We love a progress check-in picture or video, as do millions of other fitness fanatics. They are a great way to stay accountable to your fitness goals and inspire others, whether it’s your friends and family or your social media followers, to do the same.
But how do you take a great picture or video that you can be truly happy with, and which adequately represents the phenomenal progress you’re making?
This short article is the Picture Perfect Photography guide to capturing some amazing DIY check-in photos that will truly help you (and your coach if you have one) see equally comparable results.
1. Choose the same location every time
The location of your progress check-in photo is important. You want to choose a location that is plain and free from distractions. Keep it consistent by using the same location throughout, as it will make it easier to see the changes in your body over time. Switching up locations will only make it more difficult to compare the pictures.
2. Use the light well.
Natural light is great for a check-in progress photo, but it can be changeable and weather dependent. If you can, try to take your photo in front of a window, outside, or in a well-lit area, or for extra consistency invest in a ring light or LED light panel, especially for those early mornings.
If you face front onto the light, it will flood you with that light. However, if you face sideways to the light, then you will create shadows across your body. It will give your muscle definition more depth, and highlight your amazing progress in much greater detail, which in turn can increase your motivation to smash your goals.
3. Use a tripod.
A tripod will help you keep your camera steady and at the same optimum angle each time, which will result in sharper and more consistency in your weekly check-in photos. If you don’t have a tripod, you can try propping your phone up against something sturdy to ensure it remains steady.
4. Use a timer.
If you’re taking a photo of yourself, it will be helpful to set a timer so you can build and frame yourself before the camera starts snapping. If your phone has the facility to do it then make sure you get a burst of pictures so that you have some options to choose from instead of constantly capturing one, checking it, then doing it again.
5. Keep the same angle every time
As with the location of your check-in photo, the angle you use needs to be consistent to ensure you get an accurate reflection of your progress. Place your camera at the same height and place each week or time that you take your photos or video to get a fair comparison.
6. Don’t over-edit your photos
We would recommend the only thing that you may want to do is increase sharpness, but +30 and perhaps decrease the exposure a little so you’re not washed out. Tip: you can copy and paste this onto each photo on an iPhone, see the demo below. If you’re cropping, use the same aspect ratio on each photo.
7. Time of day
Before fluids and food fasted is generally better as it’s a truer representation of how you actually look fasted. Choose a check-in time and day and be consistent about it to give yourself a fair comparison. This will help your coach to make a balanced and informed decision on the next move too.
8. Photos are great but also track other metrics
Weight and cm in each body area will give you an overall indicator of your progress to fat loss. Keep a regular progress tracker of these metrics that can go alongside your photographic evidence and drive you on to your goals as you see everything head in the right direction.
9. Use the camera app on your Smart Watch
Use the camera app on your Smart Watch, if you have one so that you can see what’s on your phone screen as you take the picture.
10. Use the back-facing camera
Use the back-facing camera instead of the front one as it gives you the best quality and wont smooth you out. There’s nothing worse than looking in epic condition in person and then sending your coach your check-in photo and having to explain that you look better in real life.
11. Utilise video
Either record yourself or have a video meeting with your coach. Sometimes the devil is in the detail and the transitions between poses are where your condition and changes can really shine through.
12. Other great markers for check-in to assess your progress
How’s your recovery, sleep, water intake, and nutrition? Is it consistent? No one is a robot, but eating at the same time every day and the same foods with a good sleep routine will accelerate your fat loss, and ensure your check-in photos for yourself or your online coach are more consistent and comparable.
The whole point of getting your check-in progress is to drive your motivation and ensure you keep at it, so you owe it to yourself to do your progress justice. By following our helpful hints and tips then you’ll give yourself the best chance of achieving that.
Picture Perfect Photography: The total package
Our principal photographer Collette Evans is no stranger to the gym herself, having worked her way to several natural bodybuilding titles and medals. She works closely with gyms, PTs, health and fitness brands and individuals to capture them in the best way, so she is in the unique position of being as comfortable in front of the camera as she is behind it, which in turn puts her photography subjects completely at ease.
If gym and fitness videos are what you’re after, then we have a phenomenal partner is Big Sky Creative, who are experts in capturing amazing and engaging video content.
And that’s not all; our social media brand partner Jen at UJC is a social media influencer and avid powerlifter who has gained thousands of followers through her own health and fitness platforms. If you want to truly get the most out of your social media content, then Picture Perfect Photography really are the definition of a one-stop shop.
Get a creative consultancy and strategy session to help plan out your content, turn up at the gym, and get the benefit of professionals with over twenty years of photography and video experience, and work with a team to create content and build a social media strategy that is proven to work. That’s what working with Picture Perfect Photography will offer.
Get in touch for an initial discovery session by using the form below, give us a call on 01226872517, or why not drop Collette a message on WhatsApp on 07458099039 and start your journey toward having some amazing visual content that is guaranteed to make your followers and potential partner brands sit up and take notice.