Looking Good in Fitness Photos: 6 Ways to Use Lighting to Your Advantage

First, take a look at our YouTube video explaining how we use lighting for fitness photoshoots.

We’ve all been to a gym with no natural light and open bulbs hanging overhead. Riding on our post-workout highs, we’ve all gone to take a photo, and had it come out looking far from what we were expecting.

When it comes to snapping a gym selfie or getting your buddy to take a progress shot, it’s really not great for your confidence to look washed out, shadowed and unhealthy. 

In fact, it’s the complete opposite. Your pictures need to look as good as you do.

Here at Picture Perfect Photography, we’re passionate about taking fitness photos that best showcase your hard work, and now we’re ready to pass that advice on to you.

Get ready to impress your audience with these handy tips and tricks… (Hint: it’s all about the lighting)

1. The best lighting comes from a high angle

When using natural lighting from the sun help to highlight the muscle and those all important gainz that you have worked so hard for! It’s everywhere, easy to find, and pretty much constant. It’s best to pop outside at midday on a bright sunny day. This is when the sun is at the highest point and will create more shadows underneath your abs for example. This will help your muscles look bigger and fuller so you’ll have a photo you can be proud to show off.  

Of course, this light does come with a timer. If you work out in the late evening, or your home fitness gym is in the garage, then we recommend purchasing LED photography lights to enhance your photos. Don’t just rely on what’s available to you.

If you’re taking selfies in the gym, shooting through a mirror under spotlights will help you create muscular shadows. The further away from the mirror, you take the photo, the lighting on you tends to look better. Therefore, step back, put yourself under the light, and shoot. You can then crop afterward if you want a photo zoomed in, to retain quality and sharpness.

2. Don’t flood yourself with light

Sure, we love the spotlight as much as you do, but finding the brightest light you can and thinking it’ll make you look good is actually one of the worst things you can do.

Overly lit fitness photos can look washed-out, blurry, and ruin the focus point of the photo. Bring shadows into your photos for enhancing the definition of your muscles.

3. Face sideways to the light

It might be tempting to directly face your light source, but we’d recommend avoiding this.

Instead, hold your chin up, stand strong and face sideways to the light. This will give more depth to your muscle definition as it creates shadow to your fitness shot.

4. Always adjust your phone settings

Did you know that you can tap on your phone when in picture mode to focus the picture and play around with the brightness of the lighting and photo? This small change can mean the difference between an average photo, and one that best showcases the physique that you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

5. Practise, practise, practise

Practise, as they say, makes perfect.

Bring in a friend to take your photo from all different angles, move around the room for the best lighting and of course, try out those different poses. Lighting from a high angle for example typically creates shadows under your muscles, giving you that well-honed, picture-perfect definition.

6. Don’t be scared to bring in a professional

As mentioned before, your photos should do you justice. If you find that no matter what you try you aren’t getting the right shots to make you look and feel good, bring in the team at Picture Perfect Photography and we’ll do the hard work for you.

We can offer further expertise in regards to posing, outfits, the best gym exercises for photos and showing off different muscles.

Book a discovery call here.

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