A Tripod
Since not everyone has access to a full-size mirror, this is the best way to go. I personally recommend using a tripod and a Bluetooth remote to take the pictures yourself.
If you don’t feel like spending £20 on a tripod and remote kit, you can always ask a friend to help you out. Alternatively, you can also position your phone on a windowsill, bookshelf, or something else to get your shot. If you do that, though, you’ll still need a Bluetooth remote or to use self-timer. Our online smartphone course can help you with learning how to take the best photos with your phone.
Organise your photos for safe keeping
Organise these somewhere on your phone, computer, or cloud storage. I like to name the folders after the date the pictures are taken, and then put the pictures in that folder. That way, they’re organized and I can find them when I need them.
You can watch how to take the perfect gym selfie here. Or if you would like to find out more about fitness photography, then click here to book a call with us.