Collette’s Top Tips for Bodybuilding Photoshoot Days: How to Make the Most of Your Photo Shoot 

Are you preparing for a bodybuilding photoshoot? Whether it’s your first time or you’ve done this before, there are a few things you can do to make the most of your photo shoot day. In this blog post, we will share Collette’s top tips for making the most of your photoshoot. Follow these tips and you’ll be looking and feeling your best on photo shoot day! 

Bring a selection of outfits  

 When you arrive on set, you should have a few different options for outfits. This way, the photographer can get a variety of looks from you. If you’re not sure what to bring, ask your coach or the photographer for guidance. 

Get a dark tan   

A dark tan will help to deepen the appearance of your muscle and make you look more toned in photos and compensate for the flash from the lighting. Be sure to use a good quality sunless tanner/fake tan, using a professional to spray tan you is always a good idea to avoid streaks or orange-looking skin. We can recommend professionals in the local area and across the UK. 

Apply baby oil to deepen tan and muscle definition   

Before your shoot, apply a layer of baby oil to your skin. This will help to deepen your tan and also make your muscles look more defined. 

Consider different locations for different types of shoots  

If you’re doing a fitness shoot, you might want to consider shooting in a gym or outdoors or a photoshoot in our Yorkshire. Talk to your photographer about what they think would be best for the type of shoot you’re doing, you may even want to combine two of these for variety. 

Get your makeup done professionally, avoid anything SPF.   

For your shoot, you’ll want to have your makeup professionally done. Make sure to avoid anything with SPF in it, as this will cause your skin to look shiny in photos due to the ‘flashback’ from the flash. 

Wax & shave body hair   

On the day of your photoshoot, you’ll want to make sure that all your body hair on show is waxed or shaved. This will help to create a clean and polished look in photos and help make your tan look smooth. 

Avoid training on photoshoot day  

On the day of your photoshoot, try to avoid training beforehand, you will be exercising during the shoot and so you will have plenty of time to pump up and stay looking your best throughout. This will help you to look your best and feel your best on photoshoot day.  

Bring fast acting and slow releasing carbs 

When you’re on set, you’ll want to have some fast-acting and slow-releasing carbs with you. This will help to keep your energy levels up throughout the shoot. Things such as dark chocolate, rice cakes, sweets, dates and jam are ideal. 

Also, make sure to drink small sips of water regularly throughout the shoot. This will help to keep you hydrated and push the carbs through into your muscles. 

You could sip EAA’s throughout the shoot as an intra, I love CNP Pink Pigs & Redcon1 Grunt in Pineapple flavour. 

Don’t be scared of eating carbs with a little protein before the shoot! Your body will look better if you push glycogen into the muscle.  

If you’re physique is more muscular then book your shoot for the afternoon to allow you to push plenty of carbs in beforehand (just like you would on show day).  

Come prepared with some inspiration of the types of photos that you want to create 

When preparing for a bodybuilding photoshoot, it’s important to come prepared with ideas of the types of photos you want to create. Have a play with poses, flexed and relaxed beforehand, look at other photoshoots for inspiration or my posing guide:

or our client shoots such as: Tim Baraclough – Fitness Photography

You can also view our behind the scenes videos Here

Bring A Selection of Props 

Bring a selection of props, this could be a laptop if you’re a personal trainer, weight training belts, weight plates, bands if you’re having a bodybuilder fitness shoot. For a lifestyle shoot it would be good to bring a gym bag, travel coffee cup, meal prep, books you’re reading or headphones for example.  

Sponsored Athletes or Fitness Influencers – Instagram photography content 

If you are a sponsored athlete or fitness influencer, make sure to bring your products with you to the shoot so we can incorporate them into the photos. This could be protein powder, shakers, workout clothes or supplements. We can even do some product shots as well as your fitness shoot! Think about the colours of the brand you’re representing then wear clothing and colours to complement this. When choosing a shoot location to shoot for a fitness product brand, it’s also good to be considerate towards brand tone and vibe.  

A Breakdown of Other Bodybuilding Photography Tips 

  • Work with your photographer to create a shot list, this helps everyone stay on track, download our free photoshoot planner here.  
  • The week before the shoot get plenty of sleep, hydrate with water and pack your bag in good time to avoid cortisol (stress) levels rising which will result in you holding water and skin looking tired.  
  • Bring your friend, coach, or personal trainer to help at the shoot (especially if they keep you calm and relaxed). It’s always good to get a second pair of helping hands & eyes and also help direct.  


I hope you enjoyed these tips, and they help you prepare for your own bodybuilding photoshoot. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us or book a discovery call. And don’t forget to check out our blogs for more great content like this! Thanks for reading! 

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