The Perfect Ideas to Raise Your Fitness Photography Shoot

Posted by Zara Jones | August 3, 2021 | Photography

An interesting and motivating genre – fitness photography puts your subjects’ fit body in the spotlight to promote and inspire us to focus on adopting a healthy lifestyle. Pulling off such fitness regimes and lifestyle is never easy and is almost the same when executing bodybuilding photoshoots and its post-process requiring professional photography editing.

A gym photography session is for fitness coaches, professional fitness models, and bodybuilding models. Athletic photoshoot ideas are for professional and amateur athletes, while weight loss specialists require a workout photography approach. Although everything falls under a single genre, the approach is different for the models in consideration.

The Perfect Ideas to Raise Your Fitness Photography Shoot

Your experience in this genre along with your image editing services flair is crucial as outputs are always required in the highest quality to compete in the mainstream domain. And we’ve got some essential ideas that can bolster your creative potential to refine your establishment in this genre. And we’re sure passionate people would want this.

So gear up, inspire yourself, and follow these fitness photography ideas to improve your groove. Let’s do it then.

Start with a Fitness Mood Board

We’ve come across mood boards in a previous blog. Here too, start compiling your vision in a mood board and through extensive research to get ideas and inspirations. This is a very efficient prep to get you organized, find various poses, and understand which body parts need more emphasis, and get ideas on professional photography editing for this genre. Keep references in your phone for on-the-fly ideas and inspiration for your shoot as well.

Tips to Give to Models

  1. Make sure they have tried out and prepped their outfits with matching tops and bottoms way ahead of the shoot and that they are neat and clean.
  2. Minimal hair and makeup are required for the shoot so that the features to be highlighted are in good focus. Females can initially put their hair down and as the shoot progresses tie it into a ponytail while men can style their hair as usual.
  3. Remove body hair in areas that have to be revealed in the photos to get more definition and appealing skin textures. By doing so it will save the photographers a good amount of time in their image editing services process.
  4. Your models should prepare their health for a fit body shape/physique a week or a few days before the shoot. They should have good energy for the shoot, with well-defined features they want to highlight. Ensure they are well-nourished, hydrated, healthy, and safe to do the gym photography shoot as well.
  5. Tank tops, pair of shorts, or leggings are ideal outfits and should be body-fitting and tight, but not too tight. The size and fit have to be perfect to showcase their muscles well. If they bring different outfits it can add to more variety of photos. Solid color workout shoes are ideal, but colorful ones add more punch to the pics, but they all have to match well with their outfits.
Fitness Photography Ideas

Fitness Photography Poses

Flexed muscles of your subjects can masterfully highlight their dimension, size, and strength to complement their physique. Full-body shots require subjects to flex both legs and arm muscles. The power pose where subjects pose by crossing their arms can showcase their strength. Lower angle shots are always the best to make subjects look bigger in their body. Guide them through the poses to help them look more natural, and position them at a right angle to the light source as it will help you during your professional photography editing process. If the subjects can bring their trainer along – well and good as they will motivate them enough and will know the ideal poses that look great on them and to highlight the subject’s features. Always ask your subjects to bring some movement rather than photographing static poses. Be friendly to them so they are stress-free, comfortable, and cooperative to your guidelines for a successful shoot.

Facial Expressions

Facial expressions are equally important in gym photography to complement what the subject’s body is trying to convey. In-the-moment expressions or emotions such as competitiveness, perseverance, satisfaction, or happiness, are always the best ones to be captured during heavyweight lifts or exercises. Ask them to keep their lips slightly open to give a working-out-for-a-while feel which also saves their energy for the rest of the shoot, and makes them look natural. If your subjects suggest facial expressions they desire to be portrayed in their portfolio, make sure you get them as well.

Shoot Locations

Locations that can spark inspiration through your shoot style are the best. Consider the ideas or inputs of your subjects as well. Indoor shoots are best done in a gym with the permission of the management when it opens so there’s no rush of other people, with access to fitness and workout equipment. A studio shoot is more relaxed compared to a gym with excellent lighting setups, plenty of retake convenience, and the option for quick makeup or outfit change, and not having to worry about weather changes.
Outdoor shoots can be done in track fields as it is more suited to portray your subject’s specialization and the genre’s mood. Abandoned buildings as backdrops can uplift the mood even more. If you’re doing yoga shoots do it near water sources such as lakes, or beaches for a more relaxed feel in your images.


Besides exercise equipment, props such as bags, water bottles, towels, and more can be used. A wet upper body of your subjects can make it more magazine-oriented with creative lighting techniques that highlight the subject’s upper body features. Using flour for athletes or gymnasts along with ideal lighting will get you some amazing magazine-worthy shots.

If you can ask your subjects to use tanning salons or tanning spray or cream to make their skin tone a bit dark to define their muscles and veins much more. Also, get creative with your choice of props and by considering your subjects’ suggestions.

So try these ideas to tweak your fitness photography bar and work out on your post-process skills with a professional photography editing flair that sets you in the mainstream.

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