Fitness Photography is one of the areas of photography I am most passionate about. It speaks to me on a personal level as physical fitness has been a part of my life from a young age. Being a small kid in high school isn’t easy. I turned to martial arts and weight training at a young age to try to build myself up both mentally and physically. Both marital arts and bodybuilding take a significant amount of dedication to reach the goals a person sets out to achieve. When it comes to great Fitness Photography so many important aspects come into play. The first and most important aspect is the subjects conditioning. If the subjects conditioning isn’t at their best this could make or break a photo session. As an example, I had photographed a male fitness competitor on a couple different occasions. Our first shoot was on point both from a photography perspective and from the clients conditioning perspective. So the next time I got a call to photograph him I was expecting the same level of conditioning from our first session. Unfortunately, he had dieted so strictly and reduced his water intake so much that his muscles looked flat and he no longer had the look he desired for the photo session. The next most important aspect is the lighting and composition of the photos. How you light the human body and compose the photos is absolutely critical to shape the muscles and define the fitness subject. Placing the lights at the proper angle and power setting in order to get just enough light on the face and eyes while highlighting the muscle groups you as a photographer want to draw attention to is very important. Choosing the right light-shaping tools are also very important, especially if you want to focus light in certain areas on the subject. When you’re in the studio or on location photographing at the gym you can control the lighting, giving you lots of creative freedom when creating fitness photography. At bodybuilding shows the lights are already set up and as the photographer you really don’t have any control of how the light falls on the subject. This is why promoters take great care to make sure the lighting is perfect for their shows.
During this photo session with John, a former USA team martial artist, I didn’t have to worry about his conditioning as it was on point! This allowed John and I to work together focusing on the lighting, composition, and posing to really create the images he wanted from his fitness photography session. Check out some images we captured of John!
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